Long Beach Bombers (14-6-0, 2nd in Western Division) @ Fresno Monsters (19-1-1, 1st in Western Division)
Three-game series in Fresno, California
Facing the only team that’s put a blemish on their record so far this season, the Fresno Monsters dropped a game at home to the Long Beach Bombers but wound up taking two of three on the weekend.
Fresno was dominant in the opener on Thursday night, as the hosts jumped out to a 4-0 lead and cruised to a 10-1 victory.
The Monsters scored four shorthanded goals on the night and were led by Mike Nolan and Parker Olson, who each notched three points.
Nathan Churchill stopped 22 of the 23 to earn the win in net for the Monsters, while Long Beach’s Dennis Tschudi was pulled after allowing six goals.
After a scoreless first period the next night, Fresno took 2-0 lead in the second on goals by Olson and Kyle Baker and held on for the 3-1 win.
Jacob Haynes also scored for Fresno, while Austin Piquette stopped all but one of the 29 shots he faced in net.
Erik Sandgren tallied Long Beach’s lone goal, as the Bombers’ high-powered offense was held to a single goal for the second straight night and Tschudi stopped 26 of 29 in net.
The Bombers came back on Saturday night and handed the Monsters their first regulation loss of the season.
Two early first period goals by Johan Beatty got the Bombers out to a 2-0 lead but the Monsters came back to tie it on markers by Mitchell Dolman and Dan Fitzgerald.
Niklas McPherson’s power play goal, scored at 6:34 of the second period, would hold up to be the game-winner for Long Beach however, in a 3-2 win.
Carl Lyden assisted on all three Long Beach goals, while both Beatty and Michael Sjolin notched a pair of points. Tschudi was strong in the Bombers crease and stopped 47 of 49 in the win.
Piquette stopped 18 of 21 in the loss for Fresno.
Springfield Express (14-5-1, 1st in Midwest Division) @ Dallas Snipers (5-17-2, T-4th in Midwest Division)
Three-game series in Plano, Texas
The Springfield Express kept their spot atop the Midwest Division standings, as they went on the road and took two of three from the Dallas Snipers.
A feisty Dallas squad took a one-goal lead three separate times in the opener but the Express answered each time, before taking the lead and winning by a score of 5-4.
Quade Hamlin and Austin Murray each notched a goal and an assist for Springfield, while Philip Babb stopped 27 of the 31 shots he faced in net.
Carl Sandsten led the Snipers with three points on the night and Dusan Olsa had two. Sander Berg stopped 28 of 33 and took the loss in net.
The Snipers exploded for seven straight goals over the final 40 minutes of game two and cruised to an 8-1 win.
Jean Cobo, Alexander Yunanov and Trent Williams each had four points to lead Dallas, while Berg stopped 24 of the 25 shots he faced in net.
Oliver Eklund was pulled from the Springfield crease after allowing six goals.
The Express took a 4-1 lead into the third period of Sunday’s finale, only to see the Snipers notch three straight to tie things up.
Linus Dahlberg would assist on a David Higgs marker that would stand up as the game-winner for Springfield and add an empty netter himself, as the Express won 6-4.
Dahlberg led the Express with three points on the day, while four other Springfield skaters, including Seth Ensor, had two.
Veteran forward Justin Becton led Dallas with three assists, while Renaud Gaboury stopped 27 of the 32 shots he faced in net.
Tulsa Jr. Oilers (5-10-1, 6th in Midwest Division) @ Wichita Jr. Thunder (6-15-0, T-4th in Midwest Division)
Three-game series in Wichita, Kansas
Two of the most improved teams in the WSHL met in Wichita over the weekend and both the host Jr. Thunder and visiting Tulsa Jr. Oilers were able to pick-up important points as they continue to play well.
Game one featured goal scoring streaks, as Wichita jumped out to a 2-0 lead, only to see Tulsa come back in the second and go up 3-2.
Coming on strong in the third however, the Jr. Thunder notched three straight in a 5-3 victory.
Peter Ivicic and Jack McClelland each had three points to lead Wichita offensively, while Jake Larson was strong in net, stopping 29 of the 32 shots he faced.
Sam Mancini notched a hat trick for Tulsa, with all three coming via Ivan Bukshevannyy assists.
Teke Murphy allowed five goals on 44 shots in the Tulsa crease.
Game two featured 10 combined first period goals and zero through the final two.
Tulsa scored five straight at one point however and picked up the 6-4 win.
Mancini once again led Tulsa with four points, while Bukshevannyy had three. Three different Wichita skaters had two points, including Ivicic.
Richard Albrecht stopped 42 of 46 to earn the win for the Jr. Oilers, while Larson was pulled from the Wichita crease after allowing six goals on 20 shots.
Bukshevannyy notched a hat trick for Tulsa in Sunday’s finale but it wasn’t enough, as Wichita won 4-3 thanks to a Jack McClelland goal with just three second left in the first overtime period.
Bukshevannyy also had a fight against a fellow Ivan, Wichita’s Ivan Brvenik who notched a goal and an assist for the Jr. Thunder in the win.
Matej Varchol stopped 28 of 31 in the Jr. Thunder win, while Albrecht stopped 34 of 38 for Tulsa.
Ontario Avalanche (7-5-5, 5th in Western Division) @ Las Vegas Storm (11-9-1, 3rd in Western Division)
Three-game series in Las Vegas, Nevada
The Las Vegas Storm have slid right into the Western Division in their first season and looked like a hard-hitting, gritty veteran club. They showed that and then some again over the weekend, sweeping the always-tough Ontario Avalanche.
Las Vegas trailed 2-0 and 3-1 in Friday night’s opener but battled their way back each time and tied things up on a Kyle Pacheco goal with 5:56 left in regulation.
Just 2:25 into the first overtime period, their comeback was complete, as Beau Ricketts gave the Storm a 4-3 win on his second goal of the game.
Ricketts and Moritz Matzka each had two points to lead Las Vegas, while Patrik Jokela stopped 35 of the 38 shots he faced in net.
Nick Anderson and Jackson Giammona each had a pair of points for Ontario, while Chris Skeates stopped 27 of 31 in net.
The Storm won by the same score the next night but overtime wasn’t needed, as Arrigo Burgener’s goal with 3:48 left in regulation lifted Las Vegas to the 4-3 win.
Vincent DeKumbis led the Storm with two points on the night and Gernot Wegerer stopped 36 of 39 in net.
A trio of veteran forwards, Michael Thomas, Zechariah Roberts and Antoine Maillard, each had two points for Ontario, while Mitchell Privett stopped 17 of 21 in net.
Despite being outshot for the third straight game on Sunday, the Storm received a 58-save shutout from goaltender Patrik Jokela in a 2-0 win.
Matzka and Ricketts scored the two Las Vegas goals and Jokela, their third goaltender of the weekend, shined in net.
Daniel Cepila stopped 18 of 20 in the Avalanche crease.
Casper Coyotes (19-6-0, 1st in Mountain Division) @ Colorado RoughRiders (12-8-0, 4th in Mountain Division)
Three-game series in Superior, Colorado
The Casper Coyotes continue to fly high atop the Mountain Division and took two out of three from a very good hockey Colorado RoughRiders team over the weekend.
The Coyotes did drop the opener, as the RoughRiders came out gunning and cruised to a 5-1 win.
Aidan Doughty and Walker Harris each had two points to lead Colorado’s offensive charge and Kirill Pustovalov stopped all but one of the 31 shots he faced to earn the win in net.
Rikard Landfeldt stopped 28 of 33 in the Casper crease.
Erik Stenbacka scored twice the next night and the Coyotes notched all three of their goals on the power play in a 3-2 win.
Alexandre Lussier stopped 25 of 27 to get the win in net for Casper, while Pustovalov stopped 28 of 31 for Colorado in the loss.
Harris and Padraic Ripple each scored goals via Nick Kukuris assists to give Colorado a 2-0 lead in the finale but Casper got three straight in the second and held on to win 3-2.
Landfeldt was strong in net for the Coyotes and stopped 27 of the 29 shots he faced in the win, while Colorado’s Pustovalov allowed three goals on 27 shots.
Seattle Totems (6-14-1, T-4th in Northwest Division) @ Idaho Jr. Steelheads (19-0-1, 1st in Northwest Division)
Two-game series in McCall, Idaho
The team with the best record in the league, the Idaho Jr. Steelheads swept a short two-gamer from the Seattle Totems and have now won 16-straight.
Idaho allowed just seven shots on goal in the opener and cruised to an 8-0 win.
Kyle Kruenegel and Elliot Lorraine each had three assists to lead the Jr. Steelheads, while Austin Althaus stopped all seven shots he faced in net.
Seattle’s Anton Vigre was much busier at the other end, facing 57 shots and stopping 49 in the loss.
The Totems threw 20 shots on goal the next night and scored twice but Idaho tallied eight for the second straight game and won 8-2.
Veteran forward Macky Power led the offensive charge with five points, Lorraine had four and Kyle TenEyck had three.
Tyler Hough stopped 18 of the 20 shots he faced in net for Idaho, while Vigre turned aside 57 of 65 in the Seattle crease.
Lake Tahoe Blue (4-15-1, 7th in Northwest Division) @ Southern Oregon Spartans (16-4-1, 2nd in Northwest Division)
Two-game series in Medford, Oregon
Keeping pace with the Jr. Steelheads, the Southern Oregon Spartans also swept a two-game set over the weekend, beating the Lake Tahoe Blue twice.
Southern Oregon trailed 3-2 heading into the third period of the opener but responded with three straight goals in a 5-3 victory.
Mackenzie Wood and Billy Saxton each had three assists to lead the Spartans in the victory, while Tymen Edelkoort III stopped 30 of the 33 shots he faced.
Seeing his first action of the season, Michael Cowell stopped 44 of 49 in the Lake Tahoe crease.
Southern Oregon raced out to a 3-0 lead in game two and never looked back in a 10-1 win.
Nine different Spartan players recorded multiple points on the night, led by Wood and his four, while Tyler van Vliet stopped 19 of 20 in two periods of work in net.
Alexander Lobachev notched the lone Lake Tahoe goal in the loss, while Nick Bretzger was pulled from the Blue net after allowing seven goals on 33 shots.
Valencia Flyers (11-3-9, 4th in Western Division) vs. San Diego (7-13-0, 6th in Western Division)
Two-game series in Valencia, California
A team on the rise, the Valencia Flyers have been gaining steam and continued their roll with a home-at-home sweep over San Diego.
The Flyers jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the opener and San Diego made things interesting with three straight in the third, before Valencia tallied two more in a 7-3 win.
Jakob Kranabetter and Ray Wilson each notched four points to lead Valencia, while Silvan Delb stopped 26 of the 29 shots he faced in net.
Joakim Jutras was replaced in the San Diego crease by Brody Cavataio after allowing three goals in the opening period.
Another good start got the Flyers out to a 4-0 lead the next night and they held on to win by a score of 7-4 after holding off a San Diego comeback bid.
Four different Flyers skaters notched two points on the night, including Kranabetter, while Ole Nilsen stopped 23 of 27 in net.
San Diego was led offensively by Ilya Sakhibgareev and Pavel Bocharov, who each had two points on the night. Cavataio stopped 42 of 49 in net.
Missoula Maulers (15-4-0, 3rd in Northwest Division) @ Whitefish Wolverines (6-16-1, T-4th in Northwest Division)
Two-game series in Whitefish, Montana
Still quietly playing some of the best hockey in the league, the Missoula Maulers swept a two-game road series from the Whitefish Wolverines over the weekend.
Whitefish’s Bryan Polmear gave the home team a 1-0 lead 1:30 into the opener but Missoula came firing back to notch the next six in a 6-1 win.
Six different Missoula skaters recorded multiple points on the night, with Damon Hanson leading the group with three.
Noah Parker stopped 39 of 40 to earn the win in the Missoula crease, while Joakim Hidestrand stopped 29 of 35 for Whitefish.
The Maulers pulled away again the next night for another big win, as they scored the game’s last four goals in a 5-1 victory on Saturday.
Veteran forward Austin Azzinnaro led the way with three assists, while Hanson and Sawyer Jacobson each had a pair of goals for Missoula.
Holmgren stopped 17 of 18 in the Maulers win, while Brendan Schutlz was pulled from the Wolverines net after allowing four goals on 19 shots.
Phoenix Knights (4-13-2, 7th in Western Division) vs. Arizona Redhawks (1-14-1, 8th in Western Division)
Home-at-home series played Friday in Gilbert and Sunday in Peoria, Arizona
The Arizona Redhawks fell just short of their first victory of the season on Friday night, losing in a shootout to the rival Phoenix Knights but bounced back on Sunday to finally put one in the win column.
Despite being outshot by double on Friday night, the Redhawks were able to force overtime on a third period goal by Ruslan Cernych.
After both overtime periods solved nothing, the two teams headed to a shootout and both of the Knights’ first two shooters, Brennan Johnsson and Andrew Harrison converted to give Phoenix a 3-2 win.
Johnsson also scored for the Knights during regulation and Luke Stripp stopped 25 of 27 in net, as well as both shootout chances against.
Briand McDonald tallied the other goal for Arizona and Henrik Liljestrand turned aside 51 of the 53 shots he faced prior to the shootout.
Down 3-1 midway through the second period on Sunday, Arizona tied things up on power play markers by Gustav Parson and Alex Cerda, before McDonald scored what would hold up to be the game-winner early in the third, in a 4-3 Redhawks win.
Cerda led the Redhawks with two goals on the day, while Liljestrand stopped 28 of 31 in net.
Jordan Kaspick led the Knights with a goal and an assist on the day.
Colorado Evolution (2-18-0, 7th in Mountain Division) @ Cheyenne Stampede (4-12-1, 6th in Mountain Division)
Single game played Friday in Cheyenne, Wyoming
Despite a slow start to the season, the Cheyenne Stampede moved into a playoff position with an 8-0 victory over the Colorado Evolution on Friday night.
Egor Riabchikov stopped all 21 shots he faced in net, while both Heath Lantz and Jeremy Szczurek each notched five points to lead the Stampede to victory.
Maksims Resetnikovs was pulled from the Colorado net after allowing five goals on 23 shots.
Cheyenne Stampede @Colorado Jr. Eagles (7-5-3, 5th in Mountain Division)
Single game played Saturday in Fort Collins, Colorado
Taking to the road on Saturday, Cheyenne got off to a slow start and could never recover in a 6-2 loss to the Colorado Jr. Eagles.
Levi Weber led the Jr. Eagles with four points, while four other skaters notched two points on the day for Colorado.
Quinn Wold stopped 29 of 31 in the Colorado crease, while Riabchikov turned aside 33 of 39 for Cheyenne.
Ogden Mustangs (15-8-1, 2nd in Mountain Division) @ Salt Lake City Moose (13-7-3, 3rd in Mountain Division)
Single game played Saturday in West Valley City, Utah
After being tied for the Mountain Division’s second spot for the last few weeks, the Ogden Mustangs finally put a little bit of space between them and the Salt Lake City Moose, as they beat their in-state rival 7-4 on Saturday night.
Andreas Zollner led the charge with three assists, while four other Ogden skaters notched two points on the night.
Troy Turpin stopped 21 of 25 to get the win in net, while Brad Robertson allowed six goals on 29 shots in the loss.
Dmitry Kuznetsov and Jacob Liljeroos each had a pair of points in the loss for Salt Lake City.
Hockey Wolf Three Stars of the Week
1. Elliot Lorraine (Forward, Idaho Jr. Steelheads)- John Olver had plenty of praise for the Elliot Lorraine prior to the season and the Swedish import hasn’t disappointed. The silky forward added seven more points to his league-leading total of 51, as Idaho picked up two big wins over Seattle.
2. Mackenzie Wood (Forward, Southern Oregon Spartans)- Another dynamic Northwest Division scorer, Mackenzie Wood is on our list for the third time this season after notching seven points in two Southern Oregon wins over Lake Tahoe. The Simcoe, Ontario native now has 17 points over his last five outings.
3. Jakob Kranabetter (Forward, Valencia Flyers)- The second-year forward notched six points in Valencia’s two victories over San Diego and has now amassed 10 points over his last four games.
Honorable Mentions: Mike Nolan (Fresno Monsters), Carl Lyden (Long Beach Bombers), Ivan Bukshevannyy (Tulsa Jr. Oilers), Peter Ivicic (Wichita Jr. Thunder), Linus Dahlberg (Springfield Express), Carl Sandsten (Dallas Snipers), Patrik Jokela (Las Vegas Storm), David Brancik (El Paso Rhinos), Matthew Audette (Oklahoma City Jr. Blazers), Walker Harris (Colorado RoughRiders), Erik Stenbacka (Casper Coyotes), Elliot Lorraine (Idaho Jr. Steelheads), Billy Saxton (Southern Oregon Spartans), Damon Hanson (Missoula Maulers), Brian McDonald (Arizona Redhawks), Heath Lantz (Cheyenne Stampede), Andreas Zollner (Ogden Mustangs)