A few Twitter tidbits from Saturday night’s three WHL playoff games . . .
Geoffrey Brandow (@GeoffreyBrandow): “Moose Jaw capitalizes on a major power play striking thrice within 90 seconds and holds off a third- period charge to tie series. Brayden Yager racks up first PP markers of playoffs and scores in 3rd straight. Fifth multigoal game of year, 3rd vs. Ice.” . . .
Brandow, again: “Seattle uses three power-play goals to down Cougars and take a 2-0 lead. Jared Davidson opens and closes scoring on man advantage, had one goal in postseason coming in — Game 2 against Kelowna. Brad Lambert turns in 7 points in 2 games after 4 more.” . . .
More from Brandow: “Kamloops, which had league’s best power play in regular season, is back on top in playoffs after tacking on three more in a shutout win. Logan Stankoven is in on all five markers, scoring twice and adding 3 assists. Next point will be 50th of career. . . . It’s a 29-save shutout for Dylan Ernst who earns third goose-egg of postseason, one more than in original 68. All other WHL goaltenders in these playoffs have combined for 4. Joins Dylan Garand from last season as Blazers’ most in Internet Era (team had 4 total between 1996-2019).” . . .
Lucas Punkari (@lpunkari): “Stankoven’s 50th playoff point will tie him with Mark Recchi for 15th on the Blazers scoring chart. . . . Stankoven’s 1.69 PPG mark (49 in 29) is tied with Rob Brown (86 in 51) for second among those who played in more than one playoff run for Kamloops. . . . Dean Evason leads with 2.00 (56 in 28).”
WHL PLAYOFF NOTES:
There was one game played on Sunday — in Saskatoon, the Red Deer Rebels beat the Blades, 5-2, to take a 2-0 lead in that series. . . . They will resume with games in Red Deer on Tuesday and Wednesday. . . . You will recall that this is the second straight series in which the Blades lost the first two games on home ice; they came back against the Regina Pats, winning Games 3 and 4 on the road and eventually winning the series in seven games. Will history repeat itself?
There aren’t any games scheduled for tonight.
On Tuesday, three series will resume — the Seattle Thunderbirds hold a 2-0 lead on the Cougars as they play Game 3 in Prince George; the Winnipeg Ice and the Warriors are 1-1 as they play in Moose Jaw; and, of course, Saskatoon will play in Red Deer.
The other series, between the Portland Winterhawks and Kamloops Blazers, picks up on Wednesday in the Oregon city. The Blazers hold a 2-0 lead.
Seattle and Kamloops, the Western Conference’s top seeds, both are 6-0 in these playoffs.
SUNDAY IN THE WHL PLAYOFFS:
Red Deer (3) at Saskatoon (2) — The Red Deer Rebels scored three second-period goals in a span of 4:17 — F Ben King was in on all of them — en route to a 5-2 victory over the Saskatoon Blades. . . . The Rebels, who won 3-1 in Saskatoon on Friday, lead the series, 2-0. . . . The series now heads to Red Deer for games on Tuesday and Wednesday. . . . King (4) opened the scoring, on a PP, at 7:53 of the second period, with D Christoffer Sedoff (4) and F Jhett Larson (3) adding goals at 9:42 and 12:10. . . . King assisted on both of those goals and added another helper on a third-period goal from F Jayden Grubbe (2). . . . F Carson Birnie (1) also scored for Red Deer. . . . F Brandon Lisowsky (2) and D Charlie Wright (2) had third-period PP goals for Saskatoon. . . . Grubbe and Larson had a pair of assists each. . . . Red Deer had a 20-16 edge in shots, including 11-4 in the second period. . . . Saskatoon F Tyler Parr played in his second straight game after missing 48 with an undisclosed injury. . . . Blades F Josh Pillar, who turned 21 on Feb. 14, was back after missing Game 1, but D Blake Gustafson, another 2002-born player, was scratched again. . . . Red Deer’s scratches included D Marek Schneider, who turned 20 on Feb. 5, for a second straight game.
Could it be that there are officials in the OHL who take things a little too seriously?
G Tyler Brennan of the Prince George Cougars has signed a three-year entry-level contract with the NHL’s New Jersey Devils. He was a fourth-round selection in the 2022 NHL draft. . . . Brennan, who will turn 20 on Sept. 27, was 21-10-3, 2.86, .898 with the Cougars this season. In the playoffs, he is 1-1, 2.98, .882; however, he hasn’t played since suffering an undisclosed injury in Game 3 of a first-round series with the Tri-City Americans on April 4.
Luc Tardif, the president of the IIHF, told reporters at the world women’s championship in Brampton, Ont., on Sunday that Russia and Belarus will be ineligible to compete in the organization’s tournaments as long as the attacks on Ukraine continue. . . . “I hope Russia and Belarus will come back as soon as possible, because it will mean the war is over,” Tardif told reporters. “It’s a question of security for fans, our teams. Anyway, no visa, cannot travel. And nobody knows how long it’s going to take.” . . . Both countries have already been told that they’re out through 2024, and Tardif said a decision on 2025 will be made in March 2024.
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