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.
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
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
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
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
Leading scorer Anton Zimmer led Butt with a pair of
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
Ole Nilsen stopped 26 of the 27 shots he faced in
net, while Joakim Jutras allowed five goals on 38 shots for San Diego.
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
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
After two overtime periods solved nothing, the
Bombers won it in the shootout thanks to goals from Nick Short and Tomas
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
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.
Three Stars of the Week
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.
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.
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
* Disclaimer: This site may contain advice, opinions and statements from various authors and information providers. Views expressed in this article reflect the personal opinion of the author, and not necessarily the views of JuniorHockey.com. JuniorHockey.com does not represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any advice, opinion, statement or other info provided in the article, or from any other member of this site.