So far puck stoppers have been hooked like amateur comics at an open mic comedy club. It’s been a complete goaltender merry-go-round in the Western Hockey League. Of the 22 WHL teams, a total of 57 goaltenders have seen action – that’s 2.6 goalies per team.
And if early trends continue fans will continue to see different detailed mask designs donned during the course of the season.
The four division frontrunners are the Regina Pats (9-4-0-0), Kootenay Ice (9-3-0-2), Tri-City Americans (10-5-0-0) and Kamloops Blazers (9-3-0-0).
The Medicine Hat Tigers traded Kellan Tochkin, 20, to the Prince Albert Raiders for defenceman James Bettauer and a bantam draft pick. Tochkin, a budding Vancouver Canucks prospect, is playing in his final year in junior and has posted 8 assists in 10 games so far this season, while Bettauer has 9 points in 15 games for the Raiders.
Vancouver Giants (7-6-0-1): The Giants proved it can be a really a short distance from the doghouse to penthouse. After dropping consecutive contests last week, the G-men bounced back, hammering Victoria 8-1 on Friday and then cooling the Kelowna Rockets 5-3 on Sunday to get back in the B.C. Division running with 15 points – good enough for third place behind Kamloops and Victoria.
Everett Silvertips (3-8-0-2): The ‘Tips are struggling to win games. And according to a recent report from the Everett Herald, all-star defenecman Ryan Murray might be out for 5-weeks with a sprained ankle. Expect Everett’s woes to continue.
Brendan Gallagher, 19, Vancouver Giants: The feisty undersized winger was honoured with WHL’s player of the week after notching 3 goals and 4 assists in three games.
Eric Comrie, 16, Tri-City Americans: The rookie netminder had back-to-back shutouts as the Americans swept the Prince George Cougars this weekend. Comrie has a 4-2-0-0 with a 2.75 goals against average and .903 save percentage.
Top 10 Scorers
1. (3) Mark Stone, Brandon Wheat Kings – 9g, 19a – 28 points
2. (1) Emerson Etem, Medicine Hat Tigers – 16g, 9a – 25 points
3. (4) Kevin Sundher, Victoria Royals – 5g, 20a – 25 points
4. (2) Adam Hughesman, Tri-City Americans – 12g, 12a – 24 points
5. (5) Taylor Vause, Swift Current Broncos – 10g, 11a – 21 points
6. (6) Ty Rattie, Portland Winterhawks – 10g, 10a – 20 points
7. (NR) Brad Ross, Portland Winterhawks – 8g, 12a – 20 points
8. (NR) Brendan Gallagher, Vancouver Giants – 11g, 8a – 19 points
9. (8) James Henry, Vancouver Giants – 3g, 15a – 18 points
10. (NR) Michael Ferland, Brandon Wheat Kings – 9g, 8a – 17 points
() Previous week’s ranking