Regina, SK – The Lethbridge Hurricanes kick off the Eastern Conference Championship tonight at 7:00pm in Game 1 as they take on the Regina Pats at the Brandt Centre.
The Hurricanes are coming off a thrilling come-from-behind Game 7 victory on Tuesday night in Medicine Hat over the Tigers as Tyler Wong scored 3:02 into the first overtime lifting the ‘Canes to a 5-4 win. Wong scored twice in the game while Egor Babenko, Jordy Bellerive and Dylan Cozens scored the other goals in the win. It was the second straight series in which the ‘Canes needed to go to a seventh game.
The Pats are also coming off a Game 7 win as they defeated the Swift Current Broncos by a 5-1 score on Monday night. Regina trailed their second round best-of-seven series to the Broncos three games to one but were able to come back and advance to the final four. Austin Wagner and Sam Steel both scored twice in the Game 7 win.
It is the second straight season that the Hurricanes and the Pats will meet in the post-season. Regina earned a series victory in five games in the first round of the 2016 WHL Playoffs over the ‘Canes. The two teams met four times during the 2016-2017 regular season as they split the season series with the Pats winning the first two before the ‘Canes took the final two.
Tonight’s Game 1, and the entire series, can be watched on the WHL on SHAW or heard on 106.7 ROCK.
PLAYOFF SERIES: Tonight will be Game 1 of the best-of-seven series between the Hurricanes and the Pats. The series is tied at 3-3. This is the second straight post-season that the ‘Canes and Pats have met after Regina eliminated Lethbridge in five games in the first round in 2016.
PLAYOFF SERIES: (* if necessary) HURRICANE TOP 5 PLAYOFF SCORERS
Game 1 – April 21st, 7:00pm – at Regina Tyler Wong – 11G. 11A, 22 points
Game 2 – April 22nd, 7:00pm – at Regina Giorgio Estephan – 8G, 11A – 19 points
Game 3 – April 25th, 7:00pm – at Lethbridge Egor Babenko – 7G, 11A – 18 points
Game 4 – April 26th, 7:00pm – at Lethbridge Brennan Menell – 4G, 9A – 13 points
*Game 5 – April 28th, 7:00pm – at Regina Jordy Bellerive – 4G, 6A – 10 points
*Game 6 – April 30th, 6:00pm – at Lethbridge
*Game 7 – May 2nd, 7:00pm – at Regina
2016-2017 PLAYOFF STATS LEADERS:
Goals (11) – Tyler Wong Assists (11) – Three players
Points (22) – Tyler Wong
PIMS (18) – Jadon Joseph & Jordy Bellerive Plus/Minus (+8) – Ryan Vandervlis
Wins (8) – Stuart Skinner Shutouts (0) – N/A
Save % (.918) – Stuart Skinner Goals Against Average (3.03) – Stuart Skinner
VS. PATS, REGULAR SEASON: The Hurricanes and Pats met four times in the regular season with both teams winning twice. Regina took the first two head-to-head meetings while Lethbridge took the last two. Both teams won once at home and once on the road.
REGULAR SEASON SERIES: HURRICANE TOP 5 SEASON SCORERS
October 15th/2016 – at Lethbridge (7-2 Pats) Tyler Wong – 51G, 58A – 109 points
October 18th/2016 – at Regina (6-1 Pats) Giorgio Estephan – 35G, 54A – 89 points
December 7th/2016 – at Lethbridge (5-4 OT Hurricanes) Zak Zborosky – 41G, 33A – 74 points
February 28th/2017 – at Regina (4-1 Hurricanes) Brennan Menell – 12G, 59A – 71 points
Matt Alfaro – 25G, 35A – 60 points
2016-2017 REGULAR SEASON STATS LEADERS:
Goals (51) – Tyler Wong Assists (59) – Brennan Menell
Points (109) – Tyler Wong
PIMS (103) – Zane Franklin Plus/Minus (+29) – Tyler Wong
Wins (34) – Stuart Skinner Shutouts (2) – Stuart Skinner
Save % (.906) – Stuart Skinner Goals Against Average (3.26) – Stuart Skinner
2016-2017 REGULAR SEASON LEAGUE LEADERS:
– Tyler Wong was tied 1st in WHL Goals with 51 & 3rd in WHL Scoring with 109 points
– Tyler Wong was tied 4th in WHL PP Goals with 15 & tied 2nd in WHL Game Winning Goals with 10
– Giorgio Estephan was tied 11th in WHL Goals with 35 & is tied 9th in WHL Scoring with 89 points
– Zak Zborosky was 5th in WHL Goals with 41 & tied 3rd in WHL Power Play Goals with 16
– Brennan Menell was tied 3rd in WHL PP Assists with 28 & 2nd in WHL Defenseman Scoring with 71 points
– Brennan Menell was tied 9th in WHL Defenseman Goals with 12 & 1st in WHL Defenseman Assists with 59
– Calen Addison was tied 10th in WHL Rookie Scoring with 33 points (2nd among Rookie D-man Scoring)
– Calen Addison was 1st among 2000-born scorers in the WHL with 33 points
– Stuart Skinner was 2nd in Games Played (60); 2nd in WHL Wins with 34 & tied 6th in WHL Losses with 18
– Stuart Skinner was 2nd in WHL Minutes by a Goalie (3386) & 2nd in WHL Shots (1933) & 2nd Saves (1749)
NEWS & NOTES:
So We Meet Again: The Hurricanes and Pats will square off in the post-season for the second consecutive year. In the 2016 WHL Playoffs, the Hurricanes were eliminated by the Pats in five games in the first round of the post-season. After winning Game 1, the ‘Canes went on to lose the next four.
Seventh Heaven: The Hurricanes remained perfect in Game 7’s in their history as they earned a come-from-behind 5-4 overtime win in Medicine Hat on Tuesday in Game 7 to eliminate the Tigers. It was the second straight series in which the ‘Canes needed seven games to advance after they beat the Red Deer Rebels in seven games in the first round.
Road Warriors: The Hurricanes have been good on the road this post-season. Heading into tonight’s Game 1, the ‘Canes have won three straight road games and have won four of their last five games away from the ENMAX Centre in the playoffs. The ‘Canes have scored 17 goals in their last three road games.
Oh, Giorgio: Giorgio Estephan has been racking up points. The four-year veteran has tossed 18 points (8g-10a) on the board in his last ten games since returning from injury in Round 1 against Red Deer. The Hurricanes are 8-0-1 in the playoffs when Estephan records a point.
Locked Down: The Hurricanes, who had a difficult time holding leads early in their first round series with the Rebels, were outscored 10-2 in the third period in their first four playoff games. In the last 10 post-season contests, the ‘Canes have been much better outscoring the opposition 15-7.
The Comeback: For the first time in franchise history the Hurricanes erased a 3-1 deficit to win a series in seven games. The ‘Canes fell behind 3-1 after losing Games 1, 3 and 4 but were able to battle back in their first round series eventually eliminating the Red Deer Rebels in Game 7.