Owre’s hat trick, McGovern’s goose egg, Cougars combined shutout, plus more Friday
Taylor Roccaby TAYLOR ROCCA

A total of eight games on the Western Hockey League pre-season schedule Friday night gave fans a handful of two-goal scorers plus much more.

Tim Vanstone continued to pile up the points, though this time around it wasn’t enough to fuel his Prince Albert Raiders to a win in Swift Current as Aleksi Heponiemi recorded three more assists to pad his pre-season scoring lead.

In Prince George, new import Yan Khomenko tallied twice while Nick McBride and Tavin Grant came together to pitch the shutout for the Cougars in a win over the Kamloops Blazers.

Meanwhile, rookie goaltender Duncan McGovern was perfect while Steven Owre registered a hat trick for Medicine Hat as the Tigers blanked the Red Deer Rebels in Ralston, Alta.

Let’s get down to business.

Regina Pats 2 vs. Brandon Wheat Kings 3 (SO)

Connor Gutenberg scored a short-handed marker in the first period to open the scoring before registering a power-play tally in the third period to tie the game, accounting for all of the regulation scoring for the Wheat Kings in Friday’s 3-2 shootout victory over the Pats.

Sandwiched between Gutenberg’s book-end goals was a pair of Pats power-play efforts, as Dawson Leedahl and Chase Harrison both scored on the man advantage for Regina.

In the skills competition, Nick Henry and Riley Woods came up empty for the Pats, while both Ivan Provorov and Ty Lewis found the back of the net to give the Wheat Kings their second consecutive victory over Regina.

At the end of the night, the Pats were 2-for-8 with the power play, while the Wheat Kings were 1-for-4.

Logan Thompson handled the full load for the Wheat Kings, stopping 32 shots plus another two in the shootout.

Tyler Brown earned the start for the Pats, steering aside 13 of 14 pucks before Jordan Hollett came in and made another 25 saves on 26 shots.

The Wheat Kings moved to 2-2-0 in pre-season play and will wrap up the exhibition campaign on Saturday (7 p.m. MDT) in Regina.

The Pats fell to 3-3-1 with the defeat and finish the pre-season against Brandon on Saturday.

Vancouver Giants 5 vs. Kelowna Rockets 4

The Giants and Rockets exchange blows back and forth Friday night, but it was a Matt Barberis tally in the final two minutes of regulation that stood up as the winner as Vancouver edged Kelowna by a 5-4 margin.

The Rockets scored a 2-0 lead in the first period as Jonathan Smart and Jordan Bortsmayer scored on either end of the period.

It was all Giants in the second period as rookie Tyler Popowich, Brendan Semchuk and Dylan Plouffe scored consecutively to swing moment in favour of Vancouver, taking a 3-2 lead after 40 minutes.

James Malm doubled the Giants advantage midway through the third period before Conner Bruggen-Cate cut into the score. But that effort was put to rest as Barberis made it a 5-3 game.

Kole Lind rounded out the scoring, registering a late goal for the Rockets.

Plouffe and Semchuk both finish the night with three points apiece, while Barberis and Malm had two points for the Giants.

Lind collected three points on behalf of the Giants.

The Giants were fueled primarily by the man advantage, finishing the night 3-for-5, while the Rockets converted on 25 per cent of their power plays, going 1-for-4.

David Tendeck went the distance in net for Vancouver, blocking 33 pucks for the win.

For the Rockets, Michael Herringer stopped 26 of 29 shots before being replaced by Brodan Salmond in the second period. Salmond finished the night with six saves on eight shots.

For the Giants, Friday marked their first victory of the post-season, improving to 1-3-1. Vancouver rounds out the pre-season Saturday (3 p.m. PDT) at home against the Victoria Royals.

The Rockets finish the exhibition campaign at 3-2-0. They will open their 2016-17 WHL regular season on Sept. 23 (7 p.m. PDT) in Kamloops.

Calgary Hitmen 6 vs. Lethbridge Hurricanes 2 (Crowsnest Pass, Alta.)

Rookie Tristen Nielsen registered two goals and three points, leading the Hitmen to a 6-2 win over the Hurricanes in Crowsnest Pass, Alta.

Colton Kroeker opened the scoring for Lethbridge only 47 seconds into the first period before Justyn Gurney knotted the game 1-1 on a penalty shot with only 23 seconds left in the opening period.

Lucas Cullen registered back-to-back markers in the second period, giving the Hitmen a 3-1 lead before Zane Franklin pulled the Hurrricanes back within one before 40 minutes were up.

Tristen Nielsen took over for Calgary in the third period.

First, the rookie scored to restore the two-goal lead. Then he set up Vladislav Yeryomenko to make it a 5-2 game. Finally, he rounded out the night with his second of the contest late in the proceedings.

The Hurricanes finished the night 2-for-6 on the man advantage, while the Hitmen were 0-for-4.

Lethbridge wraps pre-season action with a record of 2-4-0 and will open the 2016-17 WHL regular season at home on Sept. 23 (7 p.m. MDT) against the Medicine Hat Tigers.

The Hitmen jumped to 3-2-0 in exhibition play and will close the pre-season Saturday (7 p.m. MDT) in Crowsnest Pass against the Kootenay ICE.

Red Deer Rebels 0 vs. Medicine Hat Tigers 4 (Ralston, Alta.)

Steven Owre scored first, second and last, Friday night, while 16-year-old Duncan McGovern made 14 saves to record the shutout as the Tigers beat the Rebels 4-0 in Ralston, Alta.

Tyler Preziuso was the only other goal-scorer for Medicine Hat.

While Owre accounted for three goals, Mason Shaw nabbed three assists along the way.

Owre’s opening goal – the game-winner – came while the Tigers were shorthanded early in the first period.

The Tigers finished the game 0-for-2 with the man advantage, while the Rebels missed on four power-play chances.

Dawson Weatherill started the game for Red Deer, making eight saves on nine shots before Trevor Martin came in and surrendered two goals on 20 shots.

The Tigers improved to 2-2-0 with the win and travel to Red Deer for one final pre-season game Saturday (7 p.m. MDT).

The Rebels dropped their first contest of the exhibition slate and sit 3-1-0 ahead of Saturday’s finale with Medicine Hat.

Kamloops Blazers 0 vs. Prince George Cougars 4

Colby McAuley had two points, including the game-winning goal, while Yan Khomenko chipped in with a pair of tallies as the Cougars extinguished the Blazers 4-0 Friday.

Nick McBride started the game for Prince George, making 19 saves before Tavin Grant came in and closed the door on the next nine Kamloops shots for the combined shutout.

Aaron Boyd tallied the other goal for the Cougars.

For the Blazers, Dylan Ferguson opened the game in the crease, turning aside all 15 shots sent his way. Carter Phair entered midway through the outing, giving up four goals on 16 shots.

The Cougars end pre-season play at 3-3-0, while the Blazers finish up 1-4-0.

Kamloops opens the 2016-17 WHL regular season on Sept. 23 (7 p.m. PDT) when the Kelowna Rockets visit the Sandman Centre.

Prince George begins its 2016-17 WHL regular season schedule on Sept. 23 (7:05 p.m. PDT) in Victoria.

Everett Silvertips 2 vs. Seattle Thunderbirds 3 (SO)

Finnish import Sami Moilanen scored twice for Seattle in regulation while Danish import Alexander True scored the only shootout goal as Seattle edged Everett on Friday.

Moilanen opened the scoring in the first period before Lucas Skrumeda tied the game on behalf of the Silvertips in the second period. Moilanen restored the lead on a power play for the Thunderbirds before 40 minutes had come to a close.

Riley Sutter knotted the game, forcing overtime, midway through the third period.

Carl Stankowski went start to finish in net for Seattle, making 27 saves and another three in the shootout. Lasse Petersen carried the workload for Everett, making 21 saves before stopping two of three in the shootout.

The Thunderbirds soared to 3-2-0 in pre-season action and round out the exhibition slate on Saturday (7:05 p.m. PDT) in Everett.

The Silvertip fell to 2-3-0 and will look to avenge the loss on Saturday.

Prince Albert Raiders 2 vs. Swift Current Broncos 4

Another night, another multi-point effort from Finnish sensation Aleksi Heponiemi. The flying Finn posted three assists on Friday, helping spur the Broncos to a 4-2 triumph over the Raiders.

Kaden Elder and Tyler Steenbergen scored bookend goals for the Broncos in the first period, with a pair from the Raiders – courtesy Tim Vanstone and Loch Morrison – wedged between.

A scoreless second period bled in the third, where Calvin Spencer gave Swift Current a 3-2 lead. Russian defenceman Artyom Minulin iced the outcome with an empty-net insurance marker.

Minulin’s tally was the lone Broncos goal not assisted upon by the rookie import Heponiemi, who now has five goals and 15 points in six pre-season contests.

The Broncos went 3-for-5 with the man advantage, while the Raiders were 0-for-4.

In net, Broncos goaltender Travis Child only faced 15 shots, making 13 saves. At the other end, Raiders goaltender Ian Scott turned aside 16 of the 19 pucks sent his way.

The Broncos lead the East Division at 5-1-1 and wrap the post-season on Saturday (7 p.m. MDT) in Moose Jaw.

The Raiders dropped to 3-2-0 to close the exhibition slate and look ahead to Sept. 23 (7 p.m. CST) when they visit the Regina Pats to open the 2016-17 WHL regular season.

Spokane Chiefs 3 vs. Tri-City Americans 2 (OT)

Kailer Yamamoto scored the deciding goal only 41 seconds into overtime as the Chiefs eked out a win over the Americans on Friday.

The Chiefs grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first period as Hayden Ostir and Jaret Anderson-Dolan scored consecutively before Morgan Geekie got the Americans on the board in the final 30 seconds of the period.

Americans import Vladimir Lukin knotted the game 2-2 in the second period before a scoreless third pushed the two U.S. Division rivals into extra time.

Matt Berlin made eight saves on nine shots to start the game for Spokane before Donovan Buskey closed out the contest with nine saves on 10 shots.

At the other end, Nicholas Sanders played the full outing for Tri-City, making 28 stops on 31 shots.

The Americans stumbled to 3-3-1 in pre-season play and close out the schedule Saturday (2:05 p.m. PDT) in Spokane.

The Chiefs pulled even at 3-3-0 over the exhibition tour and finish up at home against the Americans.

Saturday in the WHL

Kootenay ICE vs. Calgary Hitmen (7 p.m. MDT from Crowsnest Pass, Alta.)
Saskatoon Blades vs. Edmonton Oil Kings (7 p.m. MDT from St. Albert, Alta.)
Seattle Thunderbirds vs. Everett Silvertips (7:05 p.m. PDT)
Swift Current Broncos vs. Moose Jaw Warriors (7 p.m. MDT)
Medicine Hat Tigers vs. Red Deer Rebels (7 p.m. MDT)
Brandon Wheat Kings vs. Regina Pats (7 p.m. MDT)
Tri-City Americans vs. Spokane Chiefs (2:05 p.m. PDT)
Victoria Royals vs. Vancouver Giants (3 p.m. PDT)