DUBNetwork Feature Game of the Night: Medicine Hat Tigers (29-14-1-1) @ Prince Albert Raiders (24-14-5-3) 7:00 PM CST
The Tigers continue their three-game road trip with a stop at the Art Hauser Centre in Prince Albert. Medicine Hat is 14-10-0-1 on the road. This will be the second of four straight at home for the Raiders. They are 12-6-3-1 at home.
This is the third of four meetings between the two clubs, Medicine Hat has won both previous games in regulation.
Medicine Hat brings with them their high-powered offense led by one of just three players with 70 or more points in the 2019-2020 season. James Hamblin has been lighting the lamp all season, scoring 28 times and adding 43 assists. 19-year-old Brett Kemp is also in the top-10 in scoring in the WHL with 22 goals and 35 assists. Cole Sillinger is a rookie sensation this season and he leads all rookies with 18 goals and 28 assists.
You can’t overlook the Prince Albert Raiders offense either. Their import Aliaksei Protas is eighth in the league with 22 goals and 35 assists. Draft eligible Ozzy Wiesblatt is also piling up the points in the green and gold, he has 19 goals and 30 assists. Former Vancouver Giant Brayden Watts also brings some scoring punch to the Raiders he has 19 goals and 24 assists.
Each team boasts a defenseman in the top-20 scorers among the blueline brigade. Prince Alberts’ Kaiden Guhle is draft eligible this June and seven goals to go with 20 assists. Rookie Landon Kosior has lit the lamp four times and added 14 assists.
Medicine Hat counters with Dylan Plouffe, recently added from the Vancouver Giants, he has eight goals and 24 assists on the season. Since joining the Tigers he has three goals and nine assists. Daniel Baker is enjoying a breakout season on the blueline for Medicine Hat he has 10 goals and 21 assists through 44 games.
A potential goalie dual is brewing as Medicine Hat brings 6-foot-7 Mads Sogaard to the crease. His 14-10-1-1 record and 2.85 goals-against average are not among the league leaders but he is capable of stealing a game for his team. He also has a .900 save percentage.
The Raiders can respond with the most coveted goalie from the trade deadline Max Paddock. Since joining Prince Albert, Paddock is 3-0-0-1 with a stellar 1.44 goals-against average and .949 save percentage. He gives the Raiders a chance to win every night.
Medicine Hat is second in power play efficiency this season at 26.6% (49-of-184) while Prince Albert sits 11th at 20.1% (29-of-144). The Raiders are ahead on penalty killing, they are ninth in the WHL at 80.5% success rate, the Tigers struggle to kill penalties at 76.9%, good for 16th in the WHL.
In other WHL action:
Swift Current Broncos (9-31-1-3) @ Moose Jaw Warriors (12-28-2-0)
These two teams did battle last night, Moose Jaw came out on top 5-2. They have also taken the season series lead at 2-1-0-0 to Swift Current’s 1-2-0-0. Neither team is in the hunt for a playoff spot, the teams will now be playing for draft lottery positioning.
Edmonton Oil Kings (31-8-6-3) @ Saskatoon Blades (23-18-1-2)
Edmonton suffered their first regulation loss since December 30th last night. They will look to get back on the winning track against the Blades, who had a come from behind victory over the Medicine Hat Tigers last night. The Blades have now won three straight games and are within seven points of the division leaders. They are currently in the second wildcard position.
Lethbridge Hurricanes (28-11-2-5) @ Brandon Wheat Kings (25-17-1-2)
Two of the hottest teams in the WHL are set to faceoff in Brandon. Lethbridge has points in 10 of their last 11 games and sits just eight back of the division-leading Edmonton Oil Kings with two games in hand. Brandon has won 10 games in a row and are three points back of the Prince Albert Raiders for the division lead with an extra game in hand.
Victoria Royals (25-16-3-0) @ Winnipeg ICE (27-16-1-0)
The Winnipeg ICE is heading towards the end of a nine-game homestand that has seen the team go 4-3-0-0. Victoria is on their second game of a six-game road swing through the East Division. They lost last night in Brandon.
Calgary Hitmen (23-15-4-1) @ Red Deer Rebels (15-23-2-3)
The division rivals meet for just the third time this season, each team has taken a game in the other teams’ barn. Four Calgary Hitmen have more points than Red Deer’s leading scorer, Arshdeep Bains. This is the opening game of a home-and-home set, the two teams will meet again on Sunday afternoon in Calgary.
Portland Winterhawks (34-6-2-3) @ Seattle Thunderbirds (18-22-3-1)
Portland’s point streak has reached 20 games, the longest such streak in the WHL this season. They are two games from matching the WHL leaders from last season the eventual WHL champion Prince Albert Raiders, who went 22 games earning at least a point. They are now nine games behind the all-time single-season record of 29 set by the 1978-79 Brandon Wheat Kings. Seattle will be looking to further distance themselves from the Tri-City Americans for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Kamloops Blazers (31-11-2-1) @ Prince George Cougars (12-25-3-4)
The teams meet for the second night in a row, the Blazers coming away with the 3-0 victory and continue a season-long shutout streak. The current streak is 209 minutes and 22 seconds. The Blazers have won nine straight to start 2020. The Cougars could move into a tie for the least points in the Western Conference with a win and an Americans’ loss.
Kelowna Rockets (22-20-1-2) @ Vancouver Giants (19-20-2-2)
Both teams have been disappointing this season and both teams would like to use this game as a turnaround for their season. Five points separate the teams but Vancouver has two games in hand on Kelowna. Vancouver has mostly dominated the season series, they are 3-0-0-1. Vancouver has outscored Kelowna 16-8 over the four previous games.
Spokane Chiefs (24-15-4-1) @ Tri-City Americans (14-24-4-1)
The Chiefs are 4-1-1-0 against the Americans this season but are not within reach of the second-place Everett Silvertips. They also are not likely to be caught by the Seattle Thunderbirds for third in the US Division. Tri-City has struggled as of late as they are without Connor Bouchard and goalie Talyn Boyko and ended up down to 15 skaters last night as Luka Zazula was a late scratch and Paycen Bjorklund was tossed from the game for a staged fight.