We start with news of the Portland Winterhawks, whose season ended with Game 5 in Spokane and a return that night of Cody Glass. Glass went to Chicago Wolves of the AHL and scored in his his game there, only the 24th in franchise history to have done so. Alex Schoenborn, another ex-Hawk, also plays his trade there as San Jose Sharks of the NHL do not yet have an ECHL franchise, which is why Joachim Blichfeld came to Portland.
Jared Freadrich signed an ATO with the Orlando Solar Bears of the ECHL and played in the final three remaining games and then will play in the playoffs where the Solar Bears are currently ranked third. Freadrich, who came to the team after being cut by Victoria, was a 20-year-old defenceman who quarterbacked the Hawk’s younger defense with overage Brendan DeJong.
To the WHL, where the elite eight look to now become the final four. Games were spread over three days, so each pairing would play twice before the series moved to the lower seeds for mid-week games.
In the west, Vancouver and Victoria have been heated rivals for sometime and the word that Kody McDonald’s suspension would be six games did not sit well will some fans who thought the stick-swinging incident should have banished him for longer. One thing is for sure: It hasn’t slowed Vancouver down one bit.
The defensive effort of Vancouver has been brutal for Victoria. In two games they have only had 25 shots total. The first game Vancouver recorded a 3-0 win and while they used overtime in game two, they won that as well, 2-1, after nearly quadrupling the shots on goal of 39-10.
The series now shifts over the water to Victoria, and the Royals need at least a split to bring it back to Victoria again.
A big surprise in Everett, as the Silvertips were handed a 6-3 loss in game one versus the Chiefs. Everett and Spokane traded goals in the first and second periods to deadlock at two; however, Spokane was able to crank out four more goals in the third, including an empty-net goal to seal the win in a virtually penalty-free contest.
Game 2 in Everett saw the Silvertips score the first goal, but then saw Spokane pick up the next three including an empty-net goal as they won 3-1 and took a 2-0 series lead heading back to Spokane. Once again, another strong shot performance by Everett, as they nearly double Spokane. But they were unable to make it count on the scoreboard.
Prince Albert continued its dominance after a close one early in the first period, where both teams traded goals—Prince Albert added a late one in the period to go up by one. A pair of goals in each of the next two periods put Prince Albert on top to stay at 6-1. Prince Albert also had six power plays in where they were able to convert on two and keep Saskatoon from fielding full lines for most of the contest.
The second game was Saskatoon’s. As they scored midway in the first period and early in the second on the powerplay, it looked like the Blades would pull it out. However, never count out the Scotty Munro champions in Prince Albert Raiders to find a way to pull out a win.
The next three goals were scored by the Raiders in regulation to take the contest 3-2. With the series now 2-0 Prince Albert, it moves to Saskatoon where the next pair of games will be played.
Edmonton and Calgary proved to be another battle that may go the distance. Calgary started off strong with a pair of goals in the second and third periods after neither team scored in the first frame. Edmonton clawed back and was able to tie the game with thirteen seconds left in regulation. Edmonton capped the night with a goal just over three minutes into overtime to secure the come-from-behind 3-2 overtime win.
Game two in Edmonton saw the Oil Kings get two goals before Calgary answered on the powerplay. Two more goals by Edmonton, including one on the powerplay, gave them a 4-1 win over the Hitmen and a 2-0 series lead.