The WHL’s most prolific offense returned on Saturday.
With Jakin Smallwood and Connor McClennon in the lead with two goals apiece, the Winnipeg Ice beat the Prince Albert Raiders 8-0 at the Wayne Fleming Arena.
The Ice outscored their opponents 30-5 in four wins to open the 2021-22 regular season. Prince Albert is 0-4-0-0 with just five goals.
“I thought we were hot,” Ice left winger Mikey Milne said. âA good start for the guys – I think it was our most complete game of the four games we’ve playedâ¦ We stuck with our system the whole game and we really didn’t give them anything. can play like that every night, we look good. ”
Milne, a 19-year-old left winger from Abbotsford, BC, entered action on Saturday as the league’s leading scorer. He added his third goal of the season and now has eight points in four games.
“Obviously it’s been a long time,” Milne said of his status as a leader of the league. âI think I should go back to the bantam or midget levelâ¦ but I’m not really focusing on that. As long as the team scores two points every night, I’m happy. With team success comes individual success. , so we’re just looking to do it. ”
Milne has never scored more than 33 points in the previous three WHL seasons. Winnipeg also had goals from Conor Geekie, Owen Pederson and Zach Benson while Matt Savoie had four assists.
âThere have been spells in our previous games where we’ve given a number of chances or given life to the other team and we certainly didn’t have that tonight,â said the coach- head of Ice James Patrick. âThe penalties came into the game and we took some, we took a few and they took a few, so that maybe changed the pace of the game a little bit. But, up and down , I thought we skated hard, we competed hard and I guess we exhausted them. ”
Gage Alexander had a relatively quiet night in his Ice debut.
The 19-year-old Okotoks, Alta., Goaltender, who returned to the club earlier this week after a five-week stint at NHL Anaheim Ducks training camp, made 13 saves in his second shutout in career.
PA goaltender Ronin Geraghty, who was making his first start in 2021-22, finished with 26 saves.
Ice defenseman Karter Prosofsky was left out of the game with a major strike to the head after his hit equalized Raiders forward Bryce Warkentine at the end of the halfway window. Landmark rookie Warkentine stayed in the game.
Patrick was asked if he’s worried about bad habits creeping into his players’ games after four goal festivals to open the season.
“It was part of my post-game speech that I wanted more than anything to keep playing the game the right way and not playing for points,” he said. âStop on the pucks, drive in the middle lane, back up hard with a good gap by our D and move the puck. I don’t want the guys hanging on to the pucks. There are things that I wanted us to be betterâ¦ I thought that in the first half of the game we had four great chances to score and we hit the glass behind the net. Put it on the net. ”
Winnipeg star defenseman Carson Lambos was tackled by Harrison Lodewyk of PA early in the second period and was slow to recover. He returned to action soon after, only to be bloodied by a stick to Hayden Pakkala’s face in the third period. Pakkala received a minor double for the play.
âLuckily he’s really strong,â said Patrick of Lambos. âEven the blow from behind – it could have been worse but I think he put his hands up to protect himself and then he’s so strong physically. You don’t want to see that with anybody, but he took a few hits today. ‘Yeah. We were able to reduce his ice cream the last seven or eight minutes. ”
Blue lines: Three stars: 1. Matt Savoie, Winnipeg; 2. Connor McClennon, Winnipeg; 3. Jakin Smallwood, Winnipegâ¦ Ice left winger Evan Friesen made his regular season debut in the WHL on Saturday. Defensemen Anson McMaster and Brandt Young and forwards James Form, Sequoia Swan, Brayden Edwards were scratches for Winnipegâ¦ Hayden Pakkala returned to Winnipeg in a Raiders uniform. The 17-year-old was traded by Ice to PA late last month for a ninth-round draft draft pick in 2021â¦ Winnipeg went 4-for-7 on the power play. The Raiders haven’t scored a goal in five triesâ¦ The Raiders are still missing their best player and captain Kaiden Guhle. The first-round pick in the NHL draft remains with the Montreal Canadiens.
Twitter: @ sawa14