WHL this week; around the rinks

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whl

December 12, 2013, Calgary, AB (ISN) – The 2013-14 WHL regular season enters its second weekend of play in December with a busy schedule of 26 games on tap for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Teddy Bear & Toque Toss season continues to roll on this weekend with several more WHL Clubs hosting the fan-favorite events.  The bears, toques and mitts will be launched from the stands on Friday night in Brandon, Kootenay, Prince Albert, Saskatoon, Tri-Cities and Vancouver, and on Saturday night in Portland and Spokane.

In Edmonton, AB, fans can get their hands on a Tristan Jarry T-Shirt on Friday night when the Oil Kings welcome the Lethbridge Hurricanes.

In Everett, WA, the Silvertips’ annual Christmas House Holiday Drive wraps up on Sunday when the Spokane Chiefs come to town.

In Prince Albert, SK, the Raiders have a busy weekend planned.  In addition to their Teddy Bear Toss on Friday, the Raiders will host a Frizbee Toss at Sunday’s contest versus the Kelowna Rockets.  Proceeds from the event go to the Canadian Cancer Society.

In Bellevue, WA, the Seattle Thunderbirds invite fans to a Holiday Skate with the team on Sunday, December 15th.  Fans can bring their skates and hit the ice with their T-Birds’ heroes.

WHL PLAYERS HEAD OFF FOR INTERNATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES…

Calgary, AB – The Western Hockey League is proud to announce that 57 WHL players will have the opportunity to participate in international competition in December and January.

A total of 38 WHL players have already been named to national teams that will compete in Under-20 and Under-17 tournaments, while another 19 players have been invited to the selection camps for their respective countries.

For more, CLICK HERE

WINTERHAWKS AND REBELS MAKE KEY TRADE…

The Portland Winterhawks have acquired the rights to Red Deer Rebels’ defenceman Mathew Dumba along with a conditional bantam draft pick from the Red Deer Rebels in exchange for forward Presten Kopeck and conditional picks.

Dumba, who has spent the first half of the season with the NHL’s Minnesota Wild, played three seasons in Red Deer with the Rebels.  The 2011 WHL Rookie of the Year, Dumba has put up 51 goals and 127 points in 199 career regular-season contests for the Rebels.

Dumba was loaned to the Canadian national junior team by the Wild for the 2014 World Junior Championship.

For more, CLICK HERE

WHL LINESMAN EARNS SOCHI NOD…

Edmonton’s Chris Carlson, an official in the Western Hockey League, is just one of two Canadians who will be working as a hockey linesman in Sochi for the 2014 Olympics

For more, CLICK HERE

RYOBI HARDEST WORKING PLAYER…

Calgary, AB- The Western Hockey League is pleased to announce Ryobi as the new title sponsor of the Hardest Working Player of the Game program recognizing a player each game who best demonstrates dependability, quality of play and overall commitment. This partnership between Ryobi and the WHL aligns their shared commitment to hard work both on and off the ice. Both partners are dedicated to recognizing those players who honour that commitment.

“Ryobi is thrilled to partner with the Western Hockey League to recognized star players who demonstrate the utmost level of dependability and outstanding skill,” said Mitch Dennehy, VP of Sales & Marketing with Ryobi Canada. “We stand behind our communities and look to partner with first-class organizations. Sports play an integral role in shaping the lives of our younger generations and we’re proud to recognize the outstanding efforts of these players.”

For more, CLICK HERE

FRIDAY NIGHT WHL HOCKEY ON SHAW…

Aaron Irving and the Edmonton Oil Kings take on Tyler Wong and the Lethbridge Hurricanes for a Central Division clash on Friday night, live on SHAW and SHAW Direct channel 299 (7:00pm MST).

The Oil Kings posted their seventh consecutive victory with a 7-5 win over the Raiders in Prince Albert on Wednesday night, and now sit tied for first place in the Central Division and Eastern Conference with the Calgary Hitmen.  The Oil Kings have lost just twice in 15 games since the end of October.  Irving, a 17-year-old rookie defenceman, is tied for 6th among all first-year players in scoring with 24 points this season.

The Hurricanes fell 5-3 to the visiting Calgary Hitmen on Wednesday after having blanked the visiting Red Deer Rebels 6-0 the previous night, and currently sit in 12th place in the Eastern Conference.  The ‘Canes are 2-11-0-1 on the road this season.  Wong, a 17-year-old from Cochrane, AB, leads the Hurricanes in scoring with 13 goals and 25 points in 34 games.

It’s the fourth meeting of the season between the Oil Kings and Hurricanes, and their third encounter in the last 16 days.  The Hurricanes won the first meeting 5-3 in Edmonton on September 29th, but the Oil Kings won the last two meetings, both in Lethbridge.

SHAW will broadcast 32 WHL games during the 2013-14 WHL regular season.  For the entire WHL on SHAW broadcast schedule, click HERE

HITMEN HOST TIGERS ON SPORTSNET…

In Calgary, AB, Jake Virtanen and the Calgary Hitmen battle Tommy Vannelli and the Medicine Hat Tigers for a meeting between top Central Division combatants on Friday, live on Sportsnet (7:30pm MST; Pacific, West, One)

The Hitmen skated to a 5-3 win over the Hurricanes in Lethbridge on Wednesday night for their sixth win in seven outings, and currently sit tied on points with the Edmonton Oil Kings for first place in the Central Division and Eastern Conference standings.  The Hitmen have won four straight home games.  Virtanen sits second on the Hitmen with 15 goals.

The Tigers last saw action on Tuesday when they edged out the visiting Hitmen 1-0 in overtime in Medicine Hat, AB, and currently sit two points back of Edmonton and Calgary for a share of the Central Division lead.  The Tigers have given up the third fewest number of goals in the WHL this season.  Vannelli has nine goals and 24 points in 28 games this season, his first as a Tiger.

It’s the fifth meeting of the season between the Tigers and Hitmen.  The Tigers took three of the first four meetings, with two of those wins coming in overtime or a shootout.

KEY WEEKEND MATCH-UPS…
Portland @ Seattle
Friday, December 13th    

Mathew Barzal and the Seattle Thunderbirds host Brendan Leipsic and the Portland Winterhawks for a showdown between top U.S. Division Clubs on Friday night.

The Thunderbirds rolled to their seventh win in a row with a 3-1 triumph over the Tri-City Americans in Kennewick, WA, on Tuesday night, and have climbed back up to fourth place in the Western Conference.  Five of the T-Birds’ victories on their current streak have come versus U.S. Division opponents.  16-year-old Barzal shares the WHL lead among rookies with 25 assists, and ranks third in points with 31 on the season.

The Winterhawks are back home after completing a four-game road trip with a 2-2 record, and currently sit in first place in the U.S. Division standings – six points up on Seattle and two ahead of Everett.  The Hawks will be missing Derrick Pouliot, Taylor Leier, Nicolas Petan and Oliver Bjorkstrand this weekend, as all four are attending national junior team camps.  Leipsic is one of four Hawks with 20 or more goals this season.

It’s the sixth meeting of the season between the T-Birds and Hawks.  Portland won three of the first five, with their two losses coming in extra time.

WEEKEND SCHEDULE – Dec. 13 – Dec. 15
All times local
WATCH WHL HOCKEY LIVE ON
WHL LIVE ON DEMAND

Friday, Dec. 13
Kelowna @ Brandon; 7:30
Medicine Hat @ Calgary; 7:30 **Live on SPORTSNET**
Lethbridge @ Edmonton; 7:00 **Live on SHAW**
Red Deer @ Kootenay; 7:00
Kamloops @ Prince Albert; 7:00
Regina @ Saskatoon; 7:05
Portland @ Seattle; 7:35
Prince George @ Tri-City; 7:05
Everett @ Vancouver; 7:30

Saturday, Dec. 14
Moose Jaw @ Brandon; 7:30
Vancouver @ Everett; 7:05
Swift Current @ Kootenay; 7:00
Victoria @ Medicine Hat; 7:30
Seattle @ Portland; 7:00
Lethbridge @ Red Deer; 7:00
Kelowna @ Regina; 7:00
Kamloops @ Saskatoon; 7:05
Prince George @ Spokane; 7:05

Sunday, Dec. 15
Swift Current @ Calgary; 4:00
Saskatoon @ Edmonton; 4:00
Spokane @ Everett; 4:05
Victoria @ Lethbridge; 2:00
Regina @ Medicine Hat; 6:00
Kamloops @ Moose Jaw; 6:00
Kelowna @ Prince Albert; 7:00
Prince George @ Vancouver; 5:00

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