WHL this week

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whl

by Jeff Hubert

January 2, 2014, Calgary, AB (ISN) – The 2013-14 WHL regular season enters its first weekend of play in 2014 with 22 games on the schedule for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

AROUND THE RINKS…

In Brandon, MB, the Wheat Kings are holding a Family Skate on Saturday night following their contest versus the visiting Regina Pats.  Fans are encouraged to ring their skates to the rink and lace ‘em up with their favorite Wheat Kings’ players.

In Calgary, AB, Saturday night is Faith & Family Night at the Saddledome when the Hitmen welcome the Moose Jaw Warriors. 

In Medicine Hat, AB, the Tigers will hold their annual Skills Competition next Wednesday.  Fans can watch Tigers’ players dazzle with their skills while also helping out the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada.

In Red Deer, AB, fans can enjoy a Post-Game Fireworks Show on Sunday following the Rebels’ contest versus the Moose Jaw Warriors.

In Saskatoon, SK, Saturday night is Ukrainian Night when the Blades host the Lethbridge Hurricanes.  In addition to delicious Ukrainian food and entertainment, members of the Grey Cup Champion Saskatchewan Roughriders will be in attendance at the game.

BMO CHL/NHL TOP PROSPECTS GAME COACHING CHANGE…

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that Calgary native and Flames’ Stanley Cup champion Tim Hunter will serve as head coach of Team Orr in the BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game hosted by the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen on Wednesday January 15, 2014.

For more, CLICK HERE

CANADA JUNIORS HEADED FOR SEMI-FINAL…

Team Canada will play in the semi-final of the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship after defeating Switzerland 4-1 in the quarter-final on Thursday in Malmo, Sweden.

Griffin Reinhart of the Edmonton Oil Kings scored and set up another while his Oil Kings’ team mate Curtis Lazar also scored in the quarter-final victory, assuring Canada will finish among the Top 4 for a 16th consecutive year in the tournament.  Portland Winterhawks’ defenceman Derrick Pouliot also scored in the win over Switzerland, who had Everett Silvertips’ rearguard Mirco Mueller skating for them.

For more, CLICK HERE

ROCKETS TAKE OVER NO. 1 RANKING IN CHL…

The Kelowna Rockets are the top-ranked team in the Canadian Hockey League in the BMO CHL Top 10 Rankings for Week # 15.  The Rockets boast a 31-3-0-2 record and have won 14 straight games.  The Portland Winterhawks and Calgary Hitmen are also among the Top 10.

For more, CLICK HERE

BMO PRESENTS TWO EXCITING CONTESTS FOR THE CHL/NHL TOP PROSPECTS GAME…

Calgary, AB — The 2014 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game is just two weeks away, and BMO is helping make the experience even more memorable with the launch of two great promotions to get kids involved in the fun.

BMO proudly introduces the BMO Junior Reporter Contest and the BMO Kids Blueline Experience Contest, giving kids a chance to join in all the action and interact with their favorite CHL prospects for the 2014 NHL Draft.

For more, CLICK HERE

KEY WEEKEND MATCH-UPS…
Kelowna vs. Vancouver
Friday, Jan. 3 @ Vancouver; Saturday, Jan. 4 @ Kelowna    

Tyson Baillie and the Kelowna Rockets take on Carter Popoff and the Vancouver Giants for a pair of weekend contests between the B.C. Division rivals.

The Rockets are red hot, having won 14 straight games and building up an eight-point cushion for first place in the B.C. Division, Western Conference and overall WHL standings.  Kelowna is coming off a 9-3 thrashing of the U.S. Division-leading Portland Winterhawks on Tuesday for their 15th consecutive road win.  Kelowna has scored the second-most goals of any WHL Club while allowing the fewest goals.

The Giants have played strong, consistent hockey of late, posting a 16-5-4-1 record in 26 games since October 27th, and currently find themselves firmly in seventh place in the Western Conference.  The Giants will look to test themselves against the WHL’s best with their two-game weekend set versus the Rockets.  Popoff has scored four goals and 13 points over his last nine games.

This weekend’s meetings mark the third and fourth clashes of the season between the Rockets and Giants.  Kelowna won the first two meetings, including a 4-2 triumph in Vancouver on December 28th in the most recent encounter. 

The Rockets will play in Portland on Thursday night prior to kicking off their weekend home-and-home set versus Vancouver.

WEEKEND SCHEDULE – Jan. 3 – Jan. 5
All times local
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Friday, Jan. 3
Moose Jaw @ Edmonton; 7:00
Swift Current @ Kootenay; 7:00
Lethbridge @ Prince Albert; 7:00
Kamloops @ Prince George; 7:00
Seattle @ Red Deer; 7:00
Saskatoon @ Regina; 7:00
Victoria @ Spokane; 7:05
Portland @ Tri-City; 7:05
Kelowna @ Vancouver; 7:30

Saturday, Jan. 4
Regina @ Brandon; 7:30
Moose Jaw @ Calgary; 7:00
Seattle @ Edmonton; 7:00
Vancouver @ Kelowna; 7:05
Swift Current @ Medicine Hat; 7:30
Victoria @ Portland; 7:00
Kamloops @ Prince George; 7:00
Lethbridge @ Saskatoon; 7:05
Everett @ Spokane; 7:05

Sunday, Jan. 5
Seattle @ Calgary; 4:00
Medicine Hat @ Kootenay; 6:00
Moose Jaw @ Red Deer; 5:00
Tri-City @ Vancouver; 5:00

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