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WSHL Weekend Wrap (1/29-2/1) Junior Hockey News

Published: Monday, 2 Feb 2015  
By: Brent Maranto

San Diego Gulls (13-22-1, 6th in Western Division) @ Las Vegas Storm (16-19-2, 5th in Western Division)

Three-game series in Las Vegas, Nevada

It was a battle of two teams clawing to hang on to their respective playoff spots in Las Vegas, as the host Storm and visiting San Diego Gulls went back and forth all weekend.

Thursday's opener needed nine rounds of a shootout to be decided, as Felix Brunner lifted Las Vegas to a 5-4 win.

Vincent DeKumbis led the Storm with two goals in regulation, while Nurbek Baltayev had two points for the Gulls.

Patrik Jokela stopped 37 of the 41 shots he faced during 70 minutes of hockey and turned aside all nine shootout attempts. Joakim Jutras was nearly as good for San Diego, stopping 38 of 42 in regulation and overtime and eight of nine in the shootout.

San Diego bounced back nicely the next night and behind three points from Toni Haikrainen, the visitors pulled out a 4-3 victory.

Haikarainen had two assets before tallying the game winning goal with 12 seconds left in regulation, while Artemiy Yaroslavskiy added a pair of points for the Gulls.

Beau Ricketts, Nikita Larionov and Trevin Morgan each notched two points in the loss for Las Vegas.

Jutras stopped 33 of 36 to earn the win in net for San Diego and Jokela turned aside 34 of 38 in the loss.

Sebastian Gruhler got the Gulls out to a 1-0 lead 3:30 into Sunday's finale but the Storm notched the next four en route to a 5-2 win.

DeKumbis and Arrigo Burgener each tallied three points for the Storm and Jokela stopped 43 of 45 in net.

Jutras finished up a solid weekend by stopping 21 of 25 in the San Diego crease.

Seattle Totems (6-29-1, 7th in Northwest Division) @ Southern Oregon Spartans (27-7-1, 3rd in Northwest Division)

Three-game series in Medford, Oregon

The Southern Oregon Spartans ran their winning streak to five to begin 2015, with a dominant sweep of the Seattle Totems.

Five different Spartans notched four points in the opener and Reed Kinsey stopped 16 of the 18 shots he faced in net, as Southern Oregon cruised to a 9-2 win.

Top forwards Doug Gutierrez and Mackenzie Wood led the pack for the Spartans, while Marek Nemec tallied both Seattle goals in the loss.

Wood tallied five assists the next night and the Spartans put up double digits in a 10-2 win.

Drew Carriere also had five points, with four goals and an assist and Johan Lovestrom notched four.

Tymen Edelkoort III stopped all but two of the 25 shots he faced in the Southern Oregon crease, while Anton Vigre allowed eight goals in two periods before being pulled.

The Totems twice took the lead in the opening period and Reinis Vitolins second goal of the game tied it up at three early in the second but the Spartans pulled away for an 11-3 victory.

Defenseman Billy Saxton led everyone with five points on the day, while Wood and Anton Bokull each had four.

Vitolins finished with three points for Seattle and Erik Danna notched a pair.

Kinsey stopped 37 of 40 to earn the win in net, while Angus Campbell gave up 11 goals on 48 shots in the loss for Seattle.

Valencia Flyers (26-9-1, 2nd in Western Division) @ Phoenix Knights (6-26-3, 7th in Western Division)

Three-game series in Gilbert, Arizona

Playing just miles from where the Super Bowl was held, the Valencia Flyers swept the host Phoenix Knights with three more solid wins.

The Flyers scored four first period goals in the opener, only to see Phoenix come back with four of their own to begin the second.

The visitors kept on coming however and earned a 7-5 win.

Six different Flyers skaters recorded a pair of points in the win, including Adam Papayoanou and the newly-acquired Zach Lawson.

Robert Crisci and Rasmus Alamaa each notched four points for Phoenix.

Ole Nilsen stopped 18 of 23 in net for Valencia and Colton Pankiw 33 of 39 for Phoenix.

After just one goal through the first 40 minutes of play on Saturday, the two teams combined for six in the third, as the Flyers pulled out a 5-2 victory.

Kory Medeiros and Jason Hart each notched a pair of points for Valencia and Silvan Delb stopped 21 of 23 in net.

Alamaa and Charlie Allen also had two points each for Phoenix and Luke Stripp allowed four goals on 45 shots.

The Flyers took a 2-0 lead in the finale and held off a couple of Knights comeback bids en route to a 4-2 win.

Hart and Dawson Keay each had two points for Valencia and Delb stopped 16 of 18 to earn the win in net.

El Paso Rhinos (31-3-0, 1st in Midwest Division) @ Tulsa Jr. Oilers (7-26-1, 6th in Midwest Division)

Three-game series in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Speaking of sweeps, the El Paso Rhinos furthered strengthened their Midwest Division lead with three big wins over the Tulsa Jr. Oilers.

Ryan Buttazzoni faced just 11 shots for El Paso in the opener but turned away all of them in a 6-0 Rhinos win.

Martin Hanl, Jiri Pestuka and Sebastian Borg each notched a pair of points for El Paso, while Teke Murphy stopped 52 of 58 in the Tulsa crease.

El Paso jumped out to a 6-0 lead on Saturday night and held Tulsa to just 16 shots on goal in a 7-1 win.

Bryton Tomko led the Rhinos with four points, while Borg and Pestuka each had three.

Buttazzoni stopped 15 of 16 to earn the win in net and Murphy took the loss while allowing seven goals on 53 shots.

Borg and Pestuka added another four points each on Sunday and Adam Vay stopped 12 of 13 in net, as the Rhinos won 10-2.

Hunter Best scored twice in the loss for Tulsa.

Wichita Jr. Thunder (13-23-1, 5th in Midwest Division) @ Oklahoma City Jr. Blazers (27-7-0, 2nd in Midwest Division)

Three-game series in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Just a few miles down the road, the second-place Oklahoma City Jr. Blazers picked up a weekend sweep of the Wichita Jr. Thunder.

Wichita actually held a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes of play in the opener but the Jr. Blazers scored the finale three goals in a 4-2 win.

Colton Nelson and Kole Hudson each had a pair of points for OKC and Jakub Krejci stopped 27 of 29 in net.

Matej Varchola faced 35 shots in the Wichita crease and stopped 31 in the loss.

It was all OKC the next night, as leading scorer Matt Levene notched a hat trick and Krejci stopped all 33 shots he faced in net, in an 8-0 Jr. Blazers win.

Matthew Audette and Kirill Romanov also had three points each for OKC and Victor Ekk added two.

Jake Larson stopped 31 of 39 in the Wichita crease.

The finale was much tighter but as they've done so often this season, the Jr. Blazers found a way to pull it out, finishing the sweep with a 5-3 win.

Four skaters, including Audette, had two points for OKC and Braden Lajoie stopped 36 of 39 in net.

Zach Balodis led Wichita with two points and Larson stopped 26 of 31 in net.

Lake Tahoe Blue (6-26-2, 6th in Northwest Division @ Whitefish Wolverines (16-22-1, 4th in Northwest Division)

Three-game series in Whitefish, Montana

The Whitefish Wolverines took two out of three from the Lake Tahoe Blue over the weekend but with their lone victory, the Blue actually moved into a playoff spot.

The Wolverines took a 3-0 lead in the opener but the Blue fought back to tie things up with three of their own.

Tyler Latimer would get the eventual game-winner and Brett Fernandez iced a 5-3 Whitefish win with an empty-netter.

Fernandez finished with a game-high three points and Brendan Duff stopped 31 of 34 in net for Whitefish.

Julius Bauermeister and Luke Erickson each had two points for Lake Tahoe and Nick Bretzger allowed four goals on 53 shots.

Bauermeister notched another five points the next night, as the Blue pulled out a 6-4 victory.

Hunter Lovdokken added four points for Lake Tahoe and Michael Cowell stopped 28 of 32 in net.

Bryan Polmear notched three points for Whitefish and Joakim Hidestrand allowed four goals on 36 shots.

Despite being outshot in the finale, the Wolverines took a 5-0 lead and never looked back in a 5-1 win.

Kefir Helbing led the way with three points and Hidestrand stopped 42 of 43 in net.

Kristers Seps scored the lone Lake Tahoe goal and Cowell allowed five goals on 39 shots in net.

Missoula Maulers (29-8-1, 2nd in Northwest Division) vs. Butte Cobras (10-25-2, 5th in Northwest Division)

Home-and-home series played Friday in Butte and Saturday in Missoula, Montana

The Missoula Maulers continued their dominance over the Butte Cobras, beating their in-state rivals by a combined 15-2.

Missoula opened the weekend with an 11-1 victory on the road, led by Sawyer Jacobson's four goals.

Sam Sevcik notched five assists in the big win, Corey Schafer added another four points and Noah Parker stopped all but one of the 28 shots he faced in net.

Justin Irby stopped 42 of 53 in the Butte loss.

Things were closer the next night but Missoula still outshot Butte 40-20 and won by a score of 4-1.

Jacobson and Sevcik added another two points each and Aron Holmgren stopped 19 of the 20 shots he faced in net.

Tage Rustgi allowed four goals on 40 shots in the Butte crease.

Ontario Avalanche (21-11-6, T-3rd in Western Division) vs. Long Beach Bombers (24-12-0, T-3rd in Western Division)

Home-and-home series played Friday in Ontario and Saturday in Lakewood, California

In another local rivalry, the Ontario Avalanche and Long Beach Bombers split their two games over the weekend, with each team winning on the road.

It came down to the wire on Friday night in Ontario but the Bombers pulled out a 4-3 win thanks to a Patrik Johansson goal in the fifth round of the shootout.

Johansson notched three assists in regulation and was the only shooter out of ten to score in the shootout. Long Beach netminder Dennis Tschudi stopped 44 of 47 before the shootout and five out of five in the shootout.

Antoine Maillard and Zechariah Roberts each had a pair of points for Ontario and Daniel Cepila stopped 31 of 34 in net.

Chris Skeates stopped all but one of the 39 shots he faced in the Ontario crease the next night and Roberts scored twice in a 2-1 Avalanche victory.

Anton Rhose scored the lone Long Beach goal and Tschudi stopped 41 of 43 in net.

Ogden Mustangs (24-13-2, T-2nd in Mountain Division) @ Casper Coyotes (29-8-2, 1st in Mountain Division)

Two-game series in Casper, Wyoming

The Mountain Division leading Casper Coyotes moved to 7-1-0 against the second place Ogden Mustangs on the season, thanks to two more hard-fought victories.

The Coyotes fell behind 1-0 on Saturday night, as Alex Forbes gave the Mustangs a 1-0 lead 10:23 into the opening frame but the home team came back with three straight in a 3-1 win.

Eric Anderson, Kasper Elo and Ilya Sakhibgareev scored for Casper and Alexandre Lussier stopped all but one of the 41 shots he faced in net.

Andreas Pettersson allowed three goals on 28 shots in the Ogden crease.

Casper never trailed the next night and won 4-2 behind a 36-save effort from Rickard Landfeldt.

Elo led the Coyotes with two points on the day, while Andreas Zollner and Caleb Pola did the same for Ogden.

Troy Turpin was pulled from the Ogden net after allowing three goals on 18 shots.

Cheyenne Stampede (14-20-3, 6th in Mountain Division) @ Casper Coyotes

Single game played Friday in Casper, Wyoming

Prior to the two wins over Ogden, the Coyotes welcomed the Cheyenne Stampede to town and doubled up their in-state rival in a 6-3 win.

Eetu Tikkanen notched two goals in the Casper win and Landfeldt stopped 21 of 24 in net.

Parker Moskal also scored twice for Cheyenne and Corey Foster allowed six goals on 33 shots.

Cheyenne Stampede @ Colorado RoughRiders (21-15-0, 4th in Mountain Division)

Single game played Saturday in Superior, Colorado

Cheyenne went south the next night and were blanked 8-0 by the Colorado RoughRiders.

Aidan Doughty and former Stampede forward Thayne Trumbull each had three points for the RoughRiders and Ashton Opperman stopped all 26 shots he faced in net.

Colorado RoughRiders @ Colorado Jr. Eagles (23-10-4, T-2nd in Mountain Division)

Single game played Thursday in Fort Collins, Colorado

The RoughRiders opened the weekend on Thursday night and pulled out an exciting 2-1 win over the Jr. Eagles.

Casey Riccatone opened the scoring and got the RoughRiders out to a 1-0 lead early in the opening frame but Scott Smoot tied things up for the Jr. Eagles in the second.

With 5:28 left in regulation, Greg Dyba tallied his first goal as RoughRider and it held up as the game-winner.

Opperman stopped 39 of 40 to earn his first win in a RoughRiders uniform and Quinn Wold took the loss while allowing two goals on 38 shots for the Jr. Eagles.

Colorado Evolution (5-31-0, 7th in Mountain Division) vs. Colorado Jr. Eagles

Home-and-home series played Friday in Denver and Saturday in Fort Collins, Colorado

The Jr. Eagles bounced back nicely after the tough loss to the RoughRiders and swept a home-and-home series from the Evolution.

The Eagles fell behind 1-0 on the road on Friday but responded for four straight in a 4-1 win.

Veterans RJ Haenze and Tanner Ulland each tallied twice for the Eagles and Breandan Colgan stopped 21 of 22 in net.

Kirill Proskurin scored the lone Evolution goal and Maksims Resetnikovs allowed four goals on 45 shots.

The Jr. Eagles never trailed the next night and moved into a tie with Ogden for second place with an 8-0 win.

Riley Roberts led the way with four points, while Ulland and Brad Campbell each had three for the Jr. Eagles.

Colgan stopped all 21 shots he faced to earn his first shutout of the season. 

Hockey Wolf
Three Stars of the Week

1. Johan Lovestrom (Forward, Southern Oregon Spartans)- Hulking Swede notched two goals and nine assists in sweep of rival
Seattle Totems. Lovestrom now has 36 points in 19 games since coming over in a trade with Butte.

2. Sebastian Borg (Forward, El Paso Rhinos)- Another Swede with a big weekend, Borg scored four goals and added five assists in a
sweep of Tulsa and now leads Rhinos with 59 points on the season.

3. Ashton Opperman (Goaltender, Colorado RoughRiders)- In his first weekend with the team, Opperman turned aside a combined 66 shots in victories over the Colorado Jr. Eagles and Cheyenne Stampede.

Honorable Mentions: Vincent DeKumbis (Las Vegas Storm), Mackenzie Wood (Southern Oregon Spartans), Jiri Pestuka (El Paso Rhinos), Matthew Audette (Oklahoma City Jr. Blazers), Sawyer Jacobson (Missoula Maulers), Sam Sevcik (Missoula Maulers), Patrik Johansson (Long Beach Bombers), Jason Hart (Valencia Flyers), Zechariah Roberts (Ontario Avalanche), Tanner Ulland (Colorado Jr.
Eagles), Julius Bauermeister (Lake Tahoe Blue).

Brent Maranto is the WSHL Director of Communications

 Photo courtesy of Mark Mauno

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