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Fresno Monsters vs. Valencia Flyers
(Picture from Selland Arena By Aaron Provencio, Monsters)
The Flyers are coming off three straight losses and are riding a five game skid into this single game against the Fresno Monsters. Fresno will host the Flyers at Gateway Ice Center for the third time this season.
The Monsters earned two wins last weekend when they welcomed the Thunderbirds and managed 11 goals in two games compared to Valencia who has eight in their last three. Fresno is the top team in the Western Division and the Flyers haven’t been able to pull away from the bottom spot.
The Monsters are undefeated against the Flyers winning their last six altercations, with the last two being at Gateway Ice Center.
Fresno Monsters vs. Ontario Avalanche
(Picture by Kiel Maddox, Monsters)
The Monsters will continue their weekend at home, but shift over to Selland Arena for a two-game set against the Ontario Avalanche.
This will be Ontario’s first time in Fresno all season as they have only seen the Monsters at Anaheim Ice. The Avalanche won only a single game at Selland Arena in 2018-2019, and lost five.
Both clubs have split the season-series thus far with two wins each, and the Monsters outscoring the Avalanche 16-14 over the course of four games.
Ontario is seeing its first action since Showcase and want to get back in the win column only being seven points from third place in the division.
Wichita Jr. Thunder vs. Pueblo Bulls
Wichita Jr. Thunder will travel to the Pueblo Ice Arena for three games and will hope to bounce back from a sweep by the Rhinos. The Bulls have their sights set on a potential third place overtaking as they already jumped the Snipers for fourth in the division.
Pueblo managed to take two of three games from the Oklahoma City Blazers, last weekend, and will surely have the desire for all nine points this weekend.
The Jr. Thunder have seen more success on the road than at home, more recently, a 4-3 overtime win in Dallas just before Showcase. Additionally, at Showcase, the Jr. Thunder won two of three games as the designated road team.
The Jr. Thunder quickly moved past their last appearance at Pueblo Ice Arena having lost three straight and conceding 28 goals in the weekend.
Edson Aeros vs. Meadow Lake Mustangs
The Edson Aeros are probably itching to hit the ice in order to reclaim the top spot in the provincial. Edson will have a good opportunity to do so facing two teams below .500, and the Timberwolves in a bye weekend.
The Aeros probably also want to avenge their two straight losses from Showcase which snapped their 21-game win streak.
Edson will have two games at the District Rec. Center, in Saskatchewan, taking on the Meadow Lake Mustangs who haven’t been able to defeat the Aeros in five games this season.
The Mustangs are enduring a four game winless streak having dropped a pair of games to the Bombers and two more to Edson a couple weeks ago.
Edson Aeros vs. Cold Lake Hornets
The Cold Lake Hornets have already one upset victory over Hinton, but can they do it against Edson?
The Aeros haven’t seen a loss to Cold Lake in all three games this season. But Cold Lake did put up a valiant effort in their first meeting on Nov. 1, in a game where the Hornets stunned the visiting Aeros with two straight goals to tie it 2-2 in the third period.
The Hornets saw less favorable results in the next two outings, but with all those games being back in Nov., it has been months since they last shared ice.
Cold Lake Hornets vs. Barrhead Bombers
If not against the Aeros, the Hornets can potentially pick up points against the Barrhead Bombers who they are tied for third place with. Barrhead is coming off two wins against the Mustangs, and the Hornets desperately need a victory having lost their previous nine.
This game will be for third place, at least for now. The Bombers and Hornets have 20-points each and the Mustangs are barely holding onto third with 21—and a tough two games against Edson coming up.
Barrhead is 4-2 against Cold Lake this season and the Bombers have had no problem finding victories at Cold Lake Energy Centre.
Barrhead Bombers vs. Meadow Lake Mustangs
The two teams have each won three games against each other and this matchup will be one for the Provincial Division standings as previously mentioned.
Seattle Totems vs. Southern Oregon Spartans
Southern Oregon will host the Seattle Totems in Medford for two games before they shift scenery to Klamath Falls for their very own version of the Winter Classic. The game on Jan. 19 will be outdoors and fans can purchase tickets through the Southern Oregon Spartans, or watch it on BDEHockey.com as it will be streamed live.
Seattle is still booming after they showed the league they can take down a top team, in Ogden, last weekend. The Totems are looking like they will be locked into the third spot of the Northwest Division, as the Outliers are 24-points ahead.
Southern Oregon and Seattle have only played on two occasions, at Olympicview Arena, and the Totems won both games in early Nov.
Northern Colorado Eagles vs. Ogden Mustangs
(Picture by Tim Broussard, Mustangs)
This is a rivalry that goes back several years and the Eagles have a lot to play for in this one as they will likely see Ogden in the Thorne Cup Championships, should everything pan out the way it’s going.
Northern Colorado hasn’t the fondest memory of Ogden as they lost three straight in 2018-2019, conceding 16 goals in the series. The Eagles are hard pressed to steal a victory considering the Mustangs have shown some weakness as of late, mending three straight losses with their two wins in Seattle last weekend.
Northern Colorado is also being tailed by the Bulls—in the standings—ahead of them by only two points. The drop from third to fifth is only a five-point difference so the weekend for the Eagles is pivotal if they want to hold onto third. Having said that, they also have the least games played in the division.
Las Vegas Thunderbirds vs. San Diego Sabers
After going 3-1 against the Sabers in the first half of the season, Las Vegas will repay the Iceoplex Escondido a visit, returning to the scene of an 11-goal game in late October.
San Diego was the first Western Division team to defeat the Thunderbirds with a win in Nov. Since that series, the teams haven’t played, but, three games are in store for this weekend.
The Sabers recently moved to second place in the division stealing it from the Thunderbirds. But Vegas will no longer see them at Sobe Arena and must vie for pure road wins against them, as the remainder of their meetings are in San Diego.
The Sabers are only one of two Western Division teams coming off a win. Las Vegas hasn’t lost three consecutive games since being swept by Ogden; expect them to jump out with eager in the opening game of this one.
El Paso Rhinos vs. Dallas Snipers
(Picture by Michelle Holcomb, Snipers)
Another In-state rivalry to take note of in the league is between the Dallas Snipers and El Paso Rhinos. El Paso has five of six victories against the Snipers in the season.
Rhinos are facing three games at the StarCenter in Plano and the Snipers are keen on repeating their effort from Nov. 15, when they defeated the Rhinos 4-2.
While the Snipers look to extend their four-game win streak after a perfect Showcase, the Rhinos are owners of the longest active win streak at 10 straight wins stretching back to Dec. 08.
It will be the final three games between the two clubs, but for the Snipers, it is a chance to push forward in the race, as they are only six points from third place.
Dallas continues to lead the league in overtime/shootout appearances going into extra minutes 11 times thus far.
If the Snipers can push to overtime it may be uncharted waters for the Rhinos, more so than Dallas, since El Paso has one win and one loss in just two OT appearances this season.
That being said, their OTW was against the Snipers at the start of the season.