January 11, 2013, Calgary, AB (ISN) – The 2012-13 WHL regular season enters its second weekend of play in January with 22 games on the schedule for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
AROUND THE RINKS THIS WEEKEND…
In Saskatoon, SK, there will be Jays Fever spreading around Credit Union Centre on Friday night when the Blades welcome the Red Deer Rebels. Members of the Toronto Blue Jays will be in attendance at the contest.
In Kent, WA, Saturday night is Branden Troock Bobblehead Night when the Thunderbirds host the Victoria Royals.
In Spokane, WA, the Veterans Memorial Arena will be Glowing on Saturday when the Chiefs host the Kootenay Ice for Avista Energy Efficiency Night. The first 5,000 fans to the rink will get special glow sticks to help light up the arena.
In Swift Current, SK, Saturday night is Pack the ‘Plex Night when the Broncos host the Prince Albert Raiders. There will also be a food drive to help support the Rock Solid Refuge, a residential program for boys struggling with life controlling issues.
WHL ANNOUNCES ROOT SPORTS BROADCAST SCHEDULE…
The Western Hockey League and ROOT SPORTS™ on Wednesday announced the 6-game ‘Friday Night Ice’ broadcast schedule that will bring LIVE WHL action into 3.2 million homes across five U.S. states during the 2012-13 WHL Regular Season.
The WHL and ROOT SPORTS are in their fourth season of a multi-year broadcast agreement in which ROOT SPORTS serves as the WHL’s exclusive U.S. Northwest cable home.
A HANDFUL OF WHL PLAYERS EARN MEDALS IN INTERNATIONAL PLAY…
Seth Jones of the Portland Winterhawks is one of three WHL players to come home with a medal from the recently completed 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship in Russia.
A total of 54 WHL players suited up in various international tournaments over the Christmas Holidays.
LOWRY AND COOKE TAKE MONTHLY WHL HONORS…
Adam Lowry of the Swift Current Broncos and Jordon Cooke of the Kelowna Rockets took home the WHL monthly awards for December after both players enjoyed a productive finish to 2012 with their Clubs.
Lowry, a product of Calgary, AB, was named the Husky WHL Player of the Month for December after putting up 13 goals and 21 points through 12 games while being named among the 3 Stars on seven occasions.
Cooke, a native of Leduc, AB, earned the Vaughn WHL Goaltender of the Month for December after posting a perfect 6-0-0 record with a 2.00 goals-against average and a .908 save percentage to wrap up the year.
FRIDAY NIGHT WHL HOCKEY ON SHAW AND ROOT SPORTS…
Myles Bell and the Kelowna Rockets host Justin Feser and the Tri-City Americans on Friday night at Prospera Place in Kelowna, B.C.
Friday’s match-up between the Rockets and Ams can be seen live throughout western Canada on SHAW and SHAW Direct channel 299 and throughout five U.S. states on ROOT SPORTS (7:00pm PST).
The Rockets skated to a 6-1 win over the visiting Victoria Royals on Wednesday for their seventh straight victory, and moved into sole possession of first place in the B.C. Division standings. The Rockets boast a dominant 17-2-0 record on home ice this season, and have won 16 straight home games. Bell, a former defenceman now playing forward, leads the Rockets in scoring with 27 goals and 60 points this season.
The Americans managed a 3-1 win over the Blazers in Kamloops on Wednesday night for their third win over their last four games, and currently sit in third place in the U.S. Division. The Americans’ penalty killing unit is operating at an impressive 894% efficiency rating on the road. Feser got his team-leading 22nd goal of the season on Wednesday in Kamloops.
Friday’s clash marks the fourth and final meeting of the regular season between the Rockets and Americans. The Americans lead the season series 2-1, wining both of the games played in Kennewick. All three meetings have been decided by a 3-2 score line.
FRIDAY NIGHT CHL HOCKEY ON SPORTSNET…
Dalton Thrower and the Saskatoon Blades battle Turner Elson and the Red Deer Rebels on Friday night, live on Sportsnet (7:00pm CT).
The Blades have been idle since last Friday’s 6-3 win over the Prince Albert Raiders for their second win in a row, and currently sit in sixth place in the Eastern Conference. The Blades are an even 8-8-0 at home this season. Thrower has managed just three goals and 12 points in 25 games this season, but leads the Blades with a +13 rating.
The Rebels suffered a 5-2 setback in Swift Current on Wednesday, dropping them to 3-6-0-1 over their last 10 games, but remain in fourth place in the Eastern Conference standings. The Rebels have dropped four of their last five road games. Elson leads the Rebels with 14 goals and 30 points this season.
It’s the third meeting of the season between the Rebels and Blades. Red Deer won the first two meetings, including posting a 5-3 win in Saskatoon on October 3rd.
KEY WEEKEND MATCH-UPS…
Portland Winterhawks vs. Spokane Chiefs
Friday, January 11
Ty Rattie and the Portland Winterhawks welcome Mitch Holmberg and the Spokane Chiefs for a battle between the top two teams in the U.S. Division on Friday night.
The Winterhawks shut out the visiting Prince George Cougars 3-0 on Wednesday night for their 12th straight win, matching a season high for consecutive wins, and currently hold a commanding 16-point lead over Spokane for top spot in the U.S. Division. Hawks’ goaltender Mac Carruth collected his 106th career win on Wednesday, setting a new franchise record for career wins by a Hawks’ netminder.
The Chiefs are coming off three consecutive wins versus the Seattle Thunderbirds, outscoring the T-Birds 13-6 in the process, and currently sit in fourth place in the Western Conference standings. The Chiefs are 13-8-1 on the road this season. Holmberg netted his first goal in the New Year on Wednesday versus the Thunderbirds.
It’s the third meeting of the season between the Winterhawks and Chiefs. Portland won the first two encounters, with both games contested in Spokane.
WEEKEND SCHEDULE – Jan. 11 – Jan. 13
All times local
WATCH WHL HOCKEY LIVE ON
WHL LIVE ON DEMAND
Friday, Jan. 11
Lethbridge @ Edmonton; 7:00
Victoria @ Everett; 7:35
Tri-City @ Kelowna; 7:05 **Live on SHAW and ROOT SPORTS**
Medicine Hat @ Kootenay; 7:00
Brandon @ Moose Jaw; 7:00
Spokane @ Portland; 7:00
Kamloops @ Prince George; 7:00
Calgary @ Regina; 7:00
Red Deer @ Saskatoon; 7:05 **Live on SPORTSNET**
Prince Albert @ Swift Current; 7:00
Saturday, Jan. 12
Regina @ Brandon; 7:30
Portland @ Everett; 7:05
Lethbridge @ Medicine Hat; 7:30
Red Deer @ Prince Albert; 7:00
Kamloops @ Prince George; 7:00
Edmonton @ Saskatoon; 7:05
Victoria @ Seattle; 7:05
Kootenay @ Spokane; 7:05
Calgary @ Swift Current; 7:00
Kelowna @ Vancouver; 7:00
Sunday, Jan. 13
Edmonton @ Medicine Hat; 6:00
Seattle @ Tri-City; 5:05