SUNDAY'S WHL MATCH-UPSSun Dec 16
HITMEN WELCOME ROCKETS – Cody Sylvester and the Calgary Hitmen (22-7-1-3) take on Myles Bell and the Kelowna Rockets (23-9-1-1) for a match-up between two top teams in WHL action on Sunday.
The Hitmen shut down the visiting Regina Pats 2-0 on Saturday night for their second straight victory, and currently hold down first place in the Central Division and Eastern Conference. The Hitmen have given up just one goal over their last two games. Sylvester leads the Hitmen with 19 goals and ranks second with 31 points this season.
The Rockets skated to a 6-1 win over the Rebels in Red Deer on Saturday night for their sixth consecutive victory, and currently occupy third place in the Western Conference. The Rockets have outscored their opposition 17-5 through four games of a Central Division tour. Bell got his 20th goal of the season in Red Deer on Saturday.
It’s the second meeting of the season between the Hitmen and Rockets. Kelowna downed the Hitmen 4-1 in Calgary on October 28th in the first encounter.
Elsewhere on Sunday, TJ Foster and the Edmonton Oil Kings (21-7-2-3) host Lane Scheidl and the Regina Pats (12-19-2-2).
The Oil Kings managed a 5-2 win over the visiting Victoria Royals on Saturday for their third win in a row, and trail Calgary by a single point for top spot in the division and conference. The Oil Kings are 14-3-1-2 on home ice this season.
The Pats were blanked 2-0 in Calgary by the Hitmen on Saturday for their eighth defeat over their last nine games, and currently sit in sixth place in the East Division. Scheidl leads the Pats with 18 goals and 38 points.
In Everett, WA, Josh Winquist and the Everett Silvertips (13-21-0-2) host Nicholas Petan and the Portland Winterhawks (27-5-1-0) for the second meeting between the teams this weekend.
The Silvertips dropped a 4-2 decision in Portland on Friday night, snapping a modest two-game winning streak, and currently sit in fifth place in the U.S. Division. Winquist has 11 goals this season to lead the ‘Tips in that department.
The Winterhawks skated to a 4-2 win over the visiting Seattle Thunderbirds on Saturday for their fourth straight victory, and remain in first place in the overall WHL standings. Petan picked up two assists on Saturday versus the T-Birds.
In Prince Albert, SK, Mark McNeill and the Prince Albert Raiders (21-11-0-3) host Eric Roy and the Brandon Wheat Kings (13-18-2-2) for an East Division clash.
The Raiders fell 5-4 in a shootout to the visiting Kootenay Ice on Friday night for their second loss in a row, and remain in first place in the East Division. The Raiders are 10-5-0-3 on home ice this season.
The Wheat Kings are coming off back-to-back wins over the Moose Jaw Warriors in a home-and-home series, and currently sit in fifth place in the East Division. The Wheat Kings’ penalty killing unit is operating at 68.2% efficiency on the road.
In Prince George, B.C., Chase Witala and the Prince George Cougars (11-18-1-3) host Trevor Cheek and the Vancouver Giants (9-24-0-0) for the third straight meeting between the teams.
The Cougars shut out the visiting Giants 6-0 on Saturday after losing 2-1 in Vancouver on Friday night, and currently sit in fourth place in the B.C. Division. Witala had a goal and three assists for the Cougars in Saturday’s win.
The Giants dropped their 11th decision over their last 13 games with Saturday’s shutout loss to the Cougars, and remain in fifth place in the B.C. Division. The Giants have just three wins on the road this season.
In Swift Current, SK, Adam Lowry and the Swift Current Broncos (14-17-3-2) host Luke Philp and the Kootenay Ice (10-21-1-0) on Sunday.
The Broncos fell 4-3 in Saskatoon on Friday night, and currently sit in seventh place in the Eastern Conference standings. The Broncos are 7-7-2-1 at home this season.
The Ice suffered a 5-2 loss in Saskatoon on Saturday night for their third setback over their last four games, and remain in sixth place in the Central Division. Philp scored his ninth marker of the season on Saturday in Saskatoon.