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Winterhawks earn honourable mention in CHL Top 10 Rankings as others hold pat

Ben Ludeman/Portland Winterhawks

 

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced the week 21 edition of the CHL Top-10 Rankings for the 2017-18 season. The weekly rankings of the CHL’s Top-10 teams are selected by a panel of National Hockey League scouts.

The Moose Jaw Warriors held their second spot in the rankings for another week thanks to a pair of shutout victories at home. They defeated the Lethbridge Hurricanes 2-0 Friday before earning a 6-0 win over the Kootenay ICE a day later. Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week Brody Willms was in net for both games, earning the fourth and fifth shutouts of his Western Hockey League career with a combined 35 saves over the two games. Willms is now 30-7-1-2, with a 294 goals-against-average and .902 save percentage in 41 games with the Warriors with the season. They’ll enter a big week with the first of three straight games against the 2018 Mastercard Memorial Cup host Regina Pats starting Wednesday, February 14 (7:00 p.m. CST) in the Queen City.

Also holding onto the spot in the unchanged top five were the Swift Current Broncos, who held firm in spot five. The Broncos won all three games over the weekend, downing the Prince Albert Raiders 5-1 Friday, beating the Brandon Wheat Kings 5-2 and picking up another win against the Raiders, this time on the road by a 6-5 final. Captain Glenn Gawdin (Calgary Flames) moved into the scoring lead in the WHL with 104 points (48G-56A) in 56 games. Gawdin also sits third in the WHL goal scoring race, three behind divisional rival Jayden Halbgewachs (San Jose Sharks) of the Warriors. The Broncos will take to the ice Wednesday, February 14 (7:00 p.m. CST) as the Wheat Kings come to town for another East Division meeting.

The Everett Silvertips continued to do their best to strengthen their grasp on the Western Conference lead with a five of a possible six points from a three-game weekend. After suffering a 2-1 overtime loss to the Spokane Chiefs Friday, goaltender Carter Hart (Philadelphia Flyers) recorded his 26th career WHL shutout, tying the league record, in a 5-0 blanking of the Vancouver Giants. They concluded their weekend with a narrow 3-2 win over the Chiefs on the road. Hart is now 22-4-1-2 in 29 games this season with a 1.53 GAA, .952 SV% and seven shutouts, leading the league in the last three statistical categories. Hart will get a shot at setting the record on Friday, February 16 (7:35 p.m. PST) when the Silvertips begin a home-and-home series with the Seattle Thunderbirds in Kent, Wash.

Earning an honourable mention this week were the Portland Winterhawks, who have been hot on the heels of the Silvertips for the U.S. Division lead and Western Conference lead. Portland collected a trio of victories, 3-1 against the Tri-City Americans, 4-1 over the Thunderbirds, and another 5-3 defeat of Seattle to move back to within two points of the Silvertips for the division and conference lead. Skyler McKenzie (Winnipeg Jets) has been a force for the Winterhawks in 2018, leading the team with 27 points (14G-13A) in 20 games since the new calendar year began. The Winterhawks will shoot to move into a tie with the Silvertips Wednesday, February 14 (7:00 p.m. PST) as they host the Vancouver Giants.

CHLTop10-FEB-14
CHL Top 10 Rankings – Week 21

Rank: Team: Last Week Rank: Number of Weeks Ranked:
1 Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (45-6-2-1) 1 21
2 Moose Jaw Warriors (42-9-1-2) 2 19
3 Blainville-Boisbriand Armada (39-9-3-2) 3 21
4 Sarnia Sting (38-12-4-0) 4 18
5 Swift Current Broncos (40-13-3-1) 5 18
6 Kitchener Rangers (37-15-2-0) 8 6
7 Halifax Mooseheads (35-13-6-1) 6 10
8 Drummondville Voltigeurs (36-15-2-1) 7 12
9 Hamilton Bulldogs (34-14-3-3) 9 11
10 Everett Silvertips (36-17-2-2) 10 2
Honourable Mention:
Rimouski Oceanic (33-14-5-1) 7
Portland Winterhawks (35-18-1-3) 13
Acadie-Bathurst Titan (32-14-6-2) 2

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.

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