The Winnipeg ICE took down the Saskatoon Blades in four games. They dominated the Blades in this series to advance to the WHL Finals for the first time since being back in Winnipeg and only the fourth time in franchise history. The ICE will be waiting for the winner of Seattle and Kamloops as their series continues. Whomever they face will be tough, but you have to think they would rather face the Kamloops Blazers. The only team that has run over more opponents in this playoffs than the ICE is the Thunderbirds.
Game 3: ICE 5 – Blades 1
Game 3 was about as dominating a performance as you can get. Winnipeg would open the scoring 2:46 into the first period as Matthew Savoie scored. The ICE would go on to finish the first period up 3-0 with goals by Zach Benson and Evan Friesen. Connor McClennon would get one on the powerplay before Justin Lies scored the Blades’ lone goal of the game. Winnipeg would add one more to make it a 5-1 final.
Game 3 was never close. Winnipeg came out flying, and Saskatoon just never had an answer. The shots were 12-5 after the first, 24-14 after the second, and the final tally was 34-18. Not only that, but the ICE went 50% on the powerplay, scoring on three of six powerplays. Definitely, a game Saskatoon would rather forget.
Game 4: ICE 3 – Blades 2
The Blades needed this win to stay alive in the 2023 WHL Playoffs. They would open the scoring with a goal by Aiden De La Gorgendiere. Saskatoon would not hold the lead long as Connor McClennon would get his 12th of the playoffs and tie the game before the first period would end. McClennon would add another to his goal total in the second to put the ICE up 2-1 heading into the third. Saskatoon would need a goal early, and that is what they got when Trevor Wong tie the game. Sadly for the Blades, Winnipeg’s Briley Wood would respond just three minutes later, and that is all they would need to put an end to the Blades’ season.
Saskatoon played their hearts out in this game but just ended up running out of gas. Winnipeg continued its tear through the Eastern Conference, and the Blades just could not keep up. The Blades were a great story these playoffs. From most likely ending Connor Bedards CHL career to reverse sweeping the Red Deer Rebels. Saskatoon will be able to go home knowing they left it all out on the ice.
Seattle is star-studded. They have players like Dylan Guenther, Reid Schaefer, Colton Dach, Brad Lambert, and Luke Prokop. You might say that you know all of those players, and that is because they are all highly touted prospects. If you get through those players, you still have to beat Thomas Milic. To say the least, the ICE will not have an easy series against Seattle.