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Klimchuk rising above Regina's struggles

by Adam Kimelman

It's been a rough season so far for the Regina Pats, but top 2013 NHL Draft prospect Morgan Klimchuk has been doing his best to keep things positive.

The 5-foot-11.5, 180-pound left wing had seven points in three games over the weekend, but the Pats lost all three games. Regina is 10th in the 12-team Eastern Conference.

Klimchuk had a pair of assists Friday in a 5-3 loss at the Prince Albert Raiders. On Saturday, he had two goals and three assists, but the game ended with a 6-5 overtime loss to the visiting Spokane Chiefs. He was held off the scoresheet in Sunday's 8-2 home loss to Prince Albert.

For the season, Klimchuk is second on the team with 36 points in 30 games. He's ranked fifth by NHL Central Scouting in its preliminary top 25 ranking of Western Hockey League skaters eligible for the 2013 draft.

Here's how a few other WHL draft hopefuls fared over the weekend:

* Spokane defenseman Reid Gow had two goals and two assists in his team's 7-2 win at the Swift Current Broncos on Friday. It was Gow's first WHL multi-goal game. Teammate Todd Fiddler had two goals and an assist.

* Edmonton goalie Tristan Jarry, ranked No. 2 by Central Scouting among WHL goalies, stopped all 20 shots he faced Friday in a 2-0 win against the Kootenay Ice.

* Medicine Hat's Hunter Shinkaruk returned to the lineup Friday after a two-week absence with three assists in the Tigers' 6-5 loss at the Red Deer Rebels. Teammate Curtis Valk had two goals and two assists.

* Portland's Seth Jones and Oliver Bjorkstrand had a goal and an assist each in the Winterhawks' 5-2 win against the Seattle Thunderbirds on Friday. Jones, Central Scouting's top-ranked WHL skater, also had an assist in Saturday's 4-1 win at the Everett Silvertips, extending his streak of games with at least a point to a season-best five.

* Victoria goalie Patrik Polivka stopped all 30 shots he saw in the Royals' 2-0 win at the Prince George Cougars on Friday.

* Everett goalie Dan Cotton had a 19-save shutout Friday in a 4-0 win against the Vancouver Giants. Teammate Joshua Winquist scored twice and Manraj Hayer had a pair of assists.

* Swift Current goalies Landon Bow and Eetu Laurikainen combined on a 5-0 shutout of the Brandon Wheat Kings on Saturday. Bow stopped five shots in the first 16:49 but had to leave due to injury. Laurikainen replaced him and stopped the final 12 Wheat Kings shots.

* Red Deer goalie Patrik Bartosak stopped 21 shots in 3-0 win Saturday against the Saskatoon Blades.

* Tri-City right wing Beau McCue had two goals, including the game-winner shorthanded with six seconds left in regulation, in the Americans' 4-3 win Saturday at Vancouver. He also had an assist, while teammate Malte Stromwall had a pair of assists.

* Calgary Hitmen center Gregory Chase scored a pair of goals in a 4-1 win Sunday against Kootenay. Chase is No. 17 on Central Scouting's list.

* Edmonton center Curtis Lazar, No. 8 on Central Scouting's ranking, had two goals and an assist in the Oil Kings' 4-3 defeat of the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Sunday. Lethbridge's Jaimen Yakubowski scored twice in a losing effort.

* Joshua Morrissey of the Prince Albert Raiders had two goals and an assist in his team's 8-2 win Sunday at Regina. The defenseman is ranked sixth in Central Scouting's top 25. Teammate Chance Braid had three assists.

* Seattle left wing Roberts Lipsbergs had two goals in the Thunderbirds' 3-1 win Sunday against the Kamloops Blazers.

Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdam

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