WHL Playoffs Update – The Comeback Kids Can’t Comeback Anymore

Dante Giannuzzi has found a spot for the remainder of the Calder Cup playoffs, an ATO with The Manitoba Moose. However, he has been a healthy scratch over the past few games. The Moose lead the series against the Milwaukie Admirals 2-1 in the best of 5 series. 

Dante and Marek Alscher are currently on the ATO list for the Hawks, and many other players are getting their collective feet wet in the professional leagues. 

Saskatoon Blades “Comeback Kids” hit a roadblock with the Winnipeg ICE. Unlike the Moose Jaw Warriors, who scored a couple of wins over the ICE and even gave the ICE a massive beating in one game, the Blades couldn’t gain any traction in falling to the ICE in four straight games. 

Game one saw the ICE grab three straight goals, first on the powerplay, followed by two regular strength goals as the midway of the first period elapsed. Winnipeg scored again in the first minute of the second period while on the powerplay. Saskatoon finally got on the board four minutes later but couldn’t close the gap. The Blades tried switching goaltender from Ethan Chadwick to Austin Elliot; however, in the end, it was an empty-net goal with 24 seconds left in the game while on the powerplay. The ICE almost doubled on shots 34-18 and went 3-6 on the powerplay to 0-2 for the Blades. 

Game four was the do-or-die game for the Blades. Responding to the call, the Blades scored first with five minutes to go in the first period. They couldn’t hold the lead as Connor McClennon scored with less than two minutes and did so again just past the midway point of the second period to give the ICE the lead. Early in the third period, Saskatoon tied it up but couldn’t hold onto the lead again. Winnipeg scored four minutes later and kept Saskatoon off the board, despite playing with the goaltender out for nearly 2 1/2 minutes. 

Winnipeg awaits the winner of the Seattle vs. Kamloops series. 

After dropping two in Seattle, the Blazers worked in the Sandman Centre. Kamloops scored on the powerplay 8 1/2 minutes while on the powerplay but saw Seattle catch up just over a minute, and Kamloops regained the lead near the end of the first. The second frame remained scoreless. 

The Blazers broke up a play in their zone, headed out two-on-one, and ensured the puck made it into the net. Kamloops then put the exclamation point to seal the deal as Kamloops went on a 4-1 win and extended the series no matter what happened the next game. 

It may have been promising that Kamloops won the first of two in Kamloops as the Thunderbirds seemed a bit upset. After goals by Kevin Korchinski and Dylan Guenther, Kamloops’ Matthew Seminoff got within one on the powerplay as the period ended, and Dylan Guenther added his second of the night.  

Olen Zellweger then got two of his own to tie the game. Kyle Crnkovic then put Seattle in the lead and kept that through the frame. 

Kamloops then found themselves in a big hole giving up two more goals before the midway point of the third period with Jared Davidson and Bryce Pickford. Daryl Sydor tried to stem the tide for Kamloops, but Dylan Guenther added yet another, which was his third of the night, a hat trick. In a desperate attempt to get traction, Kamloops pulled goaltender Dylan Ernst with 5 1/2 minutes left and saw Seattle take advantage seconds later, with Reid Schaffer capping off an 8-4 win and a series lead of 3-1 with game 5 headed to Seattle on Saturday. Should further need to be played, they will be Monday in Kamloops and Tuesday in Seattle.

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About Stuart Kemp 313 Articles
Stuart Kemp is the Immediate Past President of 15 years of the Booster Club. and has been following hockey from his native Canada since he can remember, though he can't skate, but played road hockey for several years. Loving hockey and professional wrestling, he has traveled to most of the WHL cities and with wrestling, has seen four provinces and five states. It is true that every Canadian city with more than 500 residents has a hockey rink, well at least it looks that way. Stuart has had his hand in every facet of independent Professional wrestling as he debuted as an announcer in 1986 which started his career.