SUNDAY'S WHL MATCH-UPS

Sun Jan 20

OIL KINGS BATTLE COUGARS – Curtis Lazar and the Edmonton Oil Kings (30-11-2-3) welcome Troy Bourke and the Prince George Cougars (14-25-2-4) in one of four Western Hockey League contests on Sunday.

The Oil Kings were edged 2-1 by the visiting Medicine Hat Tigers on Friday night for their second straight setback, and currently sit one point back of Calgary for first place in the Eastern Conference.  The Oil Kings’ power play is operating at 27.6% e3fficiency at home this season.  Lazar has 19 goals and 32 points in 46 games this season.

The Cougars posted a 3-1 win in Red Deer over the Rebels on Saturday to put a stop to a 10-game losing skid on the road, but remain in ninth place in the Western Conference.  The Cougars’ power play ranks 22nd in the WHL at 14.9% efficiency.  Bourke leads the Cougars with 22 assists this season.

It’s the third meeting of the season between the Cougars and Oil Kings.  The Oil Kings swept a pair of games in Prince George, posting back-to-back 4-2 wins on November 9th and 10th.

In other WHL action on Saturday, Trevor Cox and the Medicine Hat Tigers (22-22-2-1) take on Turner Elson and the Red Deer Rebels (25-19-3-2) for a Central Division match-up.

The Tigers shut out the visiting Calgary Hitmen 4-0 on Saturday night for their second win in a row, and currently sit tied with Saskatoon for seventh place in the Eastern Conference.  The Tigers improves to 15-8-0 at home with Saturday’s victory over Calgary.

The Rebels dropped a 3-1 decision to the visiting Prince George Cougars on Saturday night for their seventh defeat over their last 10 outings, and currently sit in fourth place in the Eastern Conference.  Elson leads the Rebels in scoring with 35 points.

In Kent, WA, Roberts Lipsbergs and the Seattle Thunderbirds (17-26-2-1) host Reid Duke and the Lethbridge Hurricanes (22-21-1-5) on Sunday.

The Thunderbirds edged the visiting Portland Winterhawks 4-3 on Saturday, ending a 15-game losing skid and a seven-game losing streak versus Portland, and currently sit in eighth place in the Western Conference.  Lipsbergs leads the T-Birds with 18 goals.

The Hurricanes fell 3-2 to the Silvertips in Everett on Saturday night for their third loss in four games, and now sit in sixth place in the Eastern Conference.  Duke has scored in three straight games, and has piled up seven goals in five games in January.

In Vancouver, B.C., Cain Franson and the Vancouver Giants (12-35-0-0) host Tyler Sandhu and the Everett Silvertips (19-26-0-2) on Sunday.

The Giants dropped a 5-3 decision to the Rockets in Kelowna on Saturday for their third straight setback, and remain in 10th place in the Western Conference.  Franson has three goals over his last two outings.

The Silvertips edged the visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes 3-2 on Saturday night for their second win in a row, and currently occupy seventh place in the Western Conference.  Sandhu leads all ‘Tips’ rookies in scoring with 11 goals and 21 points this season.