FRIDAY NIGHT WHL HOCKEY ON SHAW

Jan 25, 2013 - 03:28 MST

ROYALS HOST GIANTS LIVE ON SHAW – Steven Hodges and the Victoria Royals (25-17-1-2) take on Jackson Houck and the Vancouver Giants (12-36-0-0) on Friday night for the first of back-to-back meetings between the B.C. Division rivals.

Friday’s match-up between the Giants and Royals can be seen live throughout western Canada on SHAW and SHAW Direct channel 299 (7:30pm PST).

The Royals are coming off a 5-4 win in Kamloops last Saturday that stretched their winning streak to five games, and currently sit in sixth place in the Western Conference standings.  The Royals are 15-5-1-1 on home ice this season.  Hodges has scored five goals in five games versus Vancouver this season.

The Giants are coming off a 4-0 shutout loss to the visiting Everett Silvertips on Sunday for their fourth straight setback, and currently sit in 10th place in the Western Conference.  The Giants have won just four times on the road this season.  Houck, a 17-year-old sophomore, leads the Giants in points with 40 this season.

This weekend’s meetings mark the seventh and eighth meetings of the season between the Giants and Royals.  The Royals won four of the first six meetings, including one of two meetings in Victoria.

Elsewhere in WHL action on Friday night, Cole Ully and the Kamloops Blazers (31-14-2-3) host Mike Winther and the Prince Albert Raiders (28-15-1-3).

The Blazers are coming off a 4-3 win in overtime over the visiting Everett Silvertips on Wednesday night for their second victory in three games, and currently sit in second place in the B.C. Division.  The Blazers fired 69 shots on Silvertips’ goaltender Austin Lotz in Wednesday’s overtime victory.

The Raiders posted a 3-2 win in Prince George over the Cougars on Wednesday for their second straight win on the road, and remain in first place in the East Division standings.  Winther netted the winner in Prince George on Wednesday for is 40th point of the season.

In Lethbridge, AB, Jaimen Yakubowski and the Lethbridge Hurricanes (22-21-1-6) host Brooks Macek and the Calgary Hitmen (31-12-1-3) for a battle between Central Division rivals on Friday.

The Hurricanes posted a 1-1-0-1 record in three games on a U.S. Division tour last weekend, and currently share fifth place in the Eastern Conference.  The Hurricanes are 14-10-1-3 on home ice this season.

The Hitmen have been idle since dropping a 4-0 decision in Medicine Hat last Saturday for their second setback in their last three games, and currently sit five points back of Edmonton for first place in the Central Division.  Macek shares the team lead with 23 goals and leads the team with 55 points this season.

In Moose Jaw, SK, Sam Fioretti and the Moose Jaw Warriors (14-25-3-6) host Jaedon Descheneau and the red-hot Kootenay Ice (22-25-1-0) on Friday.

The Warriors suffered a 7-0 shutout loss to the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings on Tuesday night, stretching their losing skid to 10 games, and remain in 12th place in the Eastern Conference.  The Warriors have given up 20 goals over their last four home games.

The Ice skated to a 3-2 win over the visiting Medicine Hat Tigers on Wednesday for their fifth straight victory and their 12th win in 13 games, and currently sit just four points out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.  All five of the Ice’s most recent wins have been decided by one goal.

In Prince George, B.C., Marc McNulty and the Prince George Cougars (14-27-2-4) host Reid Petryk and the Everett Silvertips (20-26-1-2) for the first of back-to-back meetings between the teams.

The Cougars are coming off a 3-2 loss to the visiting Prince Albert Raiders on Wednesday night for their second straight setback, and currently sit in ninth place in the Western Conference, just five points out of a playoff spot.  The Cougars will have new head coach Mark Holick behind the bench beginning on Friday.

The Silvertips suffered a 4-3 loss in a shootout in Kamloops on Wednesday, snapping a three-game winning streak, and remain in seventh place in the Western Conference.  The ‘Tips were outshot 69-21 in Wednesday’s defeat to the Blazers.

In Red Deer, AB, Turner Elson and the Red Deer Rebels (25-20-3-2) take on Eric Roy and the Brandon Wheat Kings (17-27-2-2) on Friday.

The Rebels’ last action was a 3-0 shutout loss in Medicine Hat on Sunday for their second straight setback, and currently sit in fourth place in the Eastern Conference.  The Rebels are 13-9-1-1 on home ice this season.

The Wheat Kings split a home-and-home series versus the Saskatoon Blades, losing 4-1 at home on Tuesday after defeating the Blades 3-2 in a shootout in Saskatoon on Saturday, and currently sit in 11th place in the Eastern Conference.  Roy is tied for third on the team in scoring with 25 points.

In Kent, WA, Shea Theodore and the Seattle Thunderbirds (18-28-2-1) take on Carter Rigby and the Kelowna Rockets (35-10-2-1) for the second straight meeting between the teams.

The Rockets cruised to an 8-0 win over the visiting Thunderbirds in Kelowna on Thursday night for their fourth win in a row and their 20th straight home-ice win, and currently sit just four points out of first place in the WHL standings.  Rigby scored his second straight hat trick and third three-goal game of the season on Thursday.

The Thunderbirds dropped their second straight decision with Thursday’s loss in Kelowna, and currently sit in eighth place in the Western Conference.  The T-Birds have been outscored 13-1 over their last two games.  Theodore has nine goals and 31 points this season.

In Spokane, WA, Brenden Kichton and the Spokane Chiefs (30-16-2-0) welcome Ty Rattie and the Portland Winterhawks (37-7-1-2) on Friday night for the third consecutive meeting between the U.S. Division clubs.

The Chiefs skated to a 5-4 shootout win over the visiting Hawks in Spokane on Wednesday night after having downed the Hawks 5-2 in Portland on Monday, but still sit 15 points back of the Winterhawks for first place in the U.S. Division.  Kichton shares the WHL lead in goals by a defenceman with 16 this season, including three versus the Winterhawks.

The Winterhawks saw their losing skid hit four games with Wednesday’s setback to the Chiefs, and currently hold a six-point lead over Kelowna for first place in the Western Conference.  The Hawks have given up four goals in regulation play in each of their last four games.  Rattie scored two goals on Wednesday night in Spokane, giving him 300 career points.

In Swift Current, SK, Graham Black and the Swift Current Broncos (23-20-3-2) battle Morgan Klimchuk and the Regina Pats (18-26-2-2) for an East Division tilt on Friday.

The Broncos edged the Pats 2-1 in Regina last Saturday to push their winning streak to six games, and currently sit tied with Lethbridge for fifth place in the Eastern Conference.  The Broncos are 3-0-1 versus the Pats this season, with all four games being decided by a single goal.

The Pats saw their losing skid hit five games with last Saturday’s setback to the Broncos, and currently sit in 10th place in the Eastern Conference.  Klimchuk has three goals in four games versus Swift Current this season.

In Kennewick, WA, Brian Williams and the Tri-City Americans (28-17-1-2) take on Hunter Shinkaruk and the Medicine Hat Tigers (23-23-2-1) on Friday night.

The Americans beat the Seattle Thunderbirds 5-1 in Kennewick on Tuesday for their second win in a row, and currently occupy fifth place in the Western Conference.  Williams has four goals and six points over his last five games.

The Tigers saw a three-game win streak snapped with Wednesday’s 3-2 setback to the Kootenay Ice in Cranbrook, and remain in eighth place in the Eastern Conference.  The Tigers are 7-15-2-1 on the road this season.