The waves of change have swept the shores of the Western Hockey League standings. After a red-hot October, the Kamloops Blazers are cooling off, while the Vancouver Giants have flexed their muscles in November powering to 8 wins their last 10 games to supplant their B.C. Division rivals atop the standings.
While the U.S. Division is still Tri-City’s to lose zipping along on a five-game win streak, the Portland Winterhawks are coming on strong with a five-game unbeaten streak of their own and trail top spot by just two points.
Vancouver Giants (13-8-0-1). No team has been hotter than the Giants who are being powered by their little-big man 5-foot-8 forward Brendan Gallagher. The feisty winger potted and is shooting up the WHL scoring list with 31 points in 18 games.
The Giants rolled on the weekend, beating Edmonton 4-1 on Wednesday night, then a 3-2 OT victory against the Kelowna Rockets Saturday, before capping a 4-3 shootout victory over the Prince George Cougars on Sunday.
Prince George Cougars (6-13-0-2): The Cougars are struggling to score goals and sorely miss all-star forward Brett Connolly who graduated to the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning. It doesn’t help that the squad has been devastated by injuries, while gritty leader Charles Inglis is currently serving a suspension for a charging penalty and game misconduct.
The Cougars dropped back-to-back games against Kelowna and Vancouver and sit at the bottom of the B.C. Division Standings.
As beat reporter Gregg Drinnan from the Kamloops News pointed out there were 10 checking-from-behind minor penalties dolled out on Saturday night.
The list includes:
Kenton Miller, Moose Jaw Warriors
Richard Nedomiel, Swift Current Broncos
Carter Proft, Spokane Chiefs
Alessio Bertaggia, Brandon Wheat Kings
Mitchell Moroz, Edmonton Oil Kings
Tyler Alos, Seattle Thunderbirds
Mitch Topping (double minor), Tri-City Americans
Mason Burr, Red Deer Rebels
Auston Carroll, Victoria Royals
Ty Rattie, 18, Portland Winterhawks: Rattie has 14 points in five games in November. The St. Louis Blues prospect potted 2 goals and added a pair of assists in a 6-5 shootout victory over the Spokane Chiefs on Friday.
Top 10 Scorers
1. (2) Mark Stone, Brandon Wheat Kings – 19g, 27a – 46 points
2. (1) Emerson Etem, Medicine Hat Tigers – 25g, 19a – 44 points
3. (5) Ty Rattie, Portland Winterhawks – 19g, 18a – 37 points
4. (4) Michael Ferland, Brandon Wheat Kings – 15g, 21a – 36 points
5. (3) Kevin Sundher, Victoria Royals – 13g, 23a – 36 points
6. (6) Adam Hughesman, Tri-City Americans – 14g, 21a – 35 points
7. (9) Brendan Gallagher, Vancouver Giants – 18g, 13a – 31 points
8. (5) Taylor Vause, Swift Current Broncos – 13g, 17a – 30 points
9. (NR) Sven Bartschi, Portland Winterhawks – 7g, 23a – 30 points
10. (9) Hunter Shinkaruk, Medicine Hat Tigers – 21g, 8a – 29 points
* Denotes rookie
() Previous week’s ranking