Medicine Hat Tigers (14-5-1-0) at Red Deer Rebels (10-9-2-1)
Friday, Nov. 18 – 7 p.m. (Mountain) – Enmax Centrium
Channels: Local Shaw TV SD; Shaw HD304; Shaw Direct Satellite Classic 120 or HD Advanced 620
The Central Division’s top two teams will go head-to-head Friday night (7pm Mountain) as the first-place Medicine Hat Tigers travel north to take on the Red Deer Rebels on WHL on Shaw.
The upstart Tigers lead the WHL’s Central Division by six points and could extend that further with a win over the second-place Rebels. Medicine Hat heads into Friday’s tilt having won three consecutive outings – the most recent a 5-2 victory over the Kootenay ICE in which they sent a whopping 55 shots in on the opposition net.
As for the Rebels, they’ve dropped their previous two contests – the most recent a 3-2 overtime defeat at the hands of the Swift Current Broncos.
Tigers forward Mason Shaw represented his club as a member of Team WHL at the recent 2016 CIBC Canada Russia Series and he continues to take to the ice with some serious bite, leading his team in scoring with 32 points (5G-27A) in 19 games this season.
On the other side, the Rebels counter with Czech import Michael Spacek. He paces his squad with 28 points (13G-15A) in 19 games this season – his second campaign in the Western Hockey League.
Between the pipes, Nick Schneider leads the WHL with 13 wins to his name, backed by a 2.69 goals-against average (GAA) and .911 save percentage (SV%). The Calgary Flames prospect was named the WHL Goaltender of the Week back on Oct. 3 for his efforts early in the campaign.
These days the Rebels are rolling with the duo of rookie Riley Lamb and veteran Lasse Petersen, who was acquired from the Everett Silvertips in recent weeks. The 18-year-old Lamb has carried the lion’s share of the workload, appearing in 17 games with a record of 8-4-1-0, 3.61 GAA and .890 SV%.
Friday marks the third of six meetings this season between the two Central Division rivals.
On Oct. 7 in Red Deer, Schneider made 37 saves and David Quenneville tallied two goals and an assist as the Tigers scratched out a 6-3 win. Three weeks later Schneider starred yet again, steering aside 38 pucks while Max Gerlach found twine twice in a 5-2 road triumph for Medicine Hat on Oct. 28.
After Friday’s festivities, the two teams will play out the remainder of their season series at Medicine Hat’s Canalta Centre.
Red Deer Rebels
Head coach: Brent Sutter
Record: 10-9-2-1, 23 points
Scoring leaders: C Michael Spacek (13-15-28); D Josh Mahura (8-13-21); LW Evan Polei (8-12-20)
Goaltending leader: Riley Lamb (8-4-1-0, 3.61 GAA, .890 SV%, 1 SO)
Power play: T-10th – 19.6%
Penalty kill: 19th – 75.5%
Injuries: D Alexander Alexeyev (upper body, day to day); F Reese Johnson (upper body, indefinite); F Grayson Pawlenchuk (lower body, week to week); G Tyson Verhelst (upper body, indefinite)
Medicine Hat Tigers
Head coach: Shaun Clouston
Scoring leaders: C Mason Shaw (5-27-32); RW Chad Butcher (7-20-27); C Matt Bradley (10-13-23)
Goaltending leader: Nick Schneider (13-2-1-0, 2.69 GAA, .911 SV%)
Power play: First – 32.3%
Penalty kill: First – 86.5%
Oct. 7 – Medicine Hat (6) at Red Deer (3)
Oct. 28 – Medicine Hat (5) at Red Deer (2)
Nov. 18 – Medicine Hat at Red Deer
Dec. 7 – Red Deer at Medicine Hat
Dec. 17 – Red Deer at Medicine Hat
March 14 – Red Deer at Medicine Hat
WHL on Shaw schedule
Tuesday, Nov. 22 – Kelowna Rockets at Victoria Royals (7pm local)
Friday, Nov. 25 – Brandon Wheat Kings at Saskatoon Blades (7pm local)
Tuesday, Nov. 29 – Prince Albert Raiders at Medicine Hat Tigers (7pm local)