SHANE HARPER AND THE EVERETT SILVERTIPS WELCOME TYLER JOHNSON AND THE SPOKANE CHIEFS – Shane Harper and the Everett Silvertips (24-16-2-1) host Tyler Johnson and the Spokane Chiefs (24-15-3-0) for a key U.S. Division battle in Western Hockey League action on Sunday.
The Silvertips blanked the Seattle Thunderbirds 3-0 in Kent, WA, on Saturday night for their fifth consecutive victory, and currently sit tied with the Chiefs for third place in the U.S. Division and fourth place in the Western Conference standings. The Silvertips have outscored their opposition 22-11 over the course of their five-game win streak. Harper leads the ‘Tips with 26 goals this season.
The Chiefs are coming off a 2-1 victory over the visiting Tri-City Americans on Saturday, snapping a two-game losing skid. The Chiefs hold one game in hand on the Silvertips and two games in hand on the Portland Winterhawks, who sit three points ahead in the U.S. Division and Western Conference standings. Johnson netted a goal and an assist in Saturday’s win over the Americans.
It’s the third meeting of the season between the Chiefs and Silvertips. Everett won the first two meetings between the teams.
Elsewhere on Sunday, Bretton Cameron and the Medicine Hat Tigers (25-13-3-5) welcome Brendan Gallagher and the Vancouver Giants (27-15-1-2).
The Tigers fell 6-5 in a shootout in Regina to the Pats on Saturday for their third setback in their last five games, and currently sit tied with Calgary for first place in the Central Division. The Tigers’ power play is operating at 27.4 per cent effectiveness at home this season.
The Giants dropped a 5-2 decision in Calgary to the Hitmen on Saturday, snapping a three-game winning streak, and currently sit in first place in the B.C. Division. The Giants are three games into a 10-game road trip.
In Kennewick, WA, Brendan Shinnimin and the Tri-City Americans (30-11-0-1) host Kevin Sundher and the Chilliwack Bruins (20-19-1-5) on Sunday.
The Americans suffered their second straight setback with Saturday’s 2-1 defeat in Spokane, but remain in first place in the Western Conference. The Ams are 16-4-0-0 on home ice this season.
The Bruins fell 3-1 in Portland to the Winterhawks on Saturday after winning their previous two games, and currently occupy sixth place in the Western Conference. Sundher has scored in each of his last two games.
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)