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WHL THIS WEEK: LOOKING AHEAD... - Junior Hockey News

Published: Thursday, 27 Sep 2012
By: Cory Flett

Calgary, AB - The 2012-13 WHL regular season enters its second weekend of play, closing out September with 19 games on the schedule for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 

AROUND THE RINKS THIS WEEKEND...

In Calgary, AB, Saturday night is Student Night when the Hitmen host the Red Deer Rebels.

In Prince George, B.C., the Cougars celebrate their Opening Weekend with a number of special events planned.  Friday's game versus the Seattle Thunderbirds is preceded by a tailgate party featuring live music from local artist Rick Stavely, and will have a Pink Power Play theme.  Fans are encouraged to wear pink to the game in support of the Canadian Breast Cancer foundation.

In Spokane, WA, the Chiefs also celebrate their home opener with a Festival-Like Atmosphere.  Fans can enjoy a variety of activities and attractions prior to watching the Chiefs take on their archrival, the Tri-City Americans.

WHL PLAYERS ON THE MOVE...

Heading into the second weekend of action in the 2012-13 WHL regular season, several teams will have new faces in their lineup while others will be missing the services of key veterans.

In Red Deer, AB, 20-year-old veteran defenceman Brandon Underwood will bolster the Rebels' blue line after coming over from the Regina Pats on Tuesday while the Vancouver Giants hope that Trevor Cheek can spark their offence after they acquired the 20-year-old winger from the Calgary Hitmen on Wednesday.  Also hoping to make an impact for his new team is 18-year-old forward Dakota Conroy, who joins the Prince Albert Raiders from the Victoria Royals.

Meanwhile, with American Hockey League camps starting up, a few WHL teams have seen key veterans head off for a shot at making an AHL roster.  The Kamloops Blazers will miss 20-year-old veteran Brendan Ranford as he heads to the Hamilton Bulldogs camp.  The Prince Albert Raiders will be without the services of veteran rearguard Antoine Corbin, who joining Ranford at the Bulldogs' camp. 

WHL OFFICIALS BOUND FOR NHL...

The WHL is proud to recognize referees Trevor Hanson and Trent Knorr, and linesman Kiel Murchison who were all recruited by the National Hockey League.

"We are very excited for Trevor, Trent and Kiel," commented Kevin Muench, the WHL's director of officiating.  "Through their hard work and commitment, they have earned the opportunity to sign an NHL contract and officiate at the highest level."

For more, click HERE

WHL ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP WITH 5050 CENTRAL...

5050 Central Limited (5050 Central) and the Western Hockey League (WHL) are pleased to announce they have reached a three year agreement that will see 5050 Central named as the "Official Real-time Raffle Company of the WHL".

In cooperation with the WHL, 5050 Central will work with member clubs to implement the 5050 technology.  This real-time raffle offering will see member clubs have the ability to sell raffle tickets through automated devices.  The in game fan experience includes the instantaneous display of the raffle totals on the facility scoreboard, televisions and in-house monitors.

For more, click HERE

PORTLAND'S PETAN NAMED DENNY'S WHL PLAYER OF THE WEEK...

17-year-old Nicholas Petan of the Portland Winterhawks was named the Denny's WHL Player of the Week after an opening-weekend performance that saw him post four goals and eight points to go with a +6 rating over three games.

The Western Hockey League is pleased to introduce Denny's as the sponsor of the WHL Player of the Week Program. The Denny's WHL Player of the Week highlights the exceptional play from one individual around the League, who made a significant contributed to his team's overall success.  The Denny's WHL Player of the Week is announced each Monday throughout the season and will also include a video component this year comprising of highlights of the recognized player from the past week.

For more, click HERE

KEY WEEKEND MATCH-UPS...

Edmonton Oil Kings vs. Calgary Hitmen
Friday, September 28

Curtis Lazar and the Edmonton Oil Kings take on Brady Brassart and the Calgary Hitmen on Friday night in Edmonton for the Western Hockey League version of "The Battle of Alberta"

The defending WHL champion Oil Kings skated to a 3-0 shutout win in Lethbridge on Wednesday night, improving to a perfect 3-0 through their first three games.  Lazar has scored four goals over his last two games.

The Hitmen opened their 2012-13 campaign with wins over the Red Deer Rebels in Red Deer last Friday and over the Kootenay Ice in Calgary on Saturday.  The Hitmen have killed off all 10 opposition power plays they have faced through their first two games.

It's the first of six meetings this season between the Central Division rivals.  Edmonton won five of six meetings versus Calgary last season.

Prince George Cougars vs. Seattle Thunderbirds
Friday, Sept. 28 & Saturday, Sept. 29 at Prince George

The Prince George Cougars take on the Seattle Thunderbirds twice this weekend in Prince George for contests that will feature two star players who were traded for one another during the off-season.

The Cougars opened the season with back-to-back wins in Everett over the Silvertips, putting up 13 goals over the two-game set.  Colin Jacobs picked up three goals and six points over his first two games.  The 19-year-old Buffalo Sabres prospect spent his first three WHL seasons with the Thunderbirds.

The Thunderbirds claimed a 5-2 win over the Winterhawks in Portland in their season-opener last Friday before dropping a 6-2 decision to the Hawks in the rematch on Saturday in Kent, WA.  19-year-old defenceman Jesse Forsberg, who picked up a goal last weekend, was the Cougars' first-round pick in the 2008 WHL Bantam Draft and spent his first three seasons playing in Prince George before coming to the T-Birds this past summer.

This weekend's meetings are two of four encounters this season between the T-Birds and Cougars.  The Cougars won three of four meetings versus the T-Birds last season.

WEEKEND SCHEDULE - Sept. 28 - Sept. 30
All times local 
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Friday, Sept. 28
Calgary @ Edmonton; 7:00
Regina @ Kootenay; 7:00
Kelowna @ Portland; 7:00
Moose Jaw @ Prince Albert; 7:00
Seattle @ Prince George; 7:00
Medicine Hat @ Red Deer; 7:30
Brandon @ Swift Current; 7:00
Everett @ Vancouver; 7:30
Kamloops @ Victoria; 7:05

Saturday, Sept. 29
Red Deer @ Calgary; 7:00
Lethbridge @ Kootenay; 7:00
Regina @ Medicine Hat; 7:30
Brandon @ Moose Jaw; 7:00
Kelowna @ Portland; 7:00
Seattle @ Prince George; 7:00
Tri-City @ Spokane; 7:05
Saskatoon @ Swift Current; 7:00

Sunday, Sept. 30
Spokane @ Vancouver; 4:00
Kamloops @ Victoria; 1:00








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* Article disclaimer: This site may contain advice, opinions and statements from various authors and information providers. Views expressed in this article reflect the personal opinion of the author, Cory Flett, and not necessarily the views of JuniorHockey.com. JuniorHockey.com does not represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any advice, opinion, statement or other info provided in the article, or from any other member of this site.





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