CHL PLAYOFF NOTES:
The Winnipeg Ice will be playing their home games in the WHL’s championship final in the Canada Life Centre, the home of the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets in downtown Winnipeg. . . . The announcement was made on Monday afternoon. . . . The Jets’ season ended on April 27. The Manitoba Moose, the Jets’ AHL affiliate that also plays out of that facility, was eliminated from the playoffs on Saturday night. . . . The Ice, which had the WHL’s best regular-season record, plays its home games at the Wayne Fleming Arena on the campus of the U of Manitoba. . . . The Canada Life Centre has a capacity of 15,321 for hockey; the Wayne Fleming Arena has room for about 1,700 fans. . . . Through seven home playoff games, the Ice is averaging 1,658 fans. According to figures compiled by the WHL, the Ice averaged a league-low 1,650 fans for 34 regular-season games. . . . The WHL final, with the Ice facing the Seattle Thunderbirds, is to open in Winnipeg with games on Friday and Saturday nights. . . .
Paul Friesen of the Winnipeg Sun began his story on the Ice’s change of scenery like this: “If the Winnipeg Ice are playing their final season in the Manitoba capital, they’re going out in style.” . . . The series will follow a 2-3-2 format, with Games 3, 4 and, if needed, Game 5 to be played in Kent, Wash., on May 16, 17 and 19. . . . Games 6 and 7, if needed, would be played in Winnipeg on May 21 and 22. . . . TSN will televise Games 3 and 4 and, if necessary, Games 5, 6 and 7. . . .
The QMJHL final, featuring the No. 1 Quebec Remparts and the No. 2 Halifax Mooseheads, is to open with games in the Videotron Centre in Quebec City on Friday and Saturday nights. The Remparts swept the Gatineau Olympiques in one semifinal, while the Mooseheads took six games to sideline the Sherbrooke Phoenix, finishing the series with a 1-0 road victory on Sunday. . . . TSN will televise Games 3 and 4 (May 16 and 17), if they’re played, Games 5, 6 and 7. . . .
In the OHL, the Peterborough Petes advanced to the championship final on Monday with a 3-2 Game 7 victory over the Battalion in North Bay. The Petes will face the London Knights in the championship series. It is to open in London on Thursday night.
The 2023 Kamloops Kidney Walk is scheduled for June 4, and Dorothy is taking part once again. She will celebrate 10 years as a kidney-transplant recipient in September, so the annual Kidney Walk is a big deal for her. In fact, she is participating for a 10th straight year. Yes, that means she is fund-raising, with all donations going to the Kidney Foundation. . . . If you are interested in helping, like maybe pushing her past $4,000, you are able to do so on her home page, which is right here.
MONDAY IN THE WHL PLAYOFFS:
Seattle (1) at Kamloops (2) — The Seattle Thunderbirds erased a 1-0 deficit with three straight goals en route to a 4-2 victory over the Kamloops Blazers. . . . Seattle won the series, 4-2. . . . The Thunderbirds have won four of the past six Western Conference titles. . . . A year ago, Seattle lost the WHL final in six games to the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Last night, F Dylan Sydor (4) gave the Blazers a 1-0 lead at 15:57 of the first period. . . . F Jared Davidson (10) tied it at 4:46, and D Sawyer Mynio gave Seattle its first lead with his first playoff goal at 5:33 of the third period. Mynio, who turned 18 on April 30, is a sophomore from Kamloops. This was his first goal in 35 playoff games. . . . F Kyle Crnkovic (4) upped Seattle’s lead to 3-1 at 10:00. . . . The Blazers got to within a goal when F Matthew Seminoff (10) scored at 18:17, on a PP and with G Dylan Ernst on the bench for the extra attacker. . . . F Reid Schaefer (6) ended it with the empty-netter at 19:21. . . . Kamloops was 1-for-3 on the PP; Seattle was 0-for-1. . . . The Thunderbirds held a 43-30 edge in shots, including 13-5 in the first period. . . . G Thomas Milic stopped 28 shots for Seattle. In these playoffs, he is 12-2, 1.85, .934. . . . Ernst stopped 39 shots and finished his playoff run at 10-4, 2.57, .913. . . . The Thunderbirds again scratched F Jordan Gustafson, while the Blazers remain without D Ryan Michael. . . . The Blazers are the 13th straight Memorial Cup host not to win its league championship. Their next game is scheduled for May 26 against the QMJHL champion, either the Quebec Remparts or the Halifax Mooseheads.
Former WHL coach Vic Stasiuk, who starred in the NHL as a member of the Boston Bruins’ famed Uke Line, has died. He was 16 days from his 94th birthday. . . . Stasiuk, who won three Stanley Cups with the Detroit Red Wings (1952, 1954, 1955), spent six seasons (1955-61) with the Bruins. He, Johnny Bucyk and Bronco Horvath, all of whom had Ukrainian heritage and played together with the WHL’s Edmonton Flyers, played on the Uke Line. In 1957-58, they were the first linemates in NHL history to each score 20 goals in the same season. . . . The Lethbridge native was a head coach in the NHL (Philadelphia Flyers, California Golden Seals, Vancouver Canucks) before working with the Medicine Hat Tigers (1977-79) and Lethbridge Broncos (1979-80). . . .
The junior B Port Alberni Bombrers of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League have hired Brad Knight as their general manager and head coach. Knight, 51, was the head coach of the U18 AAA North Island Silvertips in 2022-23. . . . Knight takes over from Gaelan Patterson, who resigned on April 17. . . . The Bombers also announced that assistant coach Mike Doucette will be returning for a third season.
Janice Hough (@leftcoasbabe): I’m so old I remember when biggest worry when going to an outlet mall was parking. Not being shot.”
One more from Hough, while watching Sunday’s night’s MLB game: “ESPN actually asked Mookie Betts if the Los Angeles Dodgers-San Diego Padres rivalry was as big as the Red Sox-Yankees. And SF Giants fans just threw up.”
Jack Todd, in the Montreal Gazette: “Broadcast folk, could we just wrap the word ‘physicality’ in mothballs and be done with it? It’s a cliché and it sounds like you’re talking through a mouthful of soup.”
THINKING OUT LOUD — BTW, Mr. Todd is bang on with his observation about ‘physicality.’ . . . And perhaps, as I previously have suggested in this space, the analysts could stop talking while the puck is in play. . . . F Connor Bedard of the Regina Pats sold a whole lot of tickets this WHL season, especially after he lit it up at the World Junior Championship. Then, on Monday night, the Chicago Blackhawks, having won the right to select him in the NHL’s 2023 draft, sold US$2.5 million worth of tickets in 90 minutes. . . . That will about cover Bedard’s first pro contract. . . . You do realize that the Blackhawks were rewarded for tanking better than anyone else, don’t you?
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.