FRIDAY NIGHT WHL HOCKEY ON SHAW AND ROOTFeb 01, 2013 - 04:10 MST
BLAZERS WELCOME CHIEFS LIVE ON SHAW AND ROOT SPORTS– Colin Smith and the Kamloops Blazers (33-15-2-3) welcome Mitch Holmberg and the Spokane Chiefs (30-18-2-0) for a match-up between two strong Western Conference combatants in Western Hockey League action on Friday night.
Friday’s match-up between the Blazers and Chiefs can be seen live throughout western Canada on SHAW and SHAW Direct channel 299 (7:00pm PST). The match-up can also be seen on ROOT SPORTS in the Pacific Northwest region (7:00pm PST).
The Blazers are coming off a 5-2 loss to the Winterhawks in Portland to the Winterhawks on Wednesday night, stopping a three-game win streak, and currently sit in second place in the B.C. Division and third spot in the Western Conference. The Blazers are 19-4-1-1 on home ice this season. Smith scored his 34th goal and 80th point of the season on Wednesday in Portland.
The Chiefs have been idle since dropping a 4-3 decision to the visiting Medicine Hat Tigers last Saturday for their second straight setback, and currently sit in fourth place in the Western Conference. The Chiefs’ penalty killing unit is operating at 85.3% efficiency on the road this season. Holmberg has 27 goals and 54 points this season.
It’s the third meeting of the season between the Chiefs and Blazers. The teams split the first two meetings, with the home team winning on each occasion.
In other WHL action on Friday, Michael St. Croix and the Edmonton Oil Kings (36-11-2-3) welcome Adam Lowry and the Swift Current Broncos (25-21-3-2) for a battle between two of the hottest Clubs in the WHL’s Eastern Conference on Friday night.
The Oil Kings are coming off a 4-2 win over the visiting Kootenay Ice on Wednesday in a rare mid-week matinee, and have won six straight games to put them seven points clear for first place in the conference. The Oil Kings boast a 22-5-1-2 record on home ice this season. The Oil Kings have outscored their opponents 33-8 over their last six games.
The Broncos edged the visiting Calgary Hitmen 5-4 on Wednesday night to post their eighth victory over their last nine games, and currently sit in fifth place in the Eastern Conference. Swift Current has won its last three road games. Lowry ranks fourth in the WHL scoring race with 70 points this season.
In Everett, WA, Josh Winquist and the Everett Silvertips (21-28-1-2) host Justin Feser and the Tri-City Americans (29-19-1-2) for a U.S. Division match-up.
The Silvertips fell 6-0 to the visiting Portland Winterhawks on Tuesday night for their second straight shutout loss and their third loss in their last four games, and currently hold down seventh place in the Western Conference. The ‘Tips are 11-12-0-2 on home ice this season.
Americans skated to a 5-2 win over the visiting Prince George Cougars on Wednesday night, snapping a two-game losing skid, and currently sit in fifth place in the Western Conference. Feser played his 300th consecutive game on Wednesday night, picking up three assists in their win over the Cougars.
In Lethbridge, AB, Sam Mckechnie and the Lethbridge Hurricanes (23-22-1-7) take on Rhyse Dieno and the Red Deer Rebels (27-20-4-2) for a Central Division clash on Friday night.
The Hurricanes dropped a 7-1 decision to the Oil Kings in Edmonton last Sunday for their second loss in a row, and currently occupy sixth place in the Eastern Conference. Mckechnie has 22 goals and 37 points this season.
The Rebels skated to a 6-2 victory over the visiting Kootenay Ice on Thursday night for their second straight win, and remain in fourth spot in the Eastern Conference. Dieno netted two goals and four points on Thursday versus Kootenay, and now has 33 points in 30 games for the Rebels this season.
In Moose Jaw, SK, Morgan Rielly and the Moose Jaw Warriors (17-26-3-6) take on Hunter Shinkaruk and the Medicine Hat Tigers (25-24-2-1) on Friday.
The Warriors are coming off a 3-2 shootout victory over the Pats in Regina on Wednesday night for their third victory over their last four games, and currently sit in 10th place in the Eastern Conference. The Warriors are 8-10-2-4 on home ice this season.
The Tigers suffered a 3-2 defeat to the visiting Calgary Hitmen on Tuesday after having won their previous two contests, and currently sit tied for seventh place in the Eastern Conference. Shinkaruk is five points shy of the 200-point plateau for his WHL career.
In Prince George, B.C., Troy Bourke and the Prince George Cougars (15-30-2-4) welcome Brandon Magee and the Victoria Royals (27-18-1-3) for the first of back-to-back meetings between the B.C. Division rivals.
The Cougars are coming off Wednesday’s 5-2 loss to the Tri-City Americans in Kennewick for their second straight setback, and remain in ninth place in the Western Conference. Bourke has eight goals and 34 points this season.
The Royals suffered a 6-1 defeat to the Rockets in Kelowna on Thursday night for their second straight loss, but remain comfortably in sixth place in the Western Conference. Magee leads the Royals with 26 goals this season.
In Regina, SK, Chandler Stephenson and the Regina Pats (18-27-3-3) host Jayce Hawryluk and the Brandon Wheat Kings (18-30-2-2) for the first of two weekend meetings between the East Division combatants.
The Pats were edged 3-2 in a shootout by the visiting Moose Jaw Warriors on Wednesday for their eighth consecutive loss, and currently sit in 11th place in the Eastern Conference. The Pats’ power play is clicking at 20.3% efficiency on home ice this season.
The Wheat Kings dropped a 5-1 decision to the visiting Saskatoon Blades on Wednesday for their third straight defeat, and remain in 12th place in the Eastern Conference. The Wheat Kings have been outscored 15-3 over their last three outings.
In Saskatoon, SK, Lukas Sutter and the Saskatoon Blades (25-21-0-3) take on Victor Rask and the Calgary Hitmen (33-14-1-3) on Friday evening.
The Blades skated to a 5-1 win over the Wheat Kings in Brandon on Wednesday night for their second straight triumph, and currently sit tied with the Tigers for seventh place in the Eastern Conference. Sutter has scored in each of his last six games.
The Hitmen dropped a 5-4 decision to the Broncos in Swift Current on Wednesday, giving up the game-winning goal in the final second of play in the third period, and currently sit in third place in the Eastern Conference. The Hitmen have dropped four of their last five games on the road.
In Kent, WA, Alex Delnov and the Seattle Thunderbirds (19-28-3-1) battle Seth Jones and the Portland Winterhawks (41-7-1-2) for a battle between U.S. Division Clubs on Friday.
The Thunderbirds downed the visiting Prince George Cougars 6-1 on Tuesday, snapping a three-game losing skid, and currently hold down eighth place in the Western Conference. The T-Birds are 11-10-2 on home ice this season.
The Winterhawks posted a 5-2 victory over the visiting Kamloops Blazers on Wednesday for their fourth straight victory, and remain in first place in the overall WHL standings. The Hawks have scored 233 goals this season while giving up just 112 goals.
In Vancouver, B.C., Jackson Houck and the Vancouver Giants (13-38-0-0) welcome Tyson Baillie and the Kelowna Rockets (38-10-3-1) for a B.C. Division tilt on Friday.
The Giants topped the visiting Prince Albert Raiders 5-1 on Wednesday, snapping a six-game losing skid, and remain in 10th place in the Western Conference. Houck, the Giants’ leading scorer, has four goals and five points over his last three games.
The Rockets managed a 6-1 win over the visiting Victoria Royals on Thursday, improving them to 15-0-2 over their last 17 games, and currently hold a nine-point lead for first place in the B.C. Division. The Rockets have scored a WHL-best 234 goals this season.