Welcome to the long weekend, where there’s plenty of excitement on the ice, and intrigue in the standings to suit the discerning WHL fan.
Here’s What We’re Watching this weekend!
BLAZING A TRAIL
Fans in Alberta will get a glimpse of the Memorial Cup hosts this weekend as the Kamloops Blazers begin a Central Division road swing. First up, a battle of division leaders in Red Deer (7:00 p.m. MT, Peavey Mart Centrium) that also marks the first meeting between the Blazers and Rebels since a pre-season trade that saw NHL prospects Mats Lindgren and Kyle Masters exchange postal codes. What’s more, Kamloops captain Logan Stankoven enters Friday’s contest having collected at least a point in his last 34 WHL contests; a point in Red Deer would put him level with Regina’s Connor Bedard for the longest point streak in the WHL this season. Following Friday’s game, the Blazers continue their road trip Sunday in Calgary (2:00 p.m. MT, Tsuut’ina Seven Chiefs Sportsplex) and Monday in Edmonton (2:00 p.m. MT, Rogers Place).
The road trip begins! 🔥🔥
We take on the @Rebelshockey tonight @ 6pm PST!
📍: Peavey Mart Centrium
⏰: 6:00 PM PST
📸: @ADouglasPhotos pic.twitter.com/IldaWzjtBy
— Kamloops Blazers (@blazerhockey) February 17, 2023
Four WHL Clubs (Kamloops, Portland, Seattle and Winnipeg) have secured their spot in the 2023 WHL Playoffs, and over the next week, the playoff picture could become a bit clearer for several teams across the League. Entering play Friday, the Red Deer Rebels are the closest Club to a clinching position, requiring a total of eight points gained (or dropped by the Eastern Conference Club with the ninth-highest maximum points total, a role currently shared by the Brandon Wheat Kings and Calgary Hitmen). Saskatoon is next with a Magic Number of 10, while in the Western Conference both the Everett Silvertips and Tri-City Americans have Magic Numbers of 11.
ARE YOU READY, KIDS?
🍍SpongeBob and Patrick game-worn themed jerseys to be auctioned off
⛸️BWK Family Skate after the game! (Bring your skates and helmet)
Get your tickets here⏩🎟️https://t.co/7klDQexUSy pic.twitter.com/stRMfyTCSG
— Brandon Wheat Kings (@bdnwheatkings) February 16, 2023
Monday marks Family Day in Western Canada and Presidents Day in the United States, and 18 of the 22 WHL Clubs will be in action across a bevy of afternoon games. Among the day’s highlights, the Brandon Wheat Kings will sport SpongeBob SquarePants jerseys when they host the Prince Albert Raiders (2:30 p.m. CT, Westoba Place) as part of the RE/MAX Presents: Nickelodeon Night for Children’s Miracle Network Series. TSN+ subscribers can catch the Winnipeg ICE and Swift Current Broncos as a freeview (4:00 p.m. CT, InnovationPlex), while fans in Prince George could get a glimpse at a possible playoff preview as the Portland Winterhawks visit the North (2:00 p.m. PT, CN Centre).