WHL THIS WEEK: November 22, 2012

Nov 22, 2012 - 08:26 MST

Calgary, AB – The 2012-13 WHL regular season enters its fourth weekend of play in November with 19 games on the schedule for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 

AROUND THE RINKS THIS WEEKEND…

Movember continues to roll along and many WHL players are working on their ‘staches in efforts to raise money and awareness for Male below-the-belt cancers.  To follow the duster progress of WHL teams and players and to donate, visit the CHL Movember Network page

In Brandon, MB, the Wheat Kings will be helping launch Operation Red Nose in Brandon at Friday night’s game versus the Prince Albert Raiders.  A free service to help prevent impaired driving over the holidays, Operation Red Nose gladly accepts donations which will go to support the annual Westman Traditional Christmas Dinner.

In Portland, OR, the Winterhawks will be collecting Blankets and Men’s Socks on Friday when the Kootenay Ice come to town.  The first of several Winterhawks initiatives to help those in need over the next month, donations collected at Fridays game will go to Union Gospel Mission.  Friday’s contest will also be a matinee affair, with the curtains at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum opened to let the daylight in.

It will be Sockey Night in Red Deer on Saturday when the Rebels host the Moose Jaw Warriors.  Fans can buy socks at the game, which will be thrown on the ice during the second intermission to support of the United Way.

In Kennewick, WA, Eric Comrie has teamed up with Second Harvest Tri-Cities to launch the Comrie Saves Hunger Drive.  For every save he makes during home games, Comrie will donate 50 cents to Second Harvest Tri-Cities in hopes of helping those less fortunate.  The Ams will match Comrie’s donations and will also have bins set up at home games for food donations.

 

2013 TEAM WEST ROSTER ANNOUNCED…

Manitoba Hockey and the Saskatchewan Hockey association announced the 22-man roster that will comprise Team West for the 2013 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in December and January in Victoriaville/Drummondville, QC.

The roster featured eight players from Manitoba and 14 players from Saskatchewan.  Of the 22 players on the Team West roster, 14 currently play in the Western Hockey League. Among the current WHL players on the roster are defencemen Ryan Pilon of the Lethbridge Hurricanes, who was the third overall pick in the 2011 WHL Bantam Draft, and Jordan Thomson of the Kamloops Blazers, who was the fourth overall selection.

To view the Team West Roster, CLICK HERE

 

PORTLAND’S JONES TOPS WHL SKATERS IN NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING FALL RANKINGS…

Portland Winterhawks defenceman Seth Jones is the top-ranked WHL skater in NHL Central Scouting’s fall preliminary rankings for the 2013 NHL Draft.

Jones, a 6’3”, 208-lb rearguard from Plano, Texas, leads a group of seven defencemen who are among the top 10 WHL skaters in the preliminary rankings.  Originally drafted by the Everett Silvertips in the first round of the 2010 WHL Bantam Draft, Jones was acquired by the Winterhawks in May 2012.  The talented two-way defenceman has enjoyed a strong start to his WHL career, helping the Winterhawks stay at the top U.S. Division standings.

Tri-City Americans netminder Eric Comrie is the WHL’s top-ranked goaltender.

For more, CLICK HERE


BLADES’ DOCUMENTARY ‘ON THE EDGE’ PREMIERS ON FRIDAY…

On The Edge: The Road to the MasterCard Memorial Cup is a new eight-part documentary series that follows the Western Hockey League’s Saskatoon Blades on the road to the 2013 MasterCard Memorial Cup.

The documentary explores the season-long trials and tribulations of management, coaches and players on their quest to becoming Canadian Hockey League champs.

The first episode of On The Edge premieres Friday, November 23 at 5 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West.  An encore presentation will be on Citytv Saskatchewan on November 24 at 9 p.m. CT.

For more, CLICK HERE

                            

REGINA PATS SET TO RETIRE EBERLE’S NUMBER…

A night Regina Pats fans are waiting for is finally been confirmed. The Pats will officially retire the jersey and number of former Pats star, Jordan Eberle, in a pre-game ceremony at the Brandt Centre, December 5th.

Since postponing the original date scheduled for this past October, the Regina Pats have been working closely with the Jordan and his family as well as the Edmonton Oilers and Oklahoma City Barons to find a suitable date allowing Jordan to be in Regina for this special night.

Eberle starred for the Pats from 2006-10, racking up 155 goals and 310 points in 254 career regular-season games.  He was the WHL and CHL Player of the Year in his final major junior season in 2009-10.

For more, CLICK HERE


BLAZERS’ SMITH EARNS WEEKLY WHL HONORS; ICE’S SKAPSKI TAKES CHL HONORS…

Colin Smith of the Kamloops Blazers was named the Denny’s WHL Player of the Week for the week ending November 18th.   

The 19-year-old from Edmonton, AB, picked up seven points on a goal and six assists while posting a +5 rating over two games last week, helping the Blazers to a 2-0 record in that span.  It’s the second time this season that Smith has earned Denny’s WHL Player of the Week honors.

Meanwhile, Kootenay Ice netminder Mackenzie Skapski was named Vaugh CHL Goaltender of the Week after an outstanding week of work in net for the Ice.

The 18-year-old from Abbotsford, B.C., posted a 3-0 record with two shutouts in three starts last week while maintaining a 1.00 goals-against average and a .964 save percentage in that span.



TRAVELODGE BRINGS FANS CONTESTS AND SAVINGS…

Calgary, AB - The Western Hockey League has entered into an exciting new partnership with Travelodge, offering fans unique contest and promotional opportunities.

For more, CLICK HERE


FRIDAY NIGHT WHL HOCKEY ON SHAW…

Ryan Pulock and the Brandon Wheat Kings host Mark McNeill and the Prince Albert Raiders for a match-up between East Division rivals in Western Hockey League action on Friday night.

Friday’s match-up between the Raiders and Wheat Kings can be seen live throughout western Canada on SHAW and SHAW Direct channel 299 (7:00pm CT).

The Wheat Kings snapped a four-game losing skid with a 5-3 victory in Lethbridge over the Hurricanes on Sunday, and currently sit tied for third place in the East Division.  Brandon’s penalty killing unit is operating at 80.0% efficiency at home as compared to just 69.2% on the road.  Pulock is ranked third among WHL skaters in NHL Central Scouting’s fall preliminary rankings for the 2013 NHL Draft.

The Raiders are coming off a 3-2 win over the Warriors in Moose Jaw on Wednesday night for their eighth victory over their last 11 games, and remain in first place in the East Division standings – 11 points ahead of Brandon.  The Raiders are 8-4 on the road this season, and have won three of their last four road games.  McNeill leads the Raiders in scoring with nine goals and 28 points.

Friday’s meeting is the first of back-to-back encounters between the Raiders and Wheat Kings, and the first meeting of the season between the teams.  Last year, the Wheat Kings won five of six meetings versus the Raiders. 


FRIDAY NIGHT CHL HOCKEY ON SPORTSNET…

Brayden Point and the Moose Jaw Warriors visit Curtis Lazar and the Edmonton Oil Kings on Friday night, live on SPORTSNET (7:00pm MST).

The Oil Kings managed a 2-1 win over the visiting Swift Current Broncos on Tuesday night for their third win over their last four games, and currently sit in second place in the Central Division.  Edmonton boasts an 8-2-1-2 record at home this season.  Lazar is ranked eighth among WHL skaters in NHL Central Scouting’s fall rankings for the 2013 NHL Draft.

The Warriors were edged 3-2 by the visiting Prince Albert Raiders on Wednesday night in Moose Jaw for their eighth loss over their last 10 games, and currently occupy fifth place in the East Division.  The Warriors have just two wins on the road this season.  Point leads all 16-year-old rookies in scoring with 17 points this season.

It’s the second meeting of the season between the Oil Kings and Warriors.  The Oil Kings posted a 5-1 triumph over the Warriors in Edmonton on October 19th in the first meeting.



KEY WEEKEND MATCH-UPS…

Spokane Chiefs vs. Tri-City Americans
Friday, Nov. 23 @ Tri-City; Saturday, Nov. 24 @ Spokane

Justin Feser and the Tri-City Americans take on Mitch Holmberg and the Spokane Chiefs for a home-and-home series between the U.S. Division archrivals this weekend.

The Americans have been idle since posting back-to-back wins over the visiting Kelowna Rockets last weekend, stretching their win streak to three games, and currently share second place in the U.S. Division with the Chiefs.  The Ams have allowed the third-fewest number of goals of any Western Conference team.  Feser leads the Ams with 30 points, which is 16 more points than the team’s next highest scorer.

The Chiefs are coming off a 3-1 win over the visiting Everett Silvertips on Wednesday night for their second straight triumph and their fifth win in six games.  The Chiefs boast a WHL-leading 11 wins on home ice this season.  Holmberg has racked up four goals and six points in two games versus Tri-Cities this season.

This weekend’s meetings mark the fourth and fifth encounters of the season between the Ams and Chiefs.  The Chiefs won the first three meetings, including two visits to Kennewick.


WEEKEND SCHEDULE – Nov. 23 – Nov. 25
All times local
WATCH WHL HOCKEY LIVE ON
WHL LIVE ON DEMAND

Friday, Nov. 23
Prince Albert @ Brandon; 7:30 **Live on SHAW**
Medicine Hat @ Calgary; 7:00
Moose Jaw @ Edmonton; 7:00 **Live on Sportsnet**
Saskatoon @ Kamloops; 7:00
Regina @ Kelowna; 7:05
Kootenay @ Portland; 3:00
Lethbridge @ Red Deer; 7:30
Spokane @ Tri-City; 7:05
Prince George @ Victoria; 7:05

Saturday, Nov. 24
Medicine Hat @ Edmonton; 7:00
Kootenay @ Everett; 7:05
Vancouver @ Kamloops; 7:00
Saskatoon @ Kelowna; 7:05
Brandon @ Prince Albert; 7:00
Moose Jaw @ Red Deer; 7:30
Portland @ Seattle; 7:05
Tri-City @ Spokane; 7:05
Prince George @ Victoria; 7:05

Sunday, Nov. 25
Kelowna @ Everett; 5:05