FRIDAY NIGHT WHL HOCKEY ON SHAW

Jan 18, 2013 - 03:55 MST

HITMEN WELCOME COUGARS, LIVE ON SHAW – Brooks Macek and the Calgary Hitmen (30-11-1-3) welcome Troy Bourke and the Prince George Cougars (13-24-2-4) 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.

In other WHL action on Friday night, Nick Buonassisi and the Brandon Wheat Kings (16-25-2-2) host Mark McNeill and the Prince Albert Raiders (26-15-1-3) for an East Division battle.

The Wheat Kings skated to a 2-1 win over the visiting Regina Pats last Saturday for their second win in a row, and currently sit tied with Moose Jaw for 11th place in the Eastern Conference.  Brandon’s penalty killing unit is operating at just 69.8% efficiency this season.

The Raiders are coming off a 3-2 overtime loss to the visiting Kootenay Ice on Wednesday night for their fifth defeat over their last seven outings, but remain in first place in the East Division.  The Raiders are 12-8-0-0 on the road this season.

In Edmonton, AB, Keegan Lowe and the Edmonton Oil Kings (30-10-2-3) take on Curtis Valk and the Medicine Hat Tigers (20-22-2-1) for a match-up between Central Division clubs on Friday night.

The Oil Kings dropped a 4-1 decision to the Rebels in Red Deer on Thursday night that snapped a three-game winning streak, and currently sit one point up on Calgary for first place in the Central Division and Eastern Conference.  Edmonton’s penalty killing unit has surrendered just 17 power play goals all season.

The Tigers have been idle since Sunday’s 3-0 loss to the visiting Oil Kings for their second defeat over their last three games, and currently hold down eighth place in the Eastern Conference.  Valk leads the Tigers in scoring with 26 goals and 58 points this season.

In Portland, OR, Ty Rattie and the Portland Winterhawks (37-5-1-0) welcome Jaimen Yakubowski and the Lethbridge Hurricanes (21-20-1-5) on Friday night.

The Winterhawks have been off since posting an 8-0 win over the Silvertips in Everett last Saturday, stretching their winning streak to 14 games, and currently sit a comfortable eight points clear for first place in the Western Conference standings.  Rattie has nine points, all assists, over his last four games.

The Hurricanes are coming off a 10-3 drubbing at the hands of the Tigers in Medicine Hat last Saturday for their second loss in a row, and currently sit in sixth place in the Eastern Conference.  The ‘Canes were outscored 14-3 over their two losses last weekend.

In Regina, SK, Morgan Klimchuk and the Regina Pats (18-24-2-2) host Sam Reinhart and the Kootenay Ice (19-25-1-0) on Friday night.

The Pats fell 2-1 to the Wheat Kings in Brandon last Saturday for their third loss in a row, and currently sit in ninth place in the Eastern Conference.  Klimchuk, the Pats’ scoring leader, took part in Wednesday’s Home Hardware CHL / NHL Top Prospects game in Halifax.

The Ice are coming off a 3-2 overtime victory in Prince Albert versus the Raiders for their second win in a row and their ninth victory in 10 games, and currently sit four points back of Medicine Hat for eighth place in the Eastern Conference.  Reinhart has piled up 11 goals and 18 points over his last 10 games.

In Saskatoon, SK, Brenden Walker and the Saskatoon Blades (21-20-0-2) battle Brayden Point and the Moose Jaw Warriors (14-23-3-5) for an East Division clash on Friday.

The Blades dropped a 4-3 decision in a shootout to the visiting Kootenay Ice on Tuesday for their third consecutive setback, and currently sit in seventh place in the Eastern Conference.  The Blades are 8-10-0-1 on home ice this season.

The Warriors fell 4-3 in a shootout to the visiting Swift Current Broncos on Tuesday for their seventh straight defeat, and sit tied for 11th place in the Eastern Conference.  Point, a 16-year-old rookie, ranks second on the Warriors in scoring with 31 points this season.

In Spokane, WA, Mitch Holmberg and the Spokane Chiefs (28-15-1-0) host Ryan Olsen and the Kelowna Rockets (32-10-2-1) for the second straight meeting between the teams.

the Rockets skated to a 5-3 win over the visiting Chiefs on Wednesday night for their ninth victory over their last 10 games, and currently sit in first place in the B.C. Division.  The Rockets have scored 196 goals this season, putting them second among all WHL teams in offensive production.

The Chiefs suffered their second loss over their last three games with Wednesday’s setback in Kelowna, and currently occupy second place in the U.S. Division.  The Chiefs boast a 15-5-0 record on home ice this season.

In Kennewick, WA, Justin Feser and the Tri-City Americans (26-16-1-2) welcome JC Lipon and the Kamloops Blazers (29-13-2-3) for a battle between strong Western Conference combatants on Friday.

The Americans posted a 9-5 win over the Giants in Vancouver on Wednesday night for their third win in a row, and currently sit in fifth place in the Western Conference.  The Americans have scored 20 goals over their last three outings.

The Blazers are coming off back-to-back losses to the Royals in Victoria on Tuesday and Wednesday, and currently sit in third place in the Western Conference.  Lipon ranks third on the Blazers in scoring with 58 points.

In Vancouver, B.C., Jackson Houck and the Vancouver Giants (12-33-0-0) battle Steven Hodges and the Victoria Royals (23-17-1-2) for a B.C. Division match-up.

The Giants dropped a 9-5 decision to the visiting Tri-City Americans on Wednesday for their fifth loss in six games, and remain in 10th place in the Western Conference.  Houck leads the Giants with 26 assists and 39 points.

The Royals swept a two-game set versus the visiting Kamloops Blazers on Tuesday and Wednesday in Victoria, stretching their win streak to three games overall, and currently sit in sixth place in the Western Conference.  Hodges scored two goals in each of the Royals’ two wins over the Blazers.