Canada West WHL Three Stars: November 30 to December 1, 2018
Each week during the Canada West men’s hockey season, CW and the WHL honour three WHL Grads now playing in CW. Here are the CW-WHL three stars for the weekend of Nov. 30/Dec. 1.
FIRST STAR: D – Jerret Smith
WHL experience (2012-16): Seattle Thunderbirds
GAME LOG: Friday, Nov. 30 – 3-0 home loss to Lethbridge / Saturday, Dec. 1 – 4G in 4-3 OT home victory over Lethbridge.
UBC captain Jerret Smith had a game for the ages Saturday afternoon, scoring four times to earn a 4-3 comeback win over the visiting Lethbridge Pronghorns.
Smith’s four-goal performance marked just the fourth time in conference history a defencemen has scored four goals in a game, as Smith joined Alberta’s Dave MacKay (Jan. 1939 and Jan. 1940), along with Mount Royal’s Jesse Lees (Jan. 2018) as the only players to accomplish the feat.
Down 3-0 eight minutes into the third period, the ‘Birds got on the board with Smith’s first of the game. The third-year defenceman from Surrey then scored twice in the final two-and-a-half minutes to force the game to overtime. The former Seattle Thunderbird capped off the comeback with his fourth of the game and sixth of the season.
Not only was the game Smith’s first career hat trick and four-goal game, it was his first multi-goal game in Canada West play. The business student equaled his entire 2017-18 goal production within a 15-minute span and is now up to 10 points on the season, leading the ‘Birds in scoring by defencemen. His six goals are also tied for second on the team.
The T-Birds earned the weekend split with the Pronghorns giving them wins in five of their last six games heading into the December break. At 10-6, UBC currently holds down fourth place in the conference, just one point back of the Calgary Dinos.
SECOND STAR: F – Ryley Lindgren
Mount Royal Cougars
East St. Paul, Man.
WHL experience (2013-17): Brandon Wheat Kings, Lethbridge Hurricanes, Swift Current Broncos
GAME LOG: Friday, Nov. 30 – 2G-3A in 12-2 road win vs. Regina / Saturday, Dec. 1 – 3 shots in 2-1 OT road loss to Regina.
Ryley Lindgren played a starring role in Mount Royal’s dominant 12-2 Friday night win over the Regina Cougars, as the former Lethbridge Hurricane scored a pair of goals, and assisted on three more.
The Arts student helped MRU to their highest goal output since the program joined Canada West for the 2012-13 season.
Lindgren, who amassed 167 points in 259 WHL regular seasons during four full seasons in the league, now has 16 points in as many games this season.
Despite dropping Saturday’s game 2-1 in OT, Mount Royal heads into the December break after securing points in their final four games of 2018. They’ll resume conference play January 4th at home against the UBC Thunderbirds.
THIRD STAR: F – Connor Rankin
Mount Royal Cougars
North Vancouver, B.C.
WHL experience (2010-15): Tri-City Americans, Calgary Hitmen
GAME LOG: Friday, Nov. 30 – 2G-2A in 12-2 road win vs. Regina / Saturday, Dec. 1 – 2 shots in 2-1 OT road loss to Regina.
Veteran CW forward Connor Rankin did his part Friday in MRU’s big win over Regina.
Finishing just behind teammate Ryley Lindgren in the point department, Rankin scored a pair of goals and added two assists to help pace the Cougars to a 12-2 win over Regina Friday.
Rankin, who has nine points in 10 CW games this season, played over 300 regular season games in the WHL, tallying 268 points over five full seasons of major junior. His best season came as a 20-year-old back in 2014-15, when he recorded 79 points in 72 games for the Calgary Hitmen.
About Canada West men’s hockey:
Each season more than 100 WHL Graduates use their WHL Scholarship with one of eight Canada West men’s hockey programs. Through CW’s continued partnership with the WHL, players are given the opportunity to pursue high level hockey and a degree simultaneously, allowing student-athletes to achieve their athletic and academic goals.
Canada West – training leaders, building champions
About the Western Hockey League
Regarded as the world’s finest development league for junior hockey players, the Western Hockey League (WHL) head office is based in Calgary, Alberta. The WHL consists of 22 member Clubs with 17 located in Western Canada and five in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. A member of the Canadian Hockey League, the WHL has been a leading supplier of talent for the National Hockey League for over 50 years. The WHL is also the leading provider of hockey scholarships with over 350 graduates each year receiving WHL Scholarships to pursue a post-secondary education of their choice. Each season, WHL players also form the nucleus of Canada’s National Junior Hockey Team.