Welcome to the daily WHL playoff recap focusing on the Eastern Conference. Here is a look back at the day that was:
Winnipeg ICE (6) vs Moose Jaw Warriors (3)
Game 5 didn’t start well for the ICE. The Warriors jumped out to a 2-0 lead. Ryder Korczak scored his first goal of the series 46 seconds in followed by Thomas Tien adding one at 15:32. Then the ICE do what they have done so often in these playoffs, score goals in bunches.
Zachary Benson scored before the end of the first to make it 2-1 Warriors. Then the ICE scored 3 goals in the second. Matthew Savoie tied the game at 2-2 at 1:39 followed by Cole Muir (11:12) and Connor Geekie (15:04) giving the ICE the 4-2 lead. Atley Calvert got a powerplay goal at 17:04 to close to 4-3 after two periods. In the third, Savoie got his second of the game at 4:03 to restore the ICE 4-2. Then Mikey Milne scored an empty net, shorthanded goal to close out the win.
For the Warriors, Carl Tetachuk played his final junior game. He made 22 saves on 27 shots. Offensively, Korczak had a goal and an assist. Denton Mateychuk had two assists. For the ICE, Daniel Hauser took the win with 23 saves on 26 shots. Offensively, Mikey Milne had a goal and two assists. Savoie two goals. Muir and Benson had a goal and an assist.
While some movies have one or two stars, the ICE operate in an all star ensemble cast sort of way. As of this writing, Milne is tied with three others in goals in the WHL playoffs with nine. Benson is right behind him with eight. He’s also leading the team in points with 18. Connor McClennon (6G, 8A) and Owen Pedersen ( 5G,9A) had 14 points. Jack Finley (6G, 5A) 11 points. Benjamin Zloty had 11 assists. And we haven’t mentioned potential 2022 first round picks Matthew Savoie and Connor Geekie. Savoie, who got injured during the Prince Albert Raiders series, had 10 points (6G, 4A). Geekie has nine points ( 3G, 6A) in 10 games. And let’s not forget Daniel Hauser. He’s 8-2 with 1.81 GAA and a .922 Save percentage with one shutout. This leads to what was expected this entire playoffs. The Winnipeg ICE host the Edmonton Oil Kings for the right to go to the WHL Finals. The series opens Friday.
There are some movies or TV shows that you know how they are going to end. The couple gets together. The hero stops the villain. Even though you know the end, you still stay and watch the process. Similar to the Winnipeg ICE. They were the odds on favourite to host the Eastern Conference finals against the Edmonton Oil Kings. After tonight’s ICE win, it will happen.