The Eastern Conference final, featuring the Lethbridge Hurricanes and Regina Pats, will open at the Brandt Centre in Regina with games on Friday and Saturday nights. Tickets for those games sold out in about 10 minutes on Tuesday. . . . All eyes are on Regina F Adam Brooks, the team captain, who hasn’t taken a shift since injuring a knee in Game 2 of the second-round series with the Swift Current Broncos that ended in Game 7 in Regina on Monday. . . . “I don't know for sure (if he could return)," John Paddock, the Pats’ GM and head coach, told Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post on Tuesday. “I’d like to say that I’m hopeful at some time in the series, but that’s me talking. That’s not really (trainer) Greg (Mayer) or the doctors telling me that.” . . . Brooks was in uniform and on the Pats’ bench for the last three games of the series with the Broncos, but he never got on the ice. . . . A prolific scorer, he won the WHL scoring title last season and finished one point behind teammate Sam Steel this season.——
On Tuesday, I mentioned ticket scalpers being in evidence prior to Game 7 between the Swift Current Broncos and the Pats in Regina on Monday night.
It wasn’t long before I heard from Dan Russell, the former host of the popular Vancouver radio show Sportstalk and a man with considerable experience doing WHL play-by-play.
He recalled two instances of seeing scalpers prior to WHL games.
The first was in 1984 at Queen’s Park Arena, the home of the New Westminster Bruins. They were playing the Portland Winterhawks and it was Game 9. Yes, Game 9.
“(They were doing a) rousing business outside,” Russell recalls, “and I remember hearing $75-$100 in those days.”
Russell added: “Portland won the series after trailing 4-3 through seven games. Lol. (Cliff) Ronning was huge (for the Bruins) in that series and scored what many of us felt was the tying goal in the third period (of Game 9), before there was any hint of video review.”
Russell also recalled seeing scalpers in 2005 when the Vancouver Giants were playing the Kelowna Rockets in Game 6 at the Pacific Coliseum.
“It was during the NHL lockout,” he recounted. “Fans were starving (for hockey). Shaw’s TV coverage and heavy Sportstalk radio coverage was the only hockey being talked about in a starved market and it led to crowds that just kept building during series. Game 6 was a sellout with confirmed scalpers doing strong business. The telecast was the most viewed TV show in the market on that night.”
The Prince George Cougars have signed F Liam Ryan, who turned 17 on Jan. 2, to a WHL contract. From New Westminster, B.C., he was a seventh-round selection in the 2015 WHL bantam draft. This season, he had 15 goals and 28 assists in 38 games with the Vancouver Northeast Chiefs of the B.C. Major Midget Hockey League.
The Vancouver Giants have signed G Jacob Wassermann, ??, to a WHL contrct. The 6-foot-5 native of Humboldt, Sask., was an eighth-round selection in the 2015 bantam draft. This season, he played for the midget AAA Saskatoon Blazers, going 10-13-0, 3.23, .902 in 26 games. In five playoff games, he was 1.81, .947.
The QMJHL lost its defending champion on Tuesday night as the Chicoutimi Sagueneens bet the host Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, 4-3 in OT, in Game 7 of a second-round series. Chicoutimi, which trailed 3-1 with 10 minutes left in the third period, went into the playoffs as the No. 8 seed; the Huskies were No. 2. . . . The Sagueneens next will face the No. 1 Saint John SeaDogs. . . . The other semifinal will have the No. 4 Charlottetown Islanders up against the No. 5 Blainville-Boisbriand Armada. The Armada beat the visiting Acadie-Bathurst Titan, 7-1, in Game 7 last night.
In the OHL, F Warren Foegele scored at 10:40 of OT to give the host Erie Otters a 5-4 victory over the London Knights in Game 7 of their second-round series. The Knights are the defending Memorial Cup champions. . . . The Otters will meet the Owen Sound Attack in the Western Conference final, one that will feature a pair of former WHL coaches. Kris Knoblauch runs the bench for the Otters; Ryan McGill does the same for the Attack. . . . In the Eastern Conference final, it’ll be the Peterborough Petes facing the Mississauga Steelheads. —— There will be a definite WHL flavour to the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame’s 2017 inductions on Oct. 7 at Winnipeg’s Canad Inns Polo Park. Included in the Class of 2017 are Murray Bannerman (Winnipeg Clubs, Victoria Cougars, 1973-77), Jim Benzelock (Winnipeg Jets, 1967-68), Laurie Boschman (Brandon Wheat Kings, 1976-79), Pat Falloon (Spokane Chiefs, 1988-91) and Lew Morrison (Flin Flon Bombers, 1967-68), all of whom played in the WHL. Also being inducted will be Rob Martell, a former WHL linesman who went on to a career in the NHL. . . . For more on the complete Class of 2017, check this right here.
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PED statement I'd love to see: "It helped me play better. I thought I could get away with it, turns out I couldn't. See you in 80 games." — Tyler Kepner (@TylerKepner) April 18, 2017———
TUESDAY’S GAME (all times local):
This. 🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌 #AllAboard #WHLPlayoffs http://t.co/6egYjFwzw3 — #AllAboard (@WHLHurricanes) April 19, 2017
.@tylerwong_5 all smiles after scoring what he said is one of the top goals of his career. The Game 7 OT winner for the @WHLHurricanes #yql pic.twitter.com/ALkkLok8mh — Nick Kuhl (@NKuhlHerald) April 19, 2017At Medicine Hat, F Tyler Wong scored his second goal of the game, at 3:02 of OT, to give the Lethbridge Hurricanes a 5-4 victory in Game 7 of a second-round series. . . . The Hurricanes are 5-0 in Game 7s in franchise history, with two of those on the road. They now will meet the Regina Pats in the Eastern Conference final. That series will open with games in Regina on Friday and Saturday nights. . . . With the Medicine Hat defenders backing up, Wong skated into the Tigers’ zone and beat G Michael Bullion with a 20-foot wrist shot. . . . Just moments earlier, Lethbridge G Stuart Skinner had made a huge save on Tigers F John Dahlstrom. . . . Wong’s goal sent the Hurricanes into the third round for the first time since 2008. . . . F Zach Fischer (7) had given the Tigers a 1-0 lead at 8:47 of the first period, only to have the Hurricanes score three times before the end of the period. . . . F Jordy Bellerive (4) tied it just nine seconds later. . . . Wong gave the Hurricanes their first lead, at 16:22. . . . F Egor Babenko (7) extended that lead at 19:13, with Wong earning an assist. . . . Medicine Hat went back out front with three goals in the first half of the second period. . . . F Matt Bradley (4) got the Tigers to within a goal at 4:07. . . . F Mark Rassell, who finished with seven goals, then scored twice, at 5:14 and 9:26, to send the home team out front. . . . F Dylan Cozens, a 15-year-old AP, tied it for Lethbridge, with his second goal of the series, at 17:17 of the third period. . . . Cozens also had an assist on Bellerive’s goal. . . . Wong, the captain, won it with his 11th goal of these playoffs. It came 54 seconds after Lethbridge D Brennan Riddle had been sent off for high-sticking. . . . Bellerive added an assist to his goal. . . . Skinner finished with 36 saves, 11 more than Bullion. . . . The Tigers were 1-5 on the PP; the Hurricanes were 0-3. . . . Just like for Game 6, the Hurricanes scratched D Calen Addison, F Matt Alfaro, F Zak Zborosky, F Ryan Vandervlis and F Zane Franklin, all of them regulars. . . . Lethbridge added F Connor Lyons to the lineup, taking out F Jayden Davis. Both are APs. . . . “I am so proud of the team,” Lethbridge GM Peter Anholt told Taking Note, via text, shortly after game’s end. “(Head coach) Brent (Kisio) and the coaches did such an unreal job of keeping the guys focused. Never looked for excuses. Just played. Faced adversity and overcame it. So proud.” . . . The road team won five of the seven games in this series. The Hurricanes went into Medicine Hat and won Games 2, 5 and 7. . . . Announced attendance: 5,556.
WEDNESDAY’S GAMES (all times local):No Games Scheduled.
THURSDAY’S GAMES (all times local):No Games Scheduled
FRIDAY’S GAMES (all times local):Kelowna vs. Seattle, at Kent, Wash., 7:35 p.m. (Game 1) Lethbridge at Regina, 7 p.m. (Game 1)
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