Grande Prairie, AB – The Whitecourt Wolverines (22-8-5) fell 4-3 in a shootout to the Grande Prairie Storm (17-15-3) on Wednesday night in their final game prior to the Christmas break.
The Wolverines carried the play for much of the first period but it would be the Storm opening the scoring on a goal from Parker Smyth with just 9.5 seconds left on the clock as he one-timed home a clean faceoff win by Connor Blake from the left-wing circle.
The Storm carried the momentum into the second period as in the first 90 seconds they generated three quality scoring opportunities but Wolverine’s goalie Xavier Potvin stopped them all. Following that, the Wolverines got back to controlling the play and after a number of goalmouth scrambles fell by the way-side, Tyr Thompson finally capitalized on a centering pass from Ryley Smith to knot the game up 1-1, 6:22 into the middle frame. The second period would have a similar finish to the first though as another late period marker by Parker Smyth would send the Storm into the intermission with a one-goal advantage.
The Wolverines were unfazed by the late goal against in the second period and just as power play expired, Liam Motley found a wide-open Ben Evanish in the high-slot where he lasered a shot past Storm goaltender Charles-Olivier Levesque to equalize the game at two, 1:34 into the third period. Just over a minute later, the Wolverines had their first lead of the game as again Liam Motley would setup Ben Evanish for his second of the night. The goal was created after Jaedon Leslie picked off an outlet pass and drove the puck to the net. The Storm bounced right back as on a power play less than five minutes after surrendering the lead, Edouard Michaud tied the game with a rocket from the high-slot. The score would stay tied a three through the conclusion of regulation time.
The Wolverines had the best opportunities of the bonus period to end the game as both Liam Motley and Ben Evanish were turned away on breakaway chances by Charles-Olivier Levesque. For a second consecutive meeting between the two teams, the game would be decided in a shootout. After the first two Wolverine’s shooters missed, Connor Blake gave the Storm the advantage in the second round of the shootout meaning Liam Motley needed to score to prolong the game but he would end up ringing his shot off the post giving the Storm the win.
The Wolverines return to action following their Christmas break on December 29th in Lloydminster against the Bobcats (12-22-2).
GP Goal – 19:51 – Parker Smyth(9) from Connor Blake (EV)
WCT Goal – 6:22 – Tyr Thompson(12) from Ryley Smith and Matthew Monk (EV)
GP Goal – 17:40 – Parker Smyth(10) from Sean Thomson
WCT Goal – 1:34 – Ben Evanish(17) from Liam Motley and Matthew Monk (EV)
WCT Goal – 2:42 – Ben Evanish(18) from Liam Motley and Jaedon Leslie (EV)
GP Goal – 7:02 – Edouard Michaud(23) from Zachary Okabe and Tyrell Boucher (PP)
WCT – Jaedon Leslie (no goal)
GP – Edouard Michaud (no goal)
WCT – Spencer Bast (no goal)
GP – Connor Blake (goal)
WCT – Liam Motley (no goal)
Shots – WCT 44 (13-13-14-4) GP 30 (9-12-7-2)
Power plays – WCT 0/3 GP 1/3
WCT – Xavier Potvin (17-6-4) 27sv/30sh
GP – Charles-Olivier Levesque (12-11-3) 41sv/44sh
Three Star Selection:
1. GP-Parker Smyth (2 goals)
2. WCT-Ben Evanish (2 goals)
3. GP-Charles-Olivier Levesque (41 saves, win)
Hardest Working Wolverine: Liam Motley (2 assists)
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