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WSHL Weekend Wrap (2/5-8) Junior Hockey News

Published: Monday, 9 Feb 2015  
By: Brent Maranto

Springfield Express (18-18-1, 3rd in Midwest Division) @ Oklahoma City Jr. Blazers (30-7-0, 2nd in Midwest Division)

Three-game series in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

After going a disappointing 1-3-0 at the showcase, the Oklahoma City Jr. Blazers have come out on fire to begin 2015 and have now run their winning streak to 13 after a sweep of the Springfield Express.

The Jr. Blazers notched a goal in each period of Thursday night's opener and Jakub Krejci stopped all 25 shots he faced in net to lead them to a 3-0 victory.

Kirill Romanov and Lubos Vacek, the latter of whom recently returned from a stint in the USHL, each notched a pair of assists in the OKC victory.

Making his Express debut in net, Bobby Dugan stopped 23 of the 26 shots he faced.

An Eric Hewitt goal 25 seconds into the third period of Friday night's meeting gave Springfield a 3-2 lead but Petr Kobes tied it for OKC at 12:44 and Victor Ekk provided the game-winner just over three minutes later.

Romanov again led the way with three points for the Jr. Blazers, while Ekk notched two. Krejci turned in another great game in net, stopping 38 of the 41 shots he faced in the win.

Hewitt and Mike Heverly, both New Mexico Renegades holdovers, each had a pair of points for Springfield, while Dugan stopped 30 of
34 in net.

The Express held a 4-3 lead after 40 minutes of play on Saturday but couldn't hold on again, as Kole Hudson and Sam Mancini scored in the third to lift OKC to a 5-4 win.

Mancini, Hudson and Kobes each had two points for the Jr. Blazers and Krejci earned the win in net again, stopping 32 of the 36 shots he faced.

Ted Astrom and Linus Dahlberg notched a two points each for Springfield and Dugan allowed five goals on 39 shots.

Seattle Totems (9-29-1, 6th in Northwest Division) @ Lake Tahoe Blue (6-28-3, 7th in Northwest Division)

Three-game series in South Lake Tahoe, California

The battle for the final playoff spot in the Northwest Division took place in Lake Tahoe over the weekend and it was the Seattle Totems moving back ahead with a clean sweep of the host Blue.

The Blue jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the opener but the Totems scored four straight to take a 4-3 lead.

Nikita Velmakin would force overtime with his late third period goal but Adam Alfody won it in the fifth round of the shootout for Seattle.

Reinis Vitolins and Lukas Vendis led the Totems with three points each, while Angus Campbell came on in relief to earn the win in net, stopping 25 of 26 in regulation play and all five he faced in the shootout.

Velmakin, Julian Davis and David Raus each notched a pair of points for Lake Tahoe and Nick Bretzger stopped 54 of 58 in regulation and four of five in the shootout.

There was no need to come from behind the next night for Seattle, as they were the ones taking a 3-0 lead, before holding off the Blue for a 7-4 victory.

Once again, it was Vitolins and Vendis leading the way with four points apiece, while Campbell stopped 30 of 31 in net.

Velmakin and Julius Bauermeister each recorded a pair of points for Lake Tahoe and Bretzger allowed six goals on 44 shots.

The Totems ended the weekend with a bang, scoring four straight to begin the first and second periods, before cruising to a 10-4 victory.

Vitolins led the way with five points, Vendis had four and both Marek Nemec and August Cnattingius had three for Seattle.

Seeing his first action of the year, Jason Footlick stopped 42 of 46 to earn the win in the Seattle crease.

Brandon Aab and Luke Erickson each had two points for the Blue and Bretzger took the loss in net after coming on in relief of Michael Cowell.

Idaho Jr. Steelheads (36-0-2, 1st in Northwest Division) @ Butte Cobras (10-28-2, 5th in Northwest Division)

Three-game series in Butte, Montana

The top-seeded Idaho Jr. Steelheads aren't worried about missing the playoffs and remained unbeaten in regulation with a sweep of the Butte Cobras.

10 different Idaho skaters recorded multiple points in Friday's opener, as the Jr. Steelheads cruised to an 11-3 win.

Leading the way was a pair of veteran forwards, in Kyle Williams and Victor Carlsson, who each notched four points in the Idaho win.

Leading scorer Anton Zimmer led Butt with a pair of assists.

Austin Althaus stopped 17 of 20 in the Idaho crease, while Tage Rustgi allowed 11 goals on 34 shots for Butte.

Another veteran led the way for Idaho the next night, as Hunter Lester notched four points in a 6-2 Steelies win.

Seeing his first action in nearly a month, Tyler Hough stopped 18 of 20 in the Idaho crease, while former Springfield Express netminder Philip Babb stopped 37 of 43 for Butte.

Butte got two first period goals from defenseman Dzmitry Daniliuk on Sunday but Idaho would score the game's final eight goals in a 13-2 win.

Artrus Sevcenko led all skaters with seven points on the day and Carlsson acquired six.

Ben Perone stopped 12 of 14 to earn his first win of the season for Idaho, while Babb was pulled in the loss for Butte.

Tulsa Jr. Oilers (7-29-1, 6th in Midwest Division) @ El Paso Rhinos (34-3-0, 1st in Midwest Division)

Three-game series in El Paso, California

Much like Idaho, the El Paso Rhinos are flying high atop their division and kept their wide margin with a sweep of the Tulsa Jr. Oilers for the second straight weekend.

After a scoreless opening period on Friday night, the Jr. Oilers took a 1-0 lead early in the second on an Ivan Bukshevannyy marker.

It was all Rhinos from that point on however, as the home team scored seven straight in a 7-1 win.

Jiri Pestuka and Lukas Znosko each notched three points for El Paso and Ryan Buttazzoni stopped 10 of the 11 shots he faced in net.

Teke Murphy saw a bit more action in the Tulsa crease, facing 56 shots and stopping 49 in the loss.

Adam Vay returned to the El Paso crease the next night and stopped all 11 shots he faced in a 5-0 win.

Pestuka led the way with another three points for the Rhinos, while Borg added a goal and an assist.

Murphy stopped 46 of 51 in the Tulsa crease.

Buttazzoni faced just 11 shots again on Sunday and stopped every single one of them, as the Rhinos won going away, 16-0.

David Brancik and Marek Langenhammer each notched five points for El Paso, while nine other El Paso skaters recorded multiple points.

Colter Pritchard played just over 30 minutes before being pulled from the Tulsa net in the loss.

Southern Oregon Spartans (28-9-1, 3rd in Northwest Division) @ Missoula Maulers (31-9-1, 2nd in Northwest Division)

Three-game series in Missoula, Montana

The Missoula Maulers and Southern Oregon Spartans have been going back and forth for the second spot in the Northwest Division all season. By taking two out of the three meetings this past weekend, it was Marcus Baxter and the Maulers moving back ahead for the time being.

The Maulers did drop the opener on Friday night, as they allowed four unanswered goals after Sam Sevcik got them out to a 1-0 lead.

Johan Lovestrom sparked the comeback for Southern Oregon and finished the game with three points, while leading scorer Mackenzie
Wood had two.

Reed Kinsey stopped 30 of the 31 shots he faced for the Spartans, while Aron Holmgren allowed four goals on 31 shots for the Maulers.

The Maulers held the Spartans to just 16 shots on goal the next night and Noah Parker stopped every one of them, as Missoula earned a 5-0 win.

Sevcik, Sawyer Jacobson and Corey Schafer each had four points in the Missoula win, forcing Tymen Edelkoort III to be pulled from the Southern Oregon net midway through the contest.

The Maulers slung 52 shots on net in Sunday's finale and had four players record a pair of points, including Sevcik, in a 5-2 victory.

Parker stopped 32 of 34 to earn the win in net, while Kinsey allowed five goals on 52 shots for Southern Oregon.

Wood scored both goals for the Spartans in the loss.

Colorado Jr. Eagles (24-12-4, 3rd in Mountain Division) @ Salt Lake City Moose (19-14-6, 5th in Mountain Division)

Three-game series in West Valley City, Utah ***

Struggling since earning a perfect record at the showcase, the Salt Lake City Moose split with the Colorado Jr. Eagles, who they met on Friday and Sunday and lost in double overtime to the Cheyenne Stampede on Saturday.

An Erik Ahlen goal scored 8:04 into regulation gave Salt Lake a 1-0 lead but Colorado stormed back to score four straight en route to a 5-2 win.

Five different Colorado players notched a pair of points in the win, including leading scorer Levi Weber and Quinn Wold stopped all but two of the 30 shots he faced in net.

Brett Myer tallied the other goal for the Moose and Brad Robertson stopped 17 of 22 in net.

The Moose went back and forth with Cheyenne the next night and forced overtime behind third period goals from Ross Gann and Brian

2:44 into the three-on-three period however, Michael Ballard won it with his second goal of the night.

Ballard and Craig Thurston led the Stampede with three points each and Egor Riabchikov stopped 32 of 36 in net.

Myer led the Moose with a pair of points and Robertson stopped 10 of 11 after coming on in relief in the overtime loss.

After two tough losses to start the weekend, the Moose did bounce back on Sunday, jumping out to a 3-0 lead and holding on for a 4-3 win.

Veteran forward Jurijs Moiseicenko notched two assists in the win for Salt Lake and Robertson stopped 35 of 38 in net.

Riley Roberts led the Jr. Eagles with a pair of goals and Wold took the loss in net after coming on in relief of starter Breandan Colgan.

Cheyenne Stampede (15-22-3, 6th in Mountain Division) @ Ogden Mustangs (27-13-2, 2nd in Mountain Division)

Three-game series in Ogden, Utah ***

The in-state rival Ogden Mustangs have been going the opposite way of the Moose and earned three more wins over the weekend to strengthen their grip on the second spot in the Mountain Division.

The Mustangs scored seven straight goals against the Stampede on Friday and held off a late comeback bid to win 7-3.

Veteran forward Schuyler Seyfert notched two goals and an assist in the win and Andreas Pettersson stopped 18 of 21 in net.

Nolan Kinney and Michael Ballard each had two points for Cheyenne and Corey Foster was pulled after allowing four goals.

Defenseman Clay Cross assisted on three Ogden goals the next night and Troy Turpin stopped 28 of 30 in net to lead the Mustangs to
a 5-2 over the Jr. Eagles.

Andreas Zollner, Caleb Pola and Martin Hallin added two points each in the big win for Ogden.

Quinn Wold stopped 38 of 42 in the loss for Colorado.

A power play goal from Max Legere gave the Stampede a 1-0 lead on Sunday but the Mustangs got two goals each from Cross and Zollner to come from behind and win 4-1.

Edvin Johansson and Pola notched two assists each for Ogden and Pettersson stopped all but one of the 25 shots he faced in net.

Foster turned aside 39 of the 43 shots he faced for Cheyenne.

Colorado Evolution (5-33-0, 7th in Mountain Division) @ Colorado RoughRiders (23-15-0, 4th in Mountain Division)

Two-game series in Superior, Colorado

The Colorado RoughRiders are starting to come back around and moved into fourth place thanks to a pair of wins over the Evolution.

The RoughRiders threw 66 shots on goal on Friday night and Maksims Resetnikovs stood on his head to stop 63 but the Evolution still fell by a score of 3-1.

As he has all season, Walker Harris led the RoughRiders with a pair of points and Ashton Opperman stopped 28 of 29 in net.

The score was a bit more lopsided the next night, as the RoughRiders put 69 shots on net and won 7-2, with Thayne Trumbull's four goals leading the way.

Trumbull finished the game with five points, as did Devon Pilkington. Harris added four for the RoughRiders and Kirill Pustovalov allowed two goals on 16 shots.

Resetnikovs took the loss for the Evolution, allowing six goals on 36 shots before being pulled.

Dmitrijs Komarnickis led their offensive efforts with a pair of points.

Phoenix Knights (7-27-3, 7th in Western Division) vs. Arizona Redhawks (3-33-1, 8th in Western Division)

Home-and-home series played Friday in Gilbert and Saturday in Peoria, Arizona

Despite it being a down year for both teams, the battle of Arizona is always a must-watch and the Knights and Redhawks did not disappoint, splitting the two games over the weekend.

Jason Demczak and Merrek Peters notched first period goals for Arizona on Friday night but Phoenix came back with three of their own in the second and held on in the third for a 3-2 win.

Veteran defenseman Charlie Allen led the Knights with a pair of points and Luke Stripp stopped 20 of 22 in net.

Peters finished with two points for the Redhawks and Henrik Liljestrand stopped 43 of 46 in net.

It was Arizona scoring in bunches the next night, as two goals each from Jacob Kerns and Christoffer Nygren gave the Redhawks a 5-1 win.

Timothy Muhsman added two points as well and Liljestrand stopped 27 of 28 in net.

Braden Cooper tallied the lone Phoenix goal, while Colton Pankiw allowed five goals on 22 shots.

Valencia Flyers (28-9-1, 2nd in Western Division) @ San Diego Gulls (13-23-2, 6th in Western Division)

Single game played Friday in Escondido, California

One of the hottest teams around, the Valencia Flyers took down the San Diego Gulls 5-1 on Friday night.

Kory Medeiros scored a natural hat trick in the first period for Valencia, while Adam Papayoanou and Niklas Giers notched two points each.

Ole Nilsen stopped 26 of the 27 shots he faced in net, while Joakim Jutras allowed five goals on 38 shots for San Diego.

Long Beach Bombers (25-13-0, 3rd in Western Division) @ San Diego Gulls

Single game played Saturday in Escondido, California

The Gulls bounced back and played much better the next night but fell just short in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Long Beach Bombers.

The home team actually took a 2-0 lead on goals from Tyler Kubara late in the second and Pavel Bocharov early in the third but the Bombers fought back to force overtime behind goals from Johan Beatty and Carl Lyden.

After two overtime periods solved nothing, the Bombers won it in the shootout thanks to goals from Nick Short and Tomas Urbanec.

Dennis Tschudi stopped 40 of 42 in net during regulation play and all four shots he faced in the shootout, while Brody Cavataio stopped 32 of 34, before allowing two of five to score in the shootout.

Valencia Flyers @ Long Beach Bombers

Single game played Sunday in Lakewood, California

After taking Saturday off, the Flyers traveled south to Lakewood and beat the rival Bombers 5-1.

The Bombers took a 1-0 lead just 48 seconds into regulation thanks to a Glenn Corey marker but the Flyers came back with five straight to earn the win.

Giers led the offensive efforts with three points from the blue line and both Ray Wilson and Papayoanou notched two.

Nilsen stopped 20 of 21 to earn his second win of the weekend in net, while Dennis Tschudi was pulled from the Long Beach crease after allowing five goals on 42 shots.


Hockey Wolf 
Three Stars of the Week

1. Reinis Vitolins (Forward, Seattle Totems)- The Seattle Totems moved into the sixth and final Northwest Division playoff spot with a sweep of the Lake Tahoe Blue over the weekend. Leading the way was Latvian forward Reinis Vitolins, who notched five goals and seven assists in what was his last three games with the Totems, as the former El Paso Rhino was dealt to the Long Beach Bombers earlier today.

2. Artrus Sevcenko (Forward, Idaho Jr. Steelheads)- There aren't a ton of Latvian natives in the WSHL but the few that are around are pretty darn good. Playing his first weekend with the Idaho Jr. Steelheads, Arturs Sevcenko amassed two goals and nine assists in a weekend sweep of Butte.  

3. Sam Sevcik (Forward, Missoula Maulers)- Keeping the European theme alive, Sam Sevcik was a big reason the Missoula Maulers were able to take two of three from the Southern Oregon Spartans and move into second place in the process. The Slovakian led Missoula's offensive efforts with five goals and two assists.

Honorable Mentions: Jakub Krejci (Oklahoma City Jr. Blazers), Victor Ekk (Oklahoma City Jr. Blazers), Lukas Vendis (Seattle Totems), Victor Carlsson (Idaho Jr. Steelheads), Jiri Pestuka (El Paso Rhinos), Sawyer Jacobson (Missoula Maulers), Mackenzie Wood (Southern Oregon Spartans), Clay Cross (Ogden Mustangs), Michael Ballard (Cheyenne Stampede), Thayne Trumbull (Colorado RoughRiders), Walker Harris (Colorado RoughRiders), Niklas Giers (Valencia Flyers)

Brent Maranto is the WSHL Director of Communications

Photo courtesy of Mark Mauno

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