January 17, 2013, Calgary, AB (ISN) – The 2012-13 WHL regular season enters its third weekend of play in January with 24 games on the schedule for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
AROUND THE RINKS THIS WEEKEND…
In Brandon, MB, the Wheat Kings will honor local swimmer Jason Norminton as the January Innovator of the Month recipient on Friday night when the Prince Albert Raiders come to town. Norminton, who also volunteers as a Wheat Kings’ dressing room attendant, recently swam for Team Canada at the 6th International and World Competition, convened by the Down Syndrome Swim Organization in Loano, Italy.
In Edmonton, AB, Oil Kings fans welcome back a Key Piece of their 2012 WHL Championship lineup on Friday night as defender Martin Gernat makes his home-ice debut. Friday is also Mitch Moroz T-Shirt night at Rexall Place.
In Everett, WA, Friday night is Scout Night when the Silvertips host the Seattle Thunderbirds.
In Portland, OR, Friday night is Dash for Cash night at the Rose Garden when the Winterhawks take on the Lethbridge Hurricanes. Also, the Hawks will be hosting their Daylight Classic on Monday afternoon.
In Red Deer, AB, the Rebels hope to see Plenty of Moms in the crowd at Saturday night’s game versus the Prince George Cougars. There will be a post-game fireworks display as well.
In Regina, SK, a Busy Weekend is in store for Pats fans at the Brandt Centre. On Friday, lucky fans in attendance can receive a special Clark Gillies bobblehead for a donation to the Kyle Deck Charity and the Kidney Foundation. On Saturday, fans can pay tribute to the newest Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame class.
In Saskatoon, SK, the Blades are also hosting a busy weekend with Two Fun-Filled Nights at Credit Union Centre.
In Kent, WA, Saturday night is BYOB Night when the Seattle Thunderbirds host the Portland Winterhawks. Bring Your Own Bear, that is…
In Vancouver, B.C., Friday night is Celebrity Dash for Cash night when the Giants take on the Victoria Royals. 12 lucky fans will hit the ice along with local celebrities to pick up $15,000 worth of loonies. The fans keep their loonies while the celebrities will donate their collected loonies to the charity of their choice.
NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING ISSUES MID-TERM RANKINGS…
Portland Winterhawks defenceman Seth Jones is at the top of the list among North American skaters in NHL Central Scouting’s Mid-Term rankings for the 2013 NHL Draft.
Other WHL players among the Top 10 ranked North American skaters include Medicine Hat Tigers forward Hunter Shinkaruk, who slots in at No. 5, and Brandon Wheat Kings’ hard-shooting rearguard Ryan Pulock, who ranks 6th. Eric Comrie of the Tri-City Americans is the highest-ranked WHL goaltender, sitting at No. 2, while Tristan Jarry of the Edmonton Oil Kings is right behind Comrie at No. 3 on the list.
WHL TRADE DEADLINE PASSES…
The WHL’s 2012-13 trade deadline has passed, with a total of eight transactions taking place on the January 10th trade deadline, which was at 3:00pm MST.
The eight transactions on trade deadline day involved nine teams, 13 players and nine WHL Bantam Draft picks. The Saskatoon Blades made four transactions on January 10th, involving four players and four draft picks.
In the 10 days leading up to and including the January 10th WHL trade deadline, a total of 18 transactions were made involving 29 players and 21 WHL Bantam Draft picks.
WINTERHAWKS’ PETAN SCORES IN TEAM ORR TOP PROSPECTS WIN…
Team Orr downed Team Cherry 3-0 in the 2013 Home Hardware CHL / NHL Top Prospects Game on Wednesday in Halifax, N.S.
WHL scoring leader Nic Petan of the Portland Winterhawks got one of the three goals for Team Orr while his Winterhawks’ teammates Seth Jones and Oliver Bjorkstrand each picked up an assist in the battle of the top NHL draft-eligible prospects from the Canadian Hockey League.
A total of 11 WHL players took part in the event.
MEMORIAL CUP COMMITTEE OFFERS MINI-PACKS…
Two-game mini-packs for the 2013 MasterCard Memorial Cup go on sale this week, the host committee announced Monday.
These ticket packages feature games on back-to-back nights and allow fans to see all four teams – the host Saskatoon Blades, plus representatives of the WHL, OHL and QMJHL. A two-game playoff package is also available for the event which runs from May 16-26.
FRIDAY NIGHT WHL HOCKEY ON SHAW…
Brooks Macek and the Calgary Hitmen welcome Troy Bourke and the Prince George Cougars on Friday Night WHL Hockey on SHAW (7:00pm MST)
Friday’s match-up between the Hitmen and Cougars can be seen live throughout western Canada on SHAW and SHAW Direct channel 299.
The Hitmen have been idle since Saturday’s 4-3 loss to the Broncos in Swift Current, ending a six-game winning streak, and currently sit in second place in the Eastern Conference. The Hitmen won their last three home games by a combined score of 21-7. Macek leads the Hitmen in scoring with 55 points this season.
The Cougars split a two-game set versus the visiting Kamloops Blazers last weekend, winning 1-0 on Friday before falling 2-1 in overtime on Saturday, and currently sit in ninth place in the Western Conference. The Cougars have dropped their last nine road games. Bourke ranks second on the team in scoring with 26 points, but has missed nine games this season due to injury.
It’s the second and final meeting of the season between the teams. Calgary shut out the Cougars 5-0 in Prince George in the first meeting on October 16th.
For the complete WHL on SHAW broadcast schedule, CLICK HERE
SILVERTIPS HOST THUNDERBIRDS LIVE ON ROOT SPORTS…
Josh Winquist and the Everett Silvertips take on Connor Honey and the Seattle Thunderbirds for Friday Night Ice, live on ROOT SPORTS (7:30pm PST).
The Silvertips suffered a 6-1 loss to the visiting Tri-City Americans on Tuesday night for their second loss in a row, and currently hold a one-point edge over Seattle for seventh place in the Western Conference. The Silvertips have been outscored 14-1 over their last two games. Winquist leads the Silvertips with 17 goals and 28 points this season.
The Thunderbirds dropped a 5-3 decision to the Tri-City Americans in Kennewick on Sunday for their 14th straight defeat, and hold a three-point lead over Prince George for the eighth and final playoff spot in the conference. The Thunderbirds own an 8-15-1-1 mark on the road this season. Honey leads the Thunderbirds with 23 assists and 33 points.
Friday’s clash marks the seventh meeting of the season between the ‘Tips and T-Birds. Seattle won four of the first six meetings.
KEY WEEKEND MATCH-UPS…
Saskatoon Blades vs. Brandon Wheat Kings
Saturday, January 19
Michael Ferland and the Saskatoon Blades host Jayce Hawryluk and the Brandon Wheat Kings for the first meeting between the East Division teams since last week’s WHL trade deadline.
The Blades fell 4-3 in a shootout to the visiting Kootenay Ice on Tuesday for their third straight setback, and currently sit in seventh place in the Eastern Conference. The Blades made a number of trade deadline deals, including a blockbuster that saw them acquire former 47-goal man Michael Ferland from the Wheat Kings. Ferland scored his first goal for the Blades versus Kootenay on Tuesday.
The Wheat Kings skated to a pair of wins last weekend, downing the visiting Regina Pats 2-1 on Saturday after beating the Warriors 6-2 in Moose Jaw on Friday, and currently sit nine points out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Last Thursday’s trade deadline deal with the Blades marked the second time in three years the Wheaties have shipped a star forward to the Blades in a deadline day deal. The Blades acquired Brayden Schenn from Brandon at the trade deadline in 2010.
It’s the third meeting of the season between the Blades and Wheat Kings. The teams split the first two games, with both games being contested in Brandon.
Kelowna Rockets vs. Vancouver Giants
Saturday, Jan. 19
Ryan Olsen and the Kelowna Rockets take on Jackson Houck and the Vancouver Giants for a B.C. Division battle on Saturday night in Kelowna.
The Rockets have been on a tear since the beginning of November, racking up 25 wins over their last 30 games while ascending to first place in the B.C. Division. The Rockets will be aiming for their 19th consecutive home-ice win on Saturday versus Vancouver, which would set a new franchise record. Olsen has 21 goals and 40 points this season.
The Giants fell 9-5 to the visiting Tri-City Americans on Wednesday night in Vancouver for their fifth loss in six games, and remain in 10th place in the Western Conference. Vancouver has managed just four wins away from home this season. Houck, a 17-year-old sophomore, leads the Giants with 39 points.
Saturday’s match-up marks the fourth meeting of the season between the Rockets and Giants. The Rockets won the first two meetings, but the Giants downed the visiting Rockets 4-3 in overtime in the most recent meeting last weekend in Vancouver.
The Rockets are in Spokane on Friday for the back half of a home-and-home series versus the Chiefs, while the Giants host Victoria on Friday night in Vancouver.
WEEKEND SCHEDULE – Jan. 18 – Jan. 20
All times local
WATCH WHL HOCKEY LIVE ON WHL LIVE ON DEMAND
Friday, Jan. 18
- Prince Albert @ Brandon; 7:30
- Prince George @ Calgary; 7:00 **Live on SHAW**
- Medicine Hat @ Edmonton; 7:00
- Seattle @ Everett; 7:35 **Live on ROOT SPORTS**
- Lethbridge @ Portland; 7:00
- Kootenay @ Regina; 7:00
- Moose Jaw @ Saskatoon; 7:05
- Kelowna @ Spokane; 7:05
- Kamloops @ Tri-City; 7:05
- Victoria @ Vancouver; 7:30
Saturday, Jan. 19
- Lethbridge @ Everett; 7:05
- Victoria @ Kamloops; 7:00
- Vancouver @ Kelowna; 7:05
- Calgary @ Medicine Hat; 7:30
- Kootenay @ Moose Jaw; 7:00
- Prince George @ Red Deer; 7:30
- Swift Current @ Regina; 7:00
- Brandon @ Saskatoon; 7:05
- Portland @ Seattle; 7:05
- Tri-City @ Spokane; 7:05
Sunday, Jan. 20
- Prince George @ Edmonton; 4:00
- Red Deer @ Medicine Hat; 6:00
- Lethbridge @ Seattle; 5:05
- Everett @ Vancouver; 4:00