SATURDAY'S WHL MATCH-UPS

Nov 17, 2012 - 03:59 MST

OIL KINGS WELCOME RAIDERS – Michael St. Croix and the Edmonton Oil Kings (13-5-1-2) host Leon Draisaitl and the Prince Albert Raiders (14-6-0-2) for a battle between two top Eastern Conference clubs in Western Hockey League action on Saturday.

The Oil Kings have been off since posting back-to-back wins in Prince George last weekend, and currently sit tied for first place in the Central Division.  Edmonton is 7-2-0-2 on home ice this season.  St. Croix (12g-17a) sits tied for seventh in WHL scoring with 29 points this season.

The Raiders edged the Hurricanes 3-2 in Lethbridge on Friday night, snapping a three-game losing streak on the road, and currently sit in first place in the East Division and Eastern Conference.  The Raiders’ power play is clicking at 20.9% efficiency on the road this season.  Draisaitl scored twice on Friday, and ranks second on the Raiders with 18 points this season.

It’s the third meeting of the season between the Oil Kings and Raiders.  The Raiders won both previous meetings, including a 4-1 victory in Edmonton on October 4th.

Elsewhere on Saturday night, Kohl Bauml and the Everett Silvertips (7-14-0-2) host Kale Kessy and the Vancouver Giants (7-13-0-0).

The Silvertips were shut out 5-0 in Victoria by the Royals on Friday night for their eighth defeat in nine games, and remain in fifth place in the U.S. Division.  The ‘Tips have just one win at home this season.

The Giants managed a 4-3 shootout victory over the visiting Regina Pats on Friday night for their second straight shootout win, and currently sit in fifth place in the B.C. Division.  The Giants’ power play has struck just once on 29 chances through their first eight road games.

In Kamloops, B.C., JC Lipon and the Kamloops Blazers (18-5-0-1) host Colin Jacobs and the Prince George Cougars (7-11-1-2) for a B.C. Division battle on Saturday.

The Blazers downed the visiting Portland Winterhawks 6-4 on Friday, snapping a four-game losing skid, and currently sit in first place in the overall WHL standings.  Lipon enjoyed a five-point outing on Friday night, as did his line mate Colin Smith.

The Cougars were blanked 4-0 by the visiting Saskatoon Blades on Friday night, stretching their losing skid to six games, and remain in fourth place in the B.C. Division.  The Cougars have been shut out four times this season.

In Cranbrook, B.C., Sam Reinhart and the Kootenay Ice (6-12-1-0) host Alessio Bertaggia and the Brandon Wheat Kings (9-10-2-1) for the second straight night on Saturday.

The Ice pulled off a 5-3 win over the Wheat Kings on Friday night for their second win in a row, but remain in sixth place in the Central Division.  Four of Kootenay’s six wins this season have come on home ice.

The Wheat Kings suffered their third straight loss with Friday’s defeat to the Ice in Cranbrook, and currently sit in fourth place in the East Division.  Bertaggia picked up a goal and an assist on Friday, giving him 14 goals and 27 points this season.

In Portland, OR, Brendan Leipsic and the Portland Winterhawks (16-4-1-0) host Hunter Shinkaruk and the Medicine Hat Tigers (11-11-1-0) on Saturday.

The Winterhawks saw a 12-game win streak come to an end with a 6-4 loss to the Kamloops Blazers on Friday night, but remain in first place in the U.S. Division.  Leipsic has scored nine goals and 21 points over the course of a nine-game point streak.

The Tigers dropped a 4-3 decision to the Seattle Thunderbirds on Friday night in Kent, WA, for their second straight loss.  Shinkaruk scored twice on Friday night, giving him 17 goals on the season.

In Red Deer, AB, Matt Dumba and the Red Deer Rebels (10-11-1-1) host Adam Lowry and the Swift Current Broncos (9-9-3-2) on Saturday.

The Rebels have been idle since wrapping up a western road trip with an 8-1 loss in Kelowna last Friday, and currently sit in fifth place in the Central Division.  Rebels’ owner and general manager Brent Sutter takes over as interim head coach after the Rebels parted ways with former coach Jesse Wallin earlier in the week.

The Broncos edged the Wheat Kings 3-2 in Brandon last Sunday for their second win in a row, and currently sit in second place in the East Division.  The Broncos’ power play is clicking at an impressive 36.8% clip on the road.

In Kent, WA, Alex Delnov and the Seattle Thunderbirds (10-10-1-0) host Mitch Holmberg and the Spokane Chiefs (14-7-0-0) for a battle between U.S. Division combatants on Saturday.

The Thunderbirds edged the visiting Medicine Hat Tigers on Friday night for their second win in a row, and currently sit in fourth place in the U.S. Division.  Delnov scored twice on Friday, giving him eight goals on the season.

The Chiefs have been off since suffering a 9-1 drubbing at the hands of the Portland Winterhawks last Saturday, and currently sit in third place in the U.S. Division.  The Chiefs are 4-5-0 on the road this season.

In Kennewick, WA, Justin Feser and the Tri-City Americans (14-7-1-1) take on Myles Bell and the Kelowna Rockets (12-7-1-1) for the second straight meeting between the teams.

The Ams posted a 3-2 victory over the visiting Rockets on Friday night, erasing a 2-0 deficit in the third period, and currently sit in second spot in the U.S. Division.  Feser scored the game-winner on Friday night, and leads the Ams with 15 markers this season.

The Rockets saw a five-game win streak snapped with Friday’s loss in Kennewick, and currently sit in second place in the B.C. Division.  The Rockets are 5-5-1-1 on the road this season.

In Victoria, B.C., Alex Gogolev and the Victoria Royals (11-10-0-0) host Lane Scheidl and the Regina Pats (9-12-1-1) on Saturday.

The Royals shut down the visiting Everett Silvertips 5-0 on Friday night for their second win in a row, and currently sit in third place in the B.C. Division.  Gogolev netted his team-leading ninth goal of the season on Friday night.

The Pats dropped a 4-3 decision in a shootout in Vancouver on Friday night for their second setback over their last three games, and currently sit in fifth place in the East Division.  Scheidl scored and set up two more on Friday, giving him a team-leading 27 points this season.