SUNDAY'S WHL ROUND-UPFeb 24, 2013 - 04:51 MST
TIGERS TAKE ON REBELS – Curtis Valk and the Medicine Hat Tigers (32-28-1-2) welcome Turner Elson and the Red Deer Rebels (34-22-4-2) for a battle between Central Division rivals in Western Hockey League action on Sunday.
The Tigers are coming off back-to-back wins over the Swift Current Broncos, winning 2-1 in a shootout on Friday in Swift Current before posting a 2-0 shutout win in Medicine Hat on Saturday, and currently sit in sixth place in the Eastern Conference. The Tigers are 20-12-0 at home this season. Valk got his 38th goal of the season on Saturday versus the Broncos.
The Rebels doubled up the visiting Prince Albert Raiders 4-2 on Saturday, extending their win streak to five games while moving them into sole possession of fourth place in the Eastern Conference. The Rebels have given up just six goals over their last five games. Elson has 21 goals this season for the Rebels.
It’s the sixth meeting of the season between the Rebels and Tigers. Red Deer won three of the first five meetings, including one of two visits to Medicine Hat.
Elsewhere on Sunday, Daniel Johnston and the Lethbridge Hurricanes (25-27-2-7) host Brock Montgomery and the Kootenay Ice (30-29-2-0) for another big Central Division clash.
The Hurricanes suffered a 2-0 shutout loss to the visiting Red Deer Rebels on Friday night for their fifth straight setback, and currently sit three points behind Kootenay for eighth place in the Eastern Conference. The ‘Canes are 16-12-1-3 on home ice this season.
The Ice downed the visiting Calgary Hitmen 5-1 in Cranbrook on Saturday for their third win in a row, and now sit just one point back of Swift Current for seventh place in the Eastern Conference. Montgomery has scored in five of his last six games.
In Swift Current, SK, Graham Black and the Swift Current Broncos (28-27-3-4) take on Jayce Hawryluk and the Brandon Wheat Kings (21-36-3-2) for a match-up between East Division combatants on Sunday.
The Broncos suffered a pair of losses to the Medicine Hat Tigers on Friday and Saturday, stretching their losing skid to three games, and fell four points back of the Tigers for sixth place in the Eastern Conference. The Broncos have been outscored 8-3 over their last three games.
The Wheat Kings are coming off a pair of defeats to the Saskatoon Blades, having lost 7-4 on Friday after dropping a 5-1 decision last Monday, and currently sit in 12th place in the Eastern Conference. Hawryluk, a 16-year-old rookie, ranks second on the Wheat Kings in scoring with 40 points.
In Vancouver, B.C., Jackson Houck and the Vancouver Giants (15-45-2-0) battle Alex Delnov and the Seattle Thunderbirds (21-32-7-1) on Sunday.
The Giants dropped a 6-0 decision to the visiting Kamloops Blazers on Friday night for their fourth loss in a row, and remain in 10th place in the Western Conference. Houck leads the Giants in scoring with 20 goals and 54 points.
The Thunderbirds are coming off Saturday’s 3-2 overtime defeat to the visiting Everett Silvertips,snapping a two-game win streak, and currently sit in seventh place in the Western Conference. Four of the T-Birds’ last five games have been decided in overtime.