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Saturday, December 18, 2004

Key WHL matchups tonight

The Central Division

Two teams that are headed in completely opposite directions, the defending Memorial Cup champion Kelowna Rockets and the steadily declining Medicine Hat Tigers, hook up tonight in the Hat as the Rockets continue their Eastern road swing. The Tigers have won only two of their last ten games after being nationally ranked 3 weeks ago, while the WHL leading Rockets have only one loss in their last ten. Medicine Hat handed the Rockets a 5-1 drubbing in October, partial retribution for the loss in last year's Memorial Cup final game.

The BC Division

The Kootenay Ice look to gain ground on the division leading Rockets, as they take on the US Divison basement dwelling Spokane Chiefs. However, the Ice will be without Canadian Junior Team members Nigel Dawes and Jeff Glass, the heart and soul of their team.

The key matchup tonight, at least from my admittedly biased point of view, is the second game of a two game stint between the Prince George Cougars and the Kamloops Blazers. Why is this game so important? Well, consider that if the Cougars win, they stake themselves to an 8 point lead for the last playoff spot while heading into a schedule that includes 10 of the next 12 games at home. Add to that, the Blazers have been horribly inconsistent this year and have been ravaged with key injuries. An 8 point deficit, in this blogger's humble opinion, would be far too great for the Blazers to overcome - even with half a season to go.


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