— Nathan Dempsey (@ndempsey21) April 17, 2017
The WHL’s Eastern Conference second round is down to a pair of Game 7s.
The first goes tonight (Monday) in Regina between the Pats and Swift Current Broncos. On Tuesday, in Medicine Hat, the Tigers and Lethbridge Hurricanes will settle things.
In Regina, fans began lining up at the Brandt Centre box office Sunday at 10 a.m., in order to get tickets to tonight’s Game 7 between the Pats and Swift Current Broncos. The box office opened at noon and the game was SRO in a hurry.
There even was a report late Sunday that at least one online scalper was trying to get $100 apiece for four tickets. The Pats went so far as to tweet this warning: “Please be advised do not try and purchase tickets to Game 7 from a secondary ticket website. We only support Ticketmaster.”
The Broncos won three of the series’ first four games, each victory coming in OT, to take a 3-1 lead. On Saturday, leading the series 3-2, they held a 3-1 edge early in the second period, only to have the Pats come back for a series-tying 5-3 victory.
“It’s going to be a war,” Regina F Austin Wagner told Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post. “We're expecting a hard performance out of them (in Game 7). We have to be ready to play because we know they’re going to be.”
Wagner, of course, took a kneeing major and game misconduct in Game 5, but the WHL chose not to suspend him for Game 6. He responded with two goals and an assist, and was named the game’s first star.
Richard Doerksen, the WHL’s vice-president, hockey, handles discipline and was in Regina for Game 5 so witnessed Wagner’s hit on Broncos F Ryley Lindgren.
“I had a pretty good sleep (Friday night) . . . surprisingly,” Wagner told Harder. “Getting a major wasn’t ideal but I got the nod (Saturday) morning when I came to the rink. As far as I knew I was in the lineup until I was told I’m not. I was ready to go.”
A year ago, the Pats had their season come to an end in a second-round Game 7 when they dropped a 2-1 decision to the host Red Deer Rebels.
F Eetu Tuulola of the Everett Silvertips may need surgery to repair an injury suffered during the playoffs.
Jesse Geleynse of the Everett Herald reports that Tuulola suffered a broken right hand in the series against the Seattle Thunderbirds, “but played through the injury in Friday’s game.” . . . Tuulola is expected to see a specialist this week. . . . The Thunderbirds posted a ?? victory on Friday to sweep the Silvertips from the second-round series. . . . Tuulola, a Finnish freshman, had 31 points, including 18 goals, in 62 games during the regular season. He added seven points, six of them goals, in 10 playoff games. . . . He was a sixth-round selection by the Calgary Flames in the NHL’s 2016 draft, but the hand injury likely will keep him from joining their AHL affiliate, the Stockton Heat.
In the OHL, the Owen Sound Attack eliminated the Soo Greyhounds on Sunday to reach the Western Conference final. The Attack, whose head coach is former WHL player/coach Ryan McGill, won 1-0 yesterday. That was its fourth straight victory as it won the series, 4-2. . . . The Attack will meet either the Erie Otters or London Knights in the conference final. The Knights posted a 2-1 OT victory yesterday to tie that series, 3-3. They’ll play Game 7 in Erie on Tuesday. Kris Knoblauch, another former WHL player/coach, is the Otters’ head coach. . . . The OHL’s Eastern Conference final will feature the Mississauga Steelheads and Peterborough Petes.
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Cheering on @tigershockey all the way from Spain! It may be 3:00 in the morning but we're cheering hard. Go Tigers Go!!! pic.twitter.com/eser8J2cOe— Maria Matulin (@matulinmar) April 17, 2017
At Lethbridge, the Medicine Hat Tigers scored three PP goals and beat the Hurricanes, 5-2. . . . The
second-round series is tied, 3-3. They’ll decide it with Game 7 in Medicine Hat on Tuesday night. . . . Medicine Hat F Steve Owre (3) broke a 2-2 tie, with his side’s third PP goal, at 4:20 of the third period. . . . F Matt Bradley (3) added insurance at 11:55, and F John Dahlstrom (6) got the empty-netter, at 18:11. . . . Medicine Hat had taken a 1-0 lead when F Max Gerlach (5) scored at 5:13 of the first period. . . . The Hurricanes pulled even when F Egor Babenko scored at 9:48. . . . Bradley put Medicine Hat back out front at 13:00, only to have Babenko tie it with his sixth playoff goal, at 15:03. . . . The Tigers got three assists from F Mason Shaw and two each from Dahlstrom and D David Quenneville. Bradley added one to his goal. . . . F Tyler Wong had two assists for Lethbridge. . . . The Tigers got 24 saves from G Michael Bullion, while Stuart Skinner turned aside 32 shots at the other end. . . . The Tigers were 3-6 on the PP; The Hurricanes were 1-3. . . . The Hurricanes were somewhat shorthanded as they scratched D Calen Addison, F Matt Alfaro, F Zane Franklin, F Ryan Vandervlis and F Zak Zborosky. . . . Announced attendance: 5,034.
MONDAY’S GAME (all times local):
Swift Current at Regina, 7 p.m. (Series tied, 3-3)
TUESDAY’S GAME (all times local):
Lethbridge at Medicine Hat, 7 p.m. (Series tied, 3-3)
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