SATURDAY'S WHL MATCH-UPSNov 10, 2012 - 05:10 MST
CHIEFS TAKE ON WINTERHAWKS – Nicolas Petan and the Portland Winterhawks (14-3-1-0) pay a visit to Mitch Holmberg and the Spokane Chiefs (14-6-0-0) for a battle between two top Western Conference clubs in WHL action on Saturday night.
The Winterhawks skated to a 9-5 win over the Giants in Vancouver on Friday night for their 10th consecutive victory, and currently lead the U.S. Division standings. The Winterhawks have outscored their opposition 80-39 this season. Petan leads the Hawks in scoring with 31 points.
The Chiefs managed a 5-2 win over the Western Conference-leading Kamloops Blazers on Friday for their third straight victory, and currently sit one point back from Portland in the U.S. Division. The Chiefs boast a 10-1 record at home. Holmberg returned to the lineup and scored a goal and an assist on Friday after missing the previous five games.
It’s the first meeting of the season between the Winterhawks and Chiefs. Portland won six of eight meetings between the teams last year.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Adam Lowry and the Swift Current Broncos (7-9-3-2) host Mike Winther and the Prince Albert Raiders (13-5-0-2) for an East Division battle.
The Raiders blanked the visiting Seattle Thunderbirds 3-0 on Friday night for their second straight win and fifth victory in six games, and continue to lead the East Division standings. Winther has scored three goals and five points in his last two games.
The Broncos are coming off a 6-5 loss to the Raiders on Wednesday night in Prince Albert for their second straight setback, and currently sit in fourth place in the East Division. The Broncos are 4-6-2-1 at home this season.
In Kennewick, WA, Zach Yuen and the Tri-City Americans (12-7-1-1) take on JC Lipon and the Kamloops Blazers (17-3-0-1) on Saturday.
The Americans dropped a 3-0 decision to the visiting Everett Silvertips on Friday night, snapping a three-game win streak, and currently sit in third place in the U.S. Division. Yuen has 11 points this season on a goal and 10 assists.
The Blazers suffered a 5-2 loss to the Chiefs in Spokane on Friday for their second straight setback and third loss in four games, but remain in first place in the overall WHL standings. Lipon shares the WHL lead with 17 goals this season.
In Cranbrook, B.C., Sam Reinhart and the Kootenay Ice (4-11-1-0) take on Sam Fioretti and the Moose Jaw Warriors (7-8-3-3) on Saturday.
The Ice have been idle since dropping a 4-1 decision to the Tigers in Medicine Hat last Sunday, stretching their losing skid to seven games. Reinhart will play for Team WHL in next week’s SUBWAY Super Series.
The Warriors fell 5-2 in Medicine Hat on Friday night for their seventh consecutive loss, and currently sit in fourth place in the East Division. Fioretti scored his team-leading 15th goal of the season on Friday night in Medicine Hat.
In Medicine Hat, AB, Hunter Shinkaruk and the Medicine Hat Tigers (11-9-1-0) host Steven Hodges and the Victoria Royals (9-10-0-0) on Saturday.
The Tigers downed the Moose Jaw Warriors 5-2 on Friday for their seventh victory over their last eight games, and currently occupy fourth place in the Central Division. Shinkaruk and linemate Curtis Valk have combined for 29 goals and 63 points this season.
The Royals dropped their fifth straight decision with a 5-2 defeat in Calgary on Friday night, and fall below the .500 mark for the first time this season. Hodges has a six-game point streak on the go for the Royals.
In Prince George, B.C., Colin Jacobs and the Prince George Cougars (7-9-1-1) host TJ Foster and the Edmonton Oil Kings (12-5-1-2) for the second straight night on Saturday.
The Oil Kings doubled up the Cougars 4-2 on Friday night in Prince George for their third win in four games, and currently sit in second place in the Central Division. The Oil Kings have given up just two power play goals on 55 opposition chances through their first nine road games.
The Cougars saw their losing skid hit three games with Friday’s loss to the Oil Kings, and currently sit in fourth place in the B.C. division. The Cougars are 4-4-1 on home ice this season.
In Regina, SK, Morgan Klimchuk and the Regina Pats (8-12-1-0) host Jamal Watson and the Lethbridge Hurricanes (12-7-1-1) on Saturday.
The Pats fell 6-3 in Saskatoon to the Blades on Friday night, ending a two-game win streak, and remain in sixth place in the East Division. Klimchuk scored his team-leading 10th and 11th goals of the season on Friday night.
The Hurricanes posted a 5-3 win in Brandon over the Wheat Kings on Friday night for their fourth straight triumph, and currently sit in third place in the Central Division. The Hurricanes are 10-2-1-1 over their last 14 outings.
In Saskatoon, SK, Josh Nicholls and the Saskatoon Blades (8-9-0-1) host Riley Sheen and the Seattle Thunderbirds (8-10-1-0) on Saturday.
The Blades skated to a 6-3 victory over the visiting Regina Pats on Friday night for their third victory over their last four games, and currently sit in fifth place in the East Division. Nicholls has piled up seven goals over his last four games, and shares the WHL lead with 17 goals this season.
The Thunderbirds were shut out 3-0 in Prince Albert on Friday, dropping them to 1-5-0 through six games of a seven-game eastern road trip. Sheen shares the team lead in scoring with 14 points this season.