WEDNESDAY'S WHL MATCH-UPSNov 21, 2012 - 08:03 MST
CHIEFS HOST SILVERTIPS – Brenden Kichton and the Spokane Chiefs (15-7-0-0) welcome Mirco Mueller and the Everett Silvertips (9-14-0-2) for a U.S. Division match-up in Western Hockey League action on Wednesday night.
The Chiefs downed the Seattle Thunderbirds 3-1 in Kent, WA, on Saturday night for their fourth triumph over their last five games, and currently sit in third place in the U.S. Division standings. The Chiefs boast a 10-2 record through their first 12 home games. Kichton shares the team lead with 16 assists and ranks third in points with 24 this season.
The Silvertips are coming off a 2-1 victory over the visiting Medicine Hat Tigers on Sunday night for their second straight win, but remain in fifth place in the U.S. Division. The ‘Tips have six wins through their first 15 road games. Mueller is ranked seventh among WHL skaters in NHL Central Scouting’s fall preliminary rankings for the 2013 NHL Draft.
It’s the fourth meeting of the season between the Silvertips and Chiefs. Spokane won two of the first three, posting back-to-back shutouts over the visiting ‘Tips on November 3rd and 6th.
In other WHL action on Wednesday, Connor Honey and the Seattle Thunderbirds (10-11-1-0) take on Sam Reinhart and the Kootenay Ice (7-12-1-0).
The Thunderbirds dropped a 3-1 decision to the visiting Spokane Chiefs on Saturday night after having won their previous two outings, and currently occupy fourth spot in the U.S. Division. Seattle boasts the WHL’s top power play, currently clicking at a 27.5% clip.
The Ice are coming off back-to-back wins over the visiting Brandon Wheat Kings on the weekend, stretching their win streak to three games, but remain in sixth place in the Central Division. Two of the Ice’s last three wins have been 4-0 shutout victories.
In Portland, OR, Brendan Leipsic and the Portland Winterhawks (17-4-1-0) host Trevor Cheek and the Vancouver Giants (7-15-0-0) on Wednesday.
The Winterhawks skated to a 5-2 win over the visiting Medicine Hat Tigers on Saturday night for their 13th victory over their last 14 games, and remain in first place in the U.S. Division. Leipsic is riding a 10-game point streak, having put up nine goals and 14 assists in that span.
The Giants fell 5-2 to the visiting Saskatoon Blades on Sunday for their second consecutive loss, and currently sit in fifth spot in the B.C. Division. Cheek has scored in each of his last six games, racking up seven goals in that span.
In Moose Jaw, SK, Morgan Rielly and the Moose Jaw Warriors (8-9-3-3) welcome Mark McNeill and the Prince Albert Raiders (15-7-0-2) for a battle between East Division rivals on Wednesday.
The Warriors have been idle since suffering a 4-1 loss to the visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes nine days ago, and are 2-4-2-2 over their last 10 games. Moose Jaw’s penalty killing unit has given up just six power play goals on 47 opposition chances at home this season.
The Raiders were thumped 6-1 in Red Deer by the Rebels on Sunday after having won their previous two games on the weekend, and currently sit atop the East Division standings. Prince Albert is 7-4 on the road this season.
In Kamloops, AB, JC Lipon and the Kamloops Blazers (19-5-0-1) welcome Lane Scheidl and the Regina Pats (10-12-1-2) on Wednesday.
The Blazers edged the visiting Prince George Cougars 5-4 in a shootout on Saturday night for their second win in a row, and remain comfortably in first place in the B.C. Division. Lipon scored twice in each of the team’s weekend victories, and leads the WHL in goals with 21 on the season.
The Pats fell 4-3 in a shootout in Prince George on Tuesday night, dropping them to 1-0-0-2 through three games of their B.C. Division tour. Scheidl scored twice on Tuesday in Prince George, giving him five goals and 12 points over his last seven outings.
In Calgary, AB, Brady Brassart and the Calgary Hitmen (15-5-1-2) host Jay Merkley and the Lethbridge Hurricanes (13-11-1-1) on Wednesday for the back half of a home-and-home series between the Central Division rivals.
The Hitmen edged the Hurricanes 3-2 in Lethbridge on Tuesday night, despite being outshot 44-20 in the contest, and have won seven of their last eight games. Brassart ranks third on the Hitmen in points with 20 this season.
The Hurricanes saw their losing skid hit three games with Tuesday’s defeat to the visiting Hitmen, and currently sit tied with Red Deer for third place in the division. Merkley scored his 12th goal of the season in his 26th game on Tuesday night after netting 12 goals in 58 games last season as a rookie.