The WHL heads into its final week of games before the holiday break, and teams have already lost many of their marquee players to the World Junior training camps.
Kamloops and Tri-City sit on top of the respectively and are revelling in the holiday spirit, while slumping teams like Everett – just 5 victories – and Seattle – just 12 wins – are asking for almost any kind of help from Santa on their Christmas wish lists to turn things around in the new year.
Western Conference leader the Tri-City Americans (25-7-0-0) picked up two wins as Patrick Holland led the charge Saturday en route to a Tri-City 5-1 victory over the Everett Silvertips.
On Sunday they followed that solid performance when they blanked the Portland Winterhawks 3-0 as goalie Ty Rimmer made 29 saves for the shutout.
Tri-City has one 9 of their last 10 games.
Everett Silvertips (5-21-0-5): There is no team in the WHL that’s mired in a worst slump heading into the Christmas break. Over 31 games Everett has mustered up just 5 victories.
The ‘Tips dropped back-to-back games against division powerhouses Spokane, 5-2, on Friday and then Tri-City, 5-1, on Saturday and have just one win in their last 10.
It doesn’t help that Everett has scored a league-low 71 goals and given up a league-high 132 against.
Patrick Holland, 19, Tri-City Americans: The veteran forward notched two helpers in a win over Victoria on Wednesday before scoring his first hat-trick of the season against Everett on Saturday for a 5 points in two games last week.
Top 10 Scorers
1. (1) Mark Stone, Brandon Wheat Kings – 27g, 38a – 65 points
2. (4) Ty Rattie, Portland Winterhawks – 32g, 27a – 59 points
3. (2) Emerson Etem, Medicine Hat Tigers – 29g, 30a – 59 points
4. (7) Adam Hughesman, Tri-City Americans – 22g, 34a – 56 points
5. (10) Sven Bartschi, Portland Winterhawks – 12g, 42a – 54 ponts
6. (5) Kevin Sundher, Victoria Royals – 21g, 31a – 52 points
7. (9) Jordan Weal, Regina Pats – 17g, 31a – 48 points
8. (6) Brendan Gallagher, Vancouver Giants – 24g, 22a – 46 points
9. (NR) Michael St. Croix, Edmonton Oil Kings – 17g, 29a – 46 points
10. (8) Hunter Shinkaruk, Medicine Hat Tigers – 27g, 18a – 45 points
* Denotes rookie
() Previous week’s ranking