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WHL Roundup: Rebels continue hot roll by pouncing on Pats

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Photo by Rob Wallator

RED DEER, Alta. — The Red Deer Rebels continue to roll in the early going of the Western Hockey League season as they defeated the visiting Regina Pats on Saturday 4-2 to boost their Central Division-leading record to three wins in as many games.

Kai Uchacz paced the Rebels with two goals, with singles added by Carter Anderson and Jace Isley.

Easton Armstrong and Borya Ellis scored for the Pats, who are 2-2 and tied for third in the East Division.

WHEAT KINGS 4 WARRIORS 1

The Brandon Wheat Kings won their first game of the season by outgunning the visiting Moose Jaw Warriors 4-1.

Jake Chiasson, Evan Groening, Calder Anderson and Charlie Elick scored for the Wheat Kings (1-1), while Marek Howell scored for the Warriors (2-2).

ICE 5 TIGERS 2

Coonor Geekie scored three times to lead the unbeaten Winnipeg ICE to a 5-2 victory in Medicine Hat, Alta.

Skyler Bruce and Jaren Brinson scored the other goals for the ICE (4-0), while Tyler MacKenzie and Oasiz Wiesblatt scored for the Tigers (1-2).

WINTERHAWKS 4 AMERICANS 2

The Portland Winterhawks snapped a 2-2 tie in the second period and skated to their third win in as many games.

James Stefan, Gabe Klassen, Luke Schelter and Robbie Fromm-Delorme scored for the U.S. Division-leading Winterhawks, while Adam Mechura and Andrew Fan scored for the Tri-City Americans (1-3).

RAIDERS 5 OIL KINGS 1

The Prince Albert Raiders won their first game of the season by blitzing the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings 5-1.

Keaton Sorenson had two goals for the Raiders (1-3-1), while Cole Peardon, Anton Yatsyshin and Ryder Ritchie added singles. Marshall Finnie scored for the Oil Kings (0-3-1).

ROCKETS 5 COUGARS 1

The Kelowna Rockets scored three unanswered goals in the first period and coasted to a 5-1 win over the Cougars in Prince George, B.C.

Adam Kydd scored two goals for the Rockets (1-1-1) while Turner McMillen, Marcus Pacheco and Gabriel Szturc netted singles. Chase Wheatcroft scored for the Cougars (2-2).

BLADES 8 BRONCOS 3

The unbeaten Saskatoon Blades scored three goals in the first and added four more in the second en route to an 8-3 win over the visiting Swift Current Broncos.

Scoring for Saskatoon (3-0) were Josh Pillar, Rowan Calvert, Justin Lies, Egor Sidorov, Trevor Wong, Aidan De La Gorgendiere, Jayden Wiens and Marek Schneider.

Connor Hvidston, Raphael Pelletier and Landon Roberts scored for the Broncos (1-3).

THUNDERBIRDS 6 GIANTS 4

Kyle Crnkovic scored twice as the Seattle Thunderbirds won their second game in as many outings. Gabe Ludwig, Lucas Ciona, Jared Davidson and Reid Schaefer chipped in with singles.

Ty Thorpe had two goals for visiting Vancouver (1-2), with singles added by Samuel Honzek and Colton Roberts.

BLAZERS 4 CHIEFS 2

The Kamloops Blazers, who will host the 2023 Memorial Cup, scored the game’s first four goals then cruised t a 4-2 victory in Spokane, Wash.

Connor Levis, Matthew Seminoff, Caedan Bankier and Ethan Brandwood scored for Kamloops (1-1), while Grady Lane and Cade Hayes scored for the Chiefs (2-1).

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 1, 2022.

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Alberta

Connor McDavid’s four-point effort leads Oilers to 8-2 rout of Coyotes

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EDMONTON — Connor McDavid had two goals and two assists and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored twice and had an assist as the Edmonton Oilers defeated the Arizona Coyotes 8-2 on Wednesday.

Derek Ryan, Leon Draisaitl, Bret Kulak and Klim Kostin also scored for the Oilers (15-12-0) who have won five of their last seven games.

Jack McBain and Shayne Gostisbehere responded for the Coyotes (7-13-4) who finished off an epic 14-game road trip with their sixth consecutive loss.

The Oilers got off to a good start with a power-play goal just 4:37 into the opening period as Nugent-Hopkins sent a wrist shot through a screen in front that beat Coyotes netminder Connor Ingram.

Edmonton added to its lead with 3:19 minutes remaining in the first frame as Ryan shrugged off a defender and scored on a backhand shot.

The power play clicked again for the Oilers 8:14 into the second period as McDavid sent it through to Draisaitl and he scored from a tight angle for his 18th goal of the season. McDavid recorded his 50th point in just the 27th game of the season, the fastest Oiler to hit that mark since Wayne Gretzky in 1987-’88.

Arizona got on the board with 6:17 to play in the second period. McBain made a nice move in tight to deposit it past an outstretched Stuart Skinner in the Oilers net.

Edmonton got that goal back just 23 seconds later, however, as Kailer Yamamoto stole a puck at the Arizona blue line and sent Nugent-Hopkins in alone for his second of the night and 13th of the season.

The Oilers went up 5-1 with 1:21 to play in the second as Kulak blistered a shot high to the glove side that went off the bar and in.

Edmonton had a 30-10 edge in shots after 40 minutes.

The Oilers kept the pressure on in the third period as Ryan stripped a puck that went to Kostin in front and he deposited his second goal of the season past Ingram at 3:19.

McDavid extended his goal streak to six games a couple minutes later, taking a pretty pass from Draisaitl behind the net before scoring on the wraparound.

The Oilers captain made it a four-point game with seven minutes left in the third, as McDavid took a feed from Hyman and scored on a one-timer for his 24th goal of the season.

Arizona scored with just over five minutes to play as Gostisbehere tipped in a Christian Fischer shot.

Kostin fought Zack Kassian in the final minute, giving him the “Gordie Howe Hat Trick” on the night with a fight, goal and an assist.

ROAD TRIP

The Coyotes’ 14-game road trip started on Nov. 5, lasted 33 days, and tied an NHL record for the longest in history with the Vancouver Canucks. Arizona started the trip with three wins before going 1-7-3 after that.

FIRST GOAL

Scoring first has been a challenge for both teams this season, as they came into the game having each allowed the first goal 15 times. Edmonton had managed to overcome the deficit more successfully with a record of 6-9-0, while Arizona was 2-11-2 in those situations.

HYMAN RETURNS

Zach Hyman returned to the Edmonton lineup, but the Oilers remained without forwards Evander Kane (wrist), Warren Foegele (undisclosed) and Ryan McLeod (undisclosed).

UP NEXT

Both teams play next on Friday night. The Coyotes finally return to Arizona to host the Boston Bruins. The Oilers close out a four-game homestand against the Minnesota Wild.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 7, 2022.

Shane Jones, The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Andersson’s three-point night helps Calgary Flames to 5-3 win over Minnesota Wild

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CALGARY — Rasmus Andersson notched the game-winner at 15:57 of the third period and added two assists as the Calgary Flames overcame a disastrous start in a 5-3 comeback victory over the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday.

Tyler Toffoli with a pair, including an empty netter, Nazem Kadri and Blake Coleman also scored for Calgary (13-10-3). Elias Lindholm had three assists.

The Flames have won three games in a row and earned eight points on their five-game homestand.

Kirill Kaprizov extended his goal streak to seven games for the Wild – tops in the league this season. Mason Shaw and Jon Merrill also scored for Minnesota (13-10-2), which had its four-game winning streak come to an end.

Making his sixth start in the last eight games, Dan Vladar gave up two goals on his first three shots. He settled in and finished with 25 saves for his fourth straight victory, improving to 5-4-1 on the season.

Marc-Andre Fleury had 22 saves at the other end. His record fell to 9-6-1.

Minnesota was trailing 3-2 when they tied it at 15:45 when Merrill’s point shot deflected in off the stick of Flames defenceman Chris Tanev.

But just 12 seconds later, a Wild turnover behind their net ended up on the stick of Andersson, who cut across the  crease and used his backhand to put the puck just inside the goalpost.

Kaprizov entered the game on an offensive tear with 19 points in his last dozen games. He extended his point streak to 13 games when he tipped in a Matt Dumba point shot just 1:27 into the game.

Both of Kaprizov’s streaks are franchise records.

Less than a minute later, the Wild broke out on a 3-on-1 with Shaw one-timing Connor Dewar’s cross-ice pass past Vladar.

But the Flames overcame the Wild’s fast start to the first period with an even better start to the second.

On a power play that carried over from the first period, Kadri got Calgary on the scoreboard just 16 seconds into the second period when he redirected Lindholm’s hard pass past Fleury.

Coleman tied it after a goalmouth scramble at 1:37.

The Flames moved in front at 3:11 with another power-play goal and another deflection. Toffoli got a piece of Andersson’s heavy slapshot from the blue line.

The Wild had three power-play opportunities later in the period but were thwarted by the Flames’ penalty kill. Entering play, Minnesota was 8-for-19 with the man advantage over the last six games.

BLOWN LEADS AND COMEBACKS

To lose a game in which they scored the first goal and led after the first period is a rarity for the Wild.

Minnesota entered the game with an 8-1-2 mark when scoring first and an 8-0-1 record when leading after 20 minutes.

Calgary improved to 4-6-1 when surrendering the first goal and 3-6-2 when trailing after the first period.

POWER SURGE

After a seven-game stretch where the Flames’ power play was just 2-for-21, they’ve scored two goals in each of the past two games, going a combined 4-for-9 over that span.

UP NEXT

Wild: Head to Edmonton to take on the Oilers on Friday.

Flames: Open a three-game road trip on Friday against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 7, 2022.

Darren Haynes, The Canadian Press

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