There were six WHL playoff games on Tuesday night and there will be six more tonight. The difference is that we could have as many as three teams come to the end of their seasons tonight. . . .
In Medicine Hat, the Eastern Conference’s top seed, the Winnipeg Ice, holds a 3-0 edge on the No. 8 Medicine Hat Tigers. . . .
In Lethbridge, the No. 4 Moose Jaw Warriors take a 3-0 series lead into their game against the Hurricanes. . . .
In Kelowna, the Western Conference’s No. 8 seeded Rockets need a victory in order to stay alive against the No. 1 Seattle Thunderbirds. . . .
Three other series resume tonight, too.
The No. 4 Prince George Cougars are in Kennewick, Wash., to face the No. 5 Tri-City Americans. . . . Tri-City holds a 2-1 lead. . . . Game 5 will be played Friday in Kennewick. . . .
In Calgary, the Red Deer Rebels are to meet the Hitmen. Red Deer, the east’s No. 2 seed, took a 2-1 lead with a 4-2 victory over the No. 7 Hitmen in Calgary on Monday night. They’ll play a fifth game in Red Deer on Friday. . . .
And, in Regina, the Pats, the Eastern Conference’s No. 6 seed, hold a 2-1 lead over the No. 3 Saskatoon Blades. No matter tonight’s outcome, they’ll play a fifth game in Saskatoon on Friday.
TUESDAY IN THE WHL PLAYOFFS:
THE BEDARD REPORT — Three more points! . . . F Connor Bedard has played three playoff games during his WHL career. He has 11 points, six of them goals, after scoring once and drawing two assists in a 4-3 OT loss to the visiting Saskatoon Blades on Tuesday night. . . . Bedard also had a goal disallowed in the first period. . . . The Pats now have scored 15 goals in the three games; Bedard has been in on 11 of them, with six goals and five assists. . . . The WHL’s regular-season scoring king, Bedard leads the playoffs in goals and points. . . . Including the regular season, this was the 28th time in 60 games that he has scored at least three points. . . . And please allow me to remind you one more time that Bedard won’t turn 18 until July 17.
Winnipeg (1) at Medicine Hat (8) — The Winnipeg Ice struck three times before the game was six minutes old and went on to drop the Medicine Hat Tigers, 7-2. . . . The Ice, which finished atop the overall standings, leads the series, 3-0, with Game 4 in Medicine Hat tonight. . . . D Ben Zloty had three assists for Winnipeg, which got goals from seven different players, including F Matt Savoie, who scored his fifth of the series. . . . Zloty has seven helpers in the three games. . . .
Saskatoon (3) at Regina (6) — F Egor Sidorov’s second goal of the game in OT gave the Saskatoon Blades a 4-3 victory over the Regina Pats. . . . The Pats still lead the series, 2-1, with Game 4 in Regina tonight. . . . They’ll be back in Saskatoon for Game 5 on Friday. You can bet there’ll be more than 10,000 fans in the SaskTel Centre on Good Friday, so how much do you think Sidorov’s goal was worth? . . . This was the second straight OT game in the series; Regina had won, 6-5, in Saskatoon on Sunday. . . . Sidorov’s second goal of the series — he drove to the net off the right boards and beat G Drew Sim — came at 5:19 of OT. . . . F Brandon Lisowsky (1) had forced extra time when he scored on a PP with 27.2 seconds left in the third period. . . . Leading 2-1 in the first period, the Pats thought they had made it 3-1 on a goal by F Connor Bedard, only to have the goal disallowed because one goal post was off its mooring before the puck crossed the goal line. . . . The sold-out crowd of 6,499 didn’t take the decision well. . . . Bedard’s sixth goal had given the Pats a 3-1 lead at 9:39 of the third period. . . . Sidorov got the Blades to within one, on a PP, at 10:32. . . . Saskatoon was 3-for-4 on the PP after going 0-for-6 over the first two games. . . . F Trevor Wong had three assists, all on the PP, for Saskatoon. . . .
Moose Jaw (4) at Lethbridge (5) — F Jagger Firkus broke a 1-1 tie with three straight goals to lead the Moose Jaw Warriors to a 6-2 victory over the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . The Warriors lead the series, 3-0, and can end it tonight in Lethbridge. . . . Firkus got his first goal at 18:52 of the first period, for a 2-1 lead. He scored again at 8:16 and 11:28 of the second period. . . . Firkus also added an assist for a four-point outing. He has four goals and four assists in the three games. . . . G Connor Ungar stopped 24 shots for the Warriors. He is 3-0, 1.09, .960 in this series.
Seattle (1) at Kelowna (8) — The Seattle Thunderbirds scored the last four goals as they beat the Kelowna Rockets, 4-1. . . . Seattle now holds a 3-0 lead in the series and gets its first opportunity to end it tonight in Kelowna. . . . F Jordan Gustafson (1), playing in his first game of the series, snapped a 1-1 tie at 11:07 of the third period and F Lucas Ciona (2) added insurance at 13:05. . . . F Dylan Guenther scored his fourth goal of the series for Seattle. . . . G Thomas Milic stopped 24 shots for Seattle. TBird Tidbits informs us that “Milic now stands alone at the top of the list of Seattle goaltender playoff wins. This was his 17th career playoff victory, surpassing Carl Stankowski, who had 16.” . . . The Rockets have been in all three games — they led 2-1 in the third period of Game 1 and were 1-1 in the third period of Game 2 — but haven’t been able to win. . . . G Jari Kykkanen gave the Rockets 29 saves in his third straight complete game. . . .
Kamloops (2) at Vancouver (7) — F Caedan Bankier scored twice and added an assist as the Kamloops Blazers beat the Vancouver Giants, 5-0, to take a 3-0 lead in the series. . . . They’ll play Game 4 on Thursday in Langley, B.C. . . . G Dylan Ernst stopped 17 shots in earning his second shutout of the series. . . . Ernst had two shutouts in each of the past two regular seasons, in 53 appearances this season and 24 last season. In these playoffs, he is 3-0, 0.33, .983. . . . The Blazers, who had a 46-17 edge in shots, have outshot the Giants, 154-58, in the three games. . . . Bankier has four goals in the series. . . . F Matthew Seminoff helped out with three assists. . . .
Prince George (4) at Tri-City (5) — F Parker Bell broke a 2-2 tie at 5:31 of the third period as the Tri-City Americans beat the Prince George Cougars, 4-2, in Kennewick, Wash. . . . The Americans hold a 2-1 series lead with Game 4 in Kennewick tonight. This series is going 2-3-2, so they’ll play Game 5 there on Friday. . . . The Americans took a 2-0 first-period lead on goals from D Marc Lajoie (1) and F Tyson Greenway (3). . . . The Cougars tied it on goals from F Chase Wheatcroft (1), at 3:59 of the second period, and D Hudson Thornton (2), at 1:22 of the third. . . . Bell’s second goal of the series came via the PP. . . . F Jalen Luypen (2), who had the primary assist on Bell’s goal, added insurance with the empty-netter at 19:09. . . . G Tomas Suchanek earned the victory with 28 saves. . . . Cougars G Tyler Brennan left with an undisclosed injury at 16:59 of the second period after stopping 16 of 18 shots. Ty Young finished up with eight saves on nine shots.
In the OHL, the Windsor Spitfires, who went all-in and acquired F Shane Wright during the season, lost, 6-3, to the host Kitchener Rangers on Tuesday and now trail the series, 3-0. The Spitfires finished atop the Western Division, at 44-18-6; the Rangers were eighth, at 33-29-6. A No. 8 seed has never swept a No. 1 in OHL playoffs. . . .
David Carle, the head coach of the U of Denver Pioneers, has been named head coach of Team USA for the 2024 World Junior Championship. . . . Carle, from Anchorage, has been Denver’s head coach for five seasons. . . . The 2024 WJC is scheduled to be held in Gothenburg, Sweden, from Dec. 26, 2023 through Jan. 5, 2024.
A note from baseball fan supreme Joe Posnanski of JoeBlogs: “Thirteen of Monday’s 15 games were less than three hours — the only two games that went more than three hours also went extra innings. So far this year, 51 of 66 games — 77 per cent — have lasted less than three hours. The average time of game is 2 hours 40 minutes, which takes us ALL THE WAY BACK to 1983, when the No. 1 song was the Police’s stalker song ‘Every Breath You Take,’ and the No. 1 movie was ‘Return of the Jedi,’ and your MVPs in baseball were Cal Ripken Jr. and Dale Murphy.”
With the 10th anniversary of her kidney transplant within in sight, Dorothy is taking part in her 10th straight Kamloops Kidney Walk. So, yes, she is fund-raising. . . . The 2023 Walk is scheduled for June 4. . . . If you would like to donate to her cause, you are able to do so right here.
If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:
Living Kidney Donor Program
St. Paul’s Hospital
6A Providence Building
1081 Burrard Street
Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6
Toll free: 1-877-922-9822
Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program – Kidney
Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre
Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street
Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9
604-875-5182 or 1-855-875-5182
Or, for more information, visit right here.