WHL notes: Holmberg impresses Hitmen
Greg Chase of the Calgary Hitmen wasn’t surprised Sunday at the latest performance by his offseason practice partner.
Western Hockey League scoring leader Mitch Holmberg (25 points) had a goal and an assist as the Spokane Chiefs handed the Hitmen their first home setback during a 3-2 shootout victory. Holmberg has a point in every game this year for Spokane (8-2-0-0).
Chase and Holmberg are both products of Sherwood Park, Alberta.
“We train together in the summer, so we’re pretty familiar with each other,” Chase told Scott Fisher of the Calgary Sun.
“We know he’s dangerous when he gets in the offensive zone.”
Chase was one of three Hitmen to hit the goal post during the shootout, which went six rounds.
“It wasn’t drawn up like that,” said winger Jake Virtanen, who also hit the post in the shootout. “It’s kinda unlucky.”
Calgary’s Brady Brassart also hit the post late in regulation.
Holmberg and his Chiefs will play their next five games at home, starting tonight against Swift Current (6-3-0-1). The Broncos (13 points) are tied for second in the Eastern Conference, behind Medicine Hat (7-1-1-0).
SC’s Julius Honka (15 points) leads all WHL rookies in scoring.
Blazing Blades: Recent acquisition Cory Millette had a goal and an assist last Saturday as Saskatoon continued to turn its season around with a 5-3 win at Brandon.
The Blades picked up Millette, a third-year WHL player, from Red Deer last Thursday.
Saskatoon started the season 0-5 but is 5-0-0-1 since.
Brandon’s Brett Kitt, 17, had his first career goal late in the game.
Quick work: No goals were scored during the first 45 minutes, no penalties were called throughout the entire game and Kootenay and Prince Albert needed just 2 hours and 2 minutes on Sunday to complete the Ice’s 2-0 home win at Cranbrook, British Columbia.
Nick McBride, a 16-year-old rookie, made his first start in net for the losing Raiders and made 30 saves. Kootenay’s Mackenzie Skapski notched his first shutout of the season.
Around the league: Victoria goalie Patrik Polivka shut out Prince George for the second time this season during Monday’s 3-0 home win. Polivka, 19, is 7-0 in two seasons against the Cougars, with three shutouts. … The Vancouver Giants finished 0-6 on their recent road swing through the Eastern Conference. Vancouver (1-7-1-1) is mired in an eight-game winless string. … Moose Jaw leads the league in power-play goals (14) but is last in even-strength goals (13). … Everett defenseman Matt Pufahl was named WHL Player of the Week for the week ending Sunday after recording six points while leading the Silvertips to a 3-0-1-0 record on the road.