Saturday, May 13, 2017

Thunderbirds can win it all tonight ... Game 6 set for Regina ... Big signing day in P.A.


F Ned Lukacevic (Spokane, Swift Current, 2001-06) has signed a one-year contract with Jegesmedvék Miskolc (Hungary, MOL Liga). This season, he had six goals and four assists with Katowice (Poland, PHL), and a goal and an assist in eight games with the Quad City Mallards (ECHL). . . .
G Brett Jaeger (Medicine Hat, Vancouver, Saskatoon, 2000-04) has signed a one-year extension with Löwen Frankfurt (Germany, DEL2). This season, in 40 games with Frankfurt, he was 2.89 and.895. He was named the DEL2 player of the month for April and was honoured as the most valuable player of the DEL2 playoffs.
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The Seattle Thunderbirds get their first opportunity to win the franchise’s first WHL championship when they meet the Pats in Regina tonight (Sunday).
The Thunderbirds have won the last two games of the WHL’s championship final for the Ed Chynoweth Cup — 6-1 on Wednesday and 7-4 on Friday, both victories coming in Kent, Wash.
That gave Seattle a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven final. Should the Pats win tonight, they’ll settle it in Game 7 in Regina on Monday night.
The winner advances to the Memorial Cup that is scheduled to run May 19-28 in Windsor, Ont. The other three teams in the tournament have been established with the OHL-champion Erie Otters and the QMJHL-champion Saint John Sea Dogs joining the host Spitfires.
Should Seattle win the WHL championship, the Memorial Cup tournament would feature two American teams for the third time in its history.
In 1998, the host Spokane Chiefs and WHL-champion Portland were in the tournament, with the Winterhawks winning it.
In 2007, the tournament was held in Vancouver and included the QMJHL-champion Lewiston Maineiacs and the OHL-champion Plymouth Whalers, from Maine and Michigan, respectively. The host Vancouver Giants won it all, beating the WHL-champion Medicine Hat Tigers in the final.
For what it’s worth, neither the Maineiacs nor the Whalers are with us today. The OHL folded the Maineiacs on May 31, 2011; the Whalers moved to Flint, Mich., after the 2014-15 season, and now are the Firebirds. 
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The Prince Albert Raiders held an all-access open house on Saturday and during the festivities took time to sign their first three selections from the 2017 WHL bantam draft — D Kaiden Guhle, F Cohner Saleski and F Ozzy Wiesblatt. . . . Guhle, from Sherwood Park, Alta., was the first overall selection. The brother of D Brendan Guhle, Kaiden had 17 goals and 23 assists in 30 games for OHA Edmonton in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League. . . . Saleski, from Warman, Sask., was the 17th overall selection. He had 43 goals and 42 assists in 30 games with the bantam AA Saskatoon Stallions. . . . Wiesblatt, from Calgary, was taken with the 25th pick. He recorded 38 goals and 35 assists in 32 games with the bantam AAA Calgary Bisons.
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SATURDAY’S GAME:

No Game Scheduled.
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SUNDAY’S GAME (all times local):

Seattle at Regina, 6 p.m. (Seattle leads, 3-2)
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MONDAY’S GAME (all times local):

Seattle at Regina, 7 p.m. (if necessary)

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