Welcome to the daily WHL playoff recap focusing on the Eastern Conference. Here is a look back at the day that was:
Winnipeg ICE (5) vs Prince Albert Raiders (2)
No Matthew Savoie. No problem.
Savoie, who led the ICE with scored 35 goals and 90 points, left the game in the third period of Game 1 and did not play in Game 2 between the ICE and the Raiders. There is no indication of how long he will be out.
The Winnipeg ICE were unstoppable. They scored three goals in the first and two in the second as they cruised to a 5-2 win over the Raiders. Nolan Orzeck scored at 2:51 of the first, Jakin Smallwood scored his second of the series at 11:57, and Owen Pedersen scored his second of the series with four seconds left to build a 3-1 lead for the ICE. The ICE delivered the knockout punch early in the second as Zachary Benson scored his first at 2:10 to make it 4-1. The Raiders switched goaltenders as Max Hildebrand replaced Taikon Chaika. The ICE quickly struck again as Connor Geekie scores at 3:20 to make it 5-1. Reece Vitelli scored his second of the series at 15:38 for the Raiders to make it 5-2.
The ICE powerplay continued to dominate. They were two for three today. They are now four for seven in the series. Daniel Hauser made 18 saves for the ICE. Chaika made 11 saves before giving way to the 17-year-old Hildebrand. Hildebrand made 13 saves in relief. These two teams will resume the series at the Art Hauser Arena in Prince Albert on Tuesday.
Moose Jaw Warriors (5) vs Saskatoon Blades (3)
Brayden Yager had two goals, and an assist, and Denton Mateychuk chipped in with two assists as the Warriors beat the Blades 5-3. Warriors now lead the series 2-0.
After a scoreless first period, it was a goal fest in the second. Yager scored a shorthanded goal 20 seconds in. However, the Blades grabbed the lead with Brandon Lisowsky and Vaughn Watterodt scoring 1:53 seconds apart. Lisowsky at 14:20 and Watterodt at 16:13. However, the Warriors regained the lead before the end of the second. Brayden Yager got his second at 18:27 to tie. Riley Niven scored with four seconds to go to give the Warriors the lead.
Although the Warriors did not score a powerplay goal, the Blades would probably admit they took too many penalties, as the Warriors were given five power plays. The Blades were zero for two. In the third, Riley Niven made it 4-2 at the 13:14 mark. Lisowsky got his second at 19:15 to make it 4-3, while Calder Anderson added 19:39 to seal it for the Warriors.
Carl Tetachuk made 28 saves for the win for the Warriors. Nolan Meier made 33 saves for the loss for the Blades. Game 3 will be on Tuesday at the SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon.
Edmonton Oil Kings (4) vs Lethbridge Hurricanes (0)
The decision to convert Carson Golder from defenceman to forward has paid off. Golder scored both of the Oil Kings goals in the second to lead the way offensively as the Edmonton beat the Hurricanes 4-0. They lead the series 2-0
After a second consecutive scoreless first period in the series, the Oil Kings opened the scoring in the second with Godler’s goals. His first was at 6:39, while his second came at 18:47. The Oil Kings added two more in the second. Dylan Guenther got his second of the series, while Kaiden Guhle scored an empty netter at 17:53.
Sebastian Cossa made 25 saves for the win. Bryan Thomson faced more than 40 shots again. He made 39 saves for the Hurricanes. Kaiden Guhle added an assist with his goal, while Jaxsen Wiebe and Jake Demek chipped in with two assists for the Oil Kings. Game 3 is at the Enmax Centre in Lethbridge.
Red Deer Rebels (1) vs Brandon Wheat Kings (2) (OT)
In what has been arguably the best goaltending battle in the playoffs, Ethan Kruger and Chase Coward delivered another classic. In Game 1, Coward got the edge, while in Game two, it was Kruger. He made 38 saves to lead the Wheat Kings to a 2-1 OT win. The series is tied at 1-1
Nate Danielson, who was robbed by Coward on Friday with one of the best saves of the playoffs, opened the scoring at the 17:12 of the second. The Rebels were able to tie it shortly after Kruger stopped Kai Uchez on a penalty shot; Frantisek Formanek tied the game at 4:30 of the third. Riley Ginnell scores at 7:16 into overtime to seal it for the Wheat Kings.
Coward was also a star in making 28 saves for the Rebels. Arshdeep Bains had his 10-game regular season, and playoff goal streak snapped.Game 3 will be Tuesday at the Westoba Place in Brandon.