The Medicine Hat Tigers sure had a nice welcome back party at the expense of the visiting Swift Current Broncos on Saturday night.
For the first time in about four weeks, the Tigers iced their full roster for a game, and it showed as they rolled to a 5-1 victory over the Broncos in the Western Hockey League.
Back from participating in the world junior championships in Ottawa were left-wingers Tyler Ennis (Canada) and Zdenek Okal and defenceman Tomas Kundratek (Czech Republic). Head coach and general manager Willie Desjardins was also behind the bench for this third straight contest after being an assistant coach with the gold-medal winning Canadian squad.
"It was awesome," said Ennis. "We played really well. We know it wasn't our best game, but I think that is good for us.
"Any time you can win and win 5-1 and have it not be our best game is definitely a confidence (builder) for us. I think we are excited with the team we have going down the stretch here."
Ennis opened the scoring six minutes into the first period and added another in the third for Medicine Hat (24-14-3-3). Sean Ringrose had a goal and an assist while Jace Coyle and Joey Frazer also scored for the Tigers. Brennan Bosch added three assists.
Elsewhere in the WHL, it was: Vancouver 5, Lethbridge 4 (OT); Edmonton 5, Brandon 4 (OT); Kamloops 5, Chilliwack 4; Kootenay 3, Calgary 1; Prince Albert 5, Red Deer 3; Prince George 4, Kelowna 3; Saskatoon 10, Moose Jaw 1; Spokane 2, Everett 0; and Tri-City 6, Portland 3.
At Medicine Hat, Alta., Geordie Wudrick found the net for Swift Current (25-19-0-1). The Broncos were active on the trade deadline day Saturday, but Wudrick didn't want to use that as an excuse.
"That is a distraction that we have to put aside," said Wudrick. "I don't know if it was a distraction or whether or not we just laid an egg tonight. It was kind of embarrassing to be honest."
Ryan Holfeld stopped 19 shots to earn the win in goal for the Tigers. Swift Current netminder Travis Yonkman made 27 saves.
Giants 5, Hurricanes 4 (OT)
At Lethbridge, Alta., Casey Pierro-Zabotel scored 32 seconds into overtime to nullify the Hurricanes' third-period rally and give Vancouver the victory.
Evander Kane opened the scoring for the Giants (34-3-0-3) with a pair of goals in the opening 6:46 of the first period. Craig Schira and Brent Regner also scored.
Kyle Beach scored twice, while Cam Braes and Brody Sutter - his first career WHL goal - also scored for Lethbridge (20-21-1-2).
Oil Kings 5, Wheat Kings 4 (OT)
At Brandon, Man., Mark Pysyk scored 2:08 into overtime as Edmonton knocked off the Wheat Kings.
Brandon Dowd, with two goals, Shayne Neigum and Brett Breitkreuz scored in regulation for the Oil Kings (20-20-2-4).
Nathan Green, Andrew Clark, Brayden Schenn and Jay Fehr replied for Brandon (26-13-3-1).
Blazers 5, Bruins 4
At Chilliwack, B.C., Shayne Wiebe scored twice to help Kamloops edge the Bruins.
C.J. Stretch had a goal and two assists for the Blazers (20-21-1-4), while Kenton Dulle added a goal and an assist and Scott Wasden also scored. Jimmy Bubnick chipped in with three assists.
David Robinson, Ryan Howse, Alexander Wiklund and Brandon Manning all scored for Chilliwack (12-27-2-3).
Ice 3, Hitmen 1
At Cranbrook, B.C., Ice goaltender Nathan Lieuwen made 35 saves to defeat Calgary.
Jesse Ismond had two goals while Andrew Bailey also scored for Kootenay (20-18-2-4).
Ian Schultz had the lone goal for the Hitmen (37-6-1-1).
Raiders 5, Rebels 3
At Red Deer, Alta., Michael MacAngus scored twice and Garrett Zemlak save 32 saves as Prince Albert downed the Rebels.
Bryce Lamb, Brandon Herrod and Igor Revenko also tallied for the Raiders (22-23-2-0), while Brett Ferguson, Cody Gross and Luke Egener replied for Red Deer (15-22-1-6).
Rebels netminder Darcy Kuemper stopped 27 shots.
Cougars 4, Rockets 3
At Kelowna, B.C., Joe Caligiuri stopped 34 of 37 shots in guiding Prince George to victory over the Rockets.
Brett Connolly, Marek Viedensky Tyler Halliday and Justin Maylan, with a shorthanded breakaway with 2:10 remaining in the game, scored for the Cougars (16-26-0-2).
Mitchell Callahan, who opened Saturday's scoring two minutes after the opening faceoff, Brandon McMillan and Cody Almond, in the final minute, replied for Kelowna (25-17-0-0).
Blades 10, Warriors 1
At Saskatoon, Curtis Hamilton, Milan Kytnar and Adam Chorneyko all scored twice as the Blades destroyed Moose Jaw.
Hamilton and Kytnar also added assists, while Burke Gallimore and Travis Toomey had a goal and three assists each for Saskatoon (28-11-3-1). Gaelan Patterson had a goal and an assist and Derek Hulak rounded out the scoring for the Blades, who led 7-0 after the first period.
Dylan McIlrath had the lone reply for the Warriors (14-27-1-1).
Chiefs 2, Silvertips 0
At Spokane, Wash., James Reid made 25 saves to record his fourth WHL shutout as the Chiefs blanked Everett.
Dustin Donaghy and Drayson Bowman scored first-period goals for Spokane (24-14-0-3).
Thomas Heemskerk stopped 32 shots for the Silvertips (19-17-5-0).
Americans 6, Winter Hawks 3
At Kennewick, Wash., Taylor Procyshen scored his 100th WHL goal and Johnny Lazo had a pair of goals as the U.S. Division-leading Americans doubled up on Portland.
Jason Reese, Brett Plouffe and Petr Stoklasa also scored for Tri-City (29-11-0-2), which has a nine-point lead over Spokane.
Radim Valchar, Troy Rutkowski and Oliver Gabriel all scored for the Winter Hawks (12-27-1-1), who got 47 saves from Ian Curtis.