Some Twitter tidbits from Tuesday’s WHL playoff games, thanks to Geoffrey Brandow (@GeoffreyBrandow) . . .
F Parker Bell had a goal and two assists in the Tri-City Americans’ 4-2 victory over the Prince George Cougars in Kennewick, Wash. It was his “sixth 3-point game of season, 3 in Dec., 3 since.”
The Seattle Thunderbirds beat the Rockets, 4-1, in Kelowna. The Thunderbirds “claim a 2nd straight 4-1 win and 3-0 series lead. 2nd win in series when trailing after 2, after 4 in season. . . . F Jordan Gustafson scores in return after missing 11 (and 29 of 31).”
The Kamloops Blazers beat the host Vancouver Giants 5-0 as they rolled “to 2nd shutout of the series with Dylan Ernst matching clean sheet number from regular season. F Caedan Banker closes with final two goals . . . is up to 22 points vs. Vancouver this season.”
The Saskatoon Blades beat the host Regina Pats, 4-3 in OT. “F Egor Sidorov kickstarts comeback and finishes with winner 5 minutes in. Struck twice in OT during the regular season.”
In Medicine Hat, the Winnipeg Ice beat the Tigers, 7-2. “The Ice is scoring at nearly a 21 per cent rate through three games. . . . D Ben Zloty adds another three helpers to total, up to combined 76 this season.”
The visiting Moose Jaw Warriors beat the Lethbridge Hurricanes, 6-2. “F Jagger Firkus figures in four goals, including a natural hat trick to outscore Lethbridge. Up to 10 goals, 20 points in playoff career. Team’s first natural hat trick in Internet area, 4th total.”
The Thursday WHL schedule features only one game. It has the Kamloops Blazers, with a 3-0 series lead, in Langley, B.C., for Game 4 with the Vancouver Giants. . . . All you really need to know is that Kamloops G Dylan Ernst is 3-0, 0.33, .983. . . . On Wednesday, Chad Klassen of CFJC-TV in Kamloops tweeted: “Just checked with the WHL and since 2006 the lowest goals-against in a series is two (Vancouver vs. Everett, 2006 Western Conference final). The Kamloops Blazers have a chance to tie or break that mark in Game 4 on Thursday.” . . . Yes, the Blazers have outscored the Giants, 19-1, in the three games. . . . Remember, though, that the WHL doesn’t seem to have any records handy from the 30 years prior to 2006. So who knows what the league record might be.
WEDNESDAY IN THE WHL PLAYOFFS:
THE BEDARD REPORT — F Connor Bedard continued his terrific playoff run as he scored two goals. . . . However, his Regina Pats dropped a 4-3 OT decision to the visiting Saskatoon Blades. . . . Bedard got his guys into a 1-1 tie at 19:35 of the second period, then gave them a 2-1 lead 13 seconds into the third. . . . But for the second night in a row the Pats weren’t able to hold a third-period lead. . . . Through two periods, Bedard had six of Regina’s 12 shots on goal. He finished with 10 of his team’s 26 shots. . . . The Pats have scored 18 goals in the four games; Bedard has eight goals and five assists. . . . He leads the WHL playoffs in goals and points (13). . . . The game drew a second straight sellout crowd (6,499) to Regina’s Brandt Centre.
Winnipeg (1) at Medicine Hat (8) — F Ty Nash broke a 2-2 tie in the third period as the Winnipeg Ice beat the Medicine Hat Tigers, 3-2. . . . The Ice, winners of the Eastern Conference title, swept the first-round series against the No. 8 Tigers. . . . Nash scored his second goal of the series at 1:10 of the third period. . . . F Matt Savoie’s sixth goal of the series, shorthanded, gave the Ice a 1-0 lead at 1:14 of the first period. . . . D Dru Krebs (1) of the Tigers tied it just 16 seconds later while on a PP. . . . F Owen Pederson (1) put Winnipeg back out front at 10:50 of the second period. . . . Medicine Hat tied it at 14:59 when F Hunter St. Martin (1) scored. . . . The Tigers outshot the Ice in each game of the series, including 32-21 in Game 4. . . . Winnipeg G Daniel Hauser was 2.25, .925 in the four games. In 90 regular-season appearances over last season and this, he is 90-9-3. . . . Winnipeg lost F Zack Ostapchuk to a cross-checking major and game misconduct just 55 seconds into the game. . . .
Red Deer (2) at Calgary (7) — The Red Deer Rebels scored twice while shorthanded and three times on the PP en route to a 6-1 victory over the Calgary Hitmen. . . . The Rebels lead the series, 3-1. They’ll now head for Red Deer and Game 5 on Friday. . . . Red Deer broke a 1-1 tie with shorthanded goals from F Ollie Josephson (1), at 9:07 of the second period, and F Jhett Larson (1), at 18:31. . . . F Ben King scored his first two goals of these playoffs for the Rebels, both on the PP, and added an assist. . . . D Mats Lindgren earned four assists; F Jayden Grubbe had three. . . . F Kai Uchacz got his fourth goal of the series on a third-period PP. . . . The teams combined to take 23 minor penalties, 13 of them to Red Deer. . . . Red Deer was 3-for-7 on the PP; Calgary was 1-for-11. . . . Rebels G Kyle Kelsey continued his stellar play with 36 saves. . . . The Rebels had F Craig Armstrong back after he served a two-game suspension for slew-footing. . . . The Hitmen continued to be without F Riley Fiddler-Schultz, who didn’t finish the second game of the series. They also scratched F Sean Tschigerl, who didn’t finish Game 3. . . . Fiddler-Schultz, with 75 points in 64 games, and Tschigerl, with 57 in 60, were two of Calgary’s top three scorers in the regular season. . . .
Saskatoon (3) at Regina (6) — F Jake Chiasson’s OT goal gave the Saskatoon Blades a 4-3 victory over the Regina Pats. . . . The series is tied, 2-2, with Game 5 in Saskatoon on Friday and Game 6 back in Regina on Saturday. . . . The road team has won all four games in this series. . . . This was the third straight game in the series to go to OT. The Blades won Games 3 and 4 in Regina by erasing 3-1 third-period deficits. . . . Last night, Saskatoon F Egor Sidorov, who scored the OT winner in Game 3, opened the scoring, on a PP, at 7:18 of the second period. . . . Regina took a 3-1 lead with three goals 1:18 apart. F Connor Bedard (8) scored twice — at 19:35 of the second period and 13 seconds into the third — and F Tanner Howe got his first of the series at 0:53. . . . The Blades pulled even on goals from F Jayden Wiens (3), at 2:42, and D Charlie Wright (1), at 10:01. . . . Chiasson, who was acquired from the Brandon Wheat Kings in January, won it at 7:20 of extra time. . . . The Blades got 23 saves from G Ethan Chadwick, with G Drew Sim stopping 33 shots for the Pats. . . . Who wins on Friday? Including the regular season, the road team has won seven of 10 games between these teams. . . .
Moose Jaw (4) at Lethbridge (5) — The Moose Jaw Warriors struck for three third-period goals as they beat the Lethbridge Hurricanes, 5-2. . . . The Warriors swept the first-round series. . . . F Tyson Zimmer (1) gave Lethbridge a 1-0 lead at 8:50 of the first period. . . . F Brayden Yager (1), at 13:56 of the first, and D Max Wanner (1), at 5:15 of the second, gave the Warriors the lead. . . . F Hayden Smith (1) pulled the hosts even at 19:00 of the second. . . . The Warriors put it away with third-period goals from F Lynden Lakovic (1), D Denton Mateychuk (2) and Yager (2), the latter into an empty net. . . . Yager also had an assist for a three-point night. . . . G Connor Ungar stopped 28 shots for Moose Jaw. . . . Interestingly, three of the four Warriors who served 17-game WHL-issued suspensions to end the season got on the scoresheet in this one. Wanner had a goal and two assists, Lakovic scored once, and Ungar again was solid in goal. In the four games, Ungar was 4-0, 1.29, .953. . . . The Warriors lost F Robert Baco with a major and game misconduct for goaltender interference at 7:35 of the second period.
Seattle (1) at Kelowna (8) — G Thomas Milic stopped 19 shots as the Seattle Thunderbirds beat the Kelowna Rockets, 3-0. . . . The Thunderbirds, who finished atop the Western Conference, swept the series, outscoring the Rockets, 17-4. . . . F Lucas Ciona (3) scored Seattle’s first goal, at 8:42 of the second period, and that’s all Milic would need. . . . F Dylan Guenther (5) and F Jordan Gustafson (2) added third-period goals. . . . Milic went 4-0, 1.00, .958 in the series. . . . After G Jari Kykkanen played the first three games, the Rockets turned to Talyn Boyko for Game 4. Boyko, a fourth-round pick by the New York Rangers in the NHL’s 2021 draft who is signed, stopped 35 shots. For the fourth straight game, the Rockets were very much in the game in the third period but just couldn’t close it out. . . .
Prince George (4) at Tri-City (5) — F Koehn Ziemmer and F Jaxsen Wiebe each scored twice as the Prince George Cougars beat the Tri-City Americans, 6-2, in Kennewisk, Wash. . . . The series is tied, 2-2. This is the lone first-round series to be using a 2-3-2 format, which is why Game 5 will be played in Kennewick on Friday, with Game 6 scheduled for Prince George on Sunday. A seventh game, if needed, would be played in Prince George on Tuesday. . . . Ziemmer’s second goal of the game and the series gave the Cougars a 3-0 lead at 1:50 of the second period and they were never headed. . . . Wiebe has three goals. . . . G Ty Young got the start for the Cougars after Tyler Brennan left Game 3 with an undisclosed injury. Young made 26 stops. . . . Brennan wasn’t dressed, so the Cougars had Madden Mulawka on the bench in support of Young. Mulawka, who turned 17 on March 8, is from Edmonton. He was a fifth-round pick by the Cougars in the WHL’s 2021 draft. He got into three games with Prince George earlier in the season.
Lee Stone is the new general manager and head coach of the junior B Nanaimo Buccaneers of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League. . . . He spent the previous 10 seasons with the VIJHL’s Campbell River Storm. . . . Stone takes over from Andy Hellweger, whose mother, Nicole Brandbenburg, purchased the Buccaneers in April 2022. . . . This season, Nanaimo finished 5-41-2. . . .
The BCHL’s Penticton Vees beat the Smoke Eaters, 5-1, in Trail on Wednesday night to sweep their best-of-seven first-round playoff series. Penticton, the BCHL’s defending champion, has won 20 straight playoff games going back to last season.
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.