SUNDAY'S WHL MATCH-UPSSun Feb 10
TIGERS WELCOME ICE – Curtis Valk and the Medicine Hat Tigers (26-26-2-1) host Sam Reinhart and the Kootenay Ice (26-27-2-0) for a key Eastern Conference match-up in WHL action on Sunday.
The Tigers are coming off Friday’s 4-1 win over the visiting Moose Jaw Warriors that snapped a three-game losing skid, and currently hold down eighth place in the Eastern Conference. The Tigers boast a 17-10-0 record at home this season. Valk leads the Tigers in scoring with 32 goals and 69 points.
The Ice blanked the visiting Warriors 4-0 on Saturday night for their third straight win and their second shutout win in that span, and sit just one point behind the Tigers for eighth place in the Eastern Conference. Kootenay has stormed to a 16-3-1 record in their last 20 games, taking them from the Eastern Conference basement to within striking distance of a playoff spot. Reinhart got his 28th goal of the season on Saturday.
It’s the fourth meeting of the season between the Tigers and Ice. Kootenay won two of the first three meetings between the teams. The home team has won all three meetings.
Elsewhere on Sunday, Landon Oslanski and the Everett Silvertips (21-30-1-4) take on Colton Sissons and the Kelowna Rockets (40-13-3-1).
The Silvertips dropped a 5-1 decision to the visiting Calgary Hitmen on Friday for their sixth straight defeat, and remain in seventh place in the Western Conference. The ‘Tips have scored just four goals while getting shut out three times over their last six games.
The Rockets dropped a pair of decisions to the visiting Portland Winterhawks on Friday and Saturday, stretching their losing skid to three games, and now sit nine points back of the Hawks for the Western Conference lead. The Rockets have managed just four goals over their last three games.
In Spokane, WA, Mike Aviani and the Spokane Chiefs (32-21-2-0) take on Brandon Magee and the Victoria Royals (31-19-1-3) for an important Western Conference battle on Sunday.
The Chiefs downed the visiting Tri-City Americans 5-2 on Saturday night for their second victory in three games, and moved into a tie with the Royals for fourth place in the Western Conference. Aviani scored his 25th goal of the season on Saturday night versus the Ams.
The Royals are coming off Friday’s 5-3 win over the Americans in Kennewick, WA, stretching their winning streak to four games. The Royals have outscored their opposition 15-6 over their last four games.
In Swift Current, SK, Adam Lowry and the Swift Current Broncos (26-24-3-2) host Curtis Lazar and the Edmonton Oil Kings (41-11-2-3) on Sunday.
The Broncos blanked the visiting Prince Albert Raiders 3-0 on Saturday night, snapping a three-game losing skid, and currently sit in seventh place in the Eastern Conference. Broncos’ goaltender Eetu Laurikainen enjoyed his first WHL shutout performance on Saturday.
The Oil Kings are coming off Friday’s 6-2 win in Brandon over the Wheat Kings for their 11th consecutive victory, and currently lead the Eastern Conference standings. The Oil Kings need just two points to clinch a playoff spot.