TUESDAY'S WHL MATCH-UPSTue Jan 15
ROYALS TAKE ON BLAZERS – Alex Gogolev and the Victoria Royals (21-17-1-2) host Brendan Ranford and the Kamloops Blazers (29-12-2-2) for the first of back-to-back meetings between the B.C. Division clubs in Western Hockey League action on Tuesday night.
The Royals skated to a 6-2 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds in Kent, WA, on Saturday night after having dropped their previous two outings, and currently sit in sixth place in the Western Conference. The Royals are 13-5-1-1 on home ice this season. Gogolev has seven points, all assists, over his last five games.
The Blazers split a weekend double-header in Prince George, losing 1-0 on Friday before claiming a 2-1 win in overtime on Saturday, and currently sit three points back of Kelowna for first place in the B.C. Division. The Blazers’ penalty killing unit is operating at 79.1% efficiency on the road. Ranford has picked up 10 points over his last six games.
Tuesday’s clash marks the fifth meeting of the season between the Royals and Blazers. The Royals won the first meeting back on September 28th but the Blazers won the last three encounters.
Elsewhere on Tuesday night, Josh Nicholls and the Saskatoon Blades (21-20-0-1) take on Sam Reinhart and the Kootenay Ice (17-25-1-0).
The Blades were edged 2-1 by the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings on Saturday night for their second loss in as many nights to a Central Division visitor, and currently sit in seventh place in the Eastern Conference. Nicholls hit the 30-goal mark for a third straight season with a goal versus Edmonton on Saturday.
The Ice are coming off a 4-2 loss to the Chiefs in Spokane on Saturday night, snapping a seven-game winning streak, and currently sit eight points out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Reinhart has five goals and nine points on his current six-game point streak.
In Moose Jaw, SK, Tanner Eberle and the Moose Jaw Warriors (14-23-3-4) take on Adam Lowry and the Swift Current Broncos (21-20-3-2) for a match-up between East Division rivals on Tuesday.
The Warriors suffered a 6-2 loss to the visiting Brandon Wheat Kings on Friday, stretching their losing skid to six games, and currently sit tied with Kootenay for 11th place in the Eastern Conference. The Warriors have given up 31 goals over their last six games.
The Broncos edged the visiting Calgary Hitmen 4-3 on Saturday night in Swift Current for their fourth straight triumph, and currently sit in sixth place in the Eastern Conference. Lowry has recorded at least one point in 20 straight games.
In Everett, WA, Josh Winquist and the Everett Silvertips (17-25-0-2) take on Malte Stromwall and the Tri-City Americans (24-16-1-2) for a battle between U.S. Division opponents on Tuesday.
The Silvertips were blasted 8-0 by the visiting Portland Winterhawks on Saturday night in Everett, and currently occupy seventh place in the Western Conference. The ‘Tips are 9-10-0-2 on home ice this season.
The Americans managed a 5-3 victory over the visiting Seattle Thunderbirds on Sunday for their fourth victory in six games, and currently sit in fifth place in the Western Conference. Stromwall ranks second on the Ams in scoring with 32 points this season.