It was billed as a battle of the top team in the east (Winnipeg) vs the top team in the west (Seattle) with plenty of interesting storylines including Jets 2022 1st rounder Brad Lambert playing for the Thunderbirds, these two teams only meeting once (a 4-3 OT win by Seattle) during the regular season and the Ice having taken care of business in the last round earlier which gave them some rest.
Heard they were expecting over 5000 fans for tonight’s game.
Prospective top 5-10 pick at the upcoming NHL Draft in Nashville Zach Benson, who was wildly seen as the second best player in the WHL behind Connor Bedard, almost got things started with a breakaway early in the 1st but he just couldn’t get it to go.
On the power play Connor McClennon gave the Ice a 1-0 lead as he ripped this shot home to get the crowd behind them approaching the midpoint of the 1st period.
Some really nice work by Owen Pederson was finished off by Evan Friesen who scored the second goal of the game for the Ice as he gave them a 2-0 lead.
The Ice started the 2nd period with a power play and just as it expired they increased their lead to 3-0 when Carson Latimer started picking corners.
What a save by Ice goalie Daniel Hauser who wasn’t overly tested through 40 but made this big stop on a Thunderbirds odd man rush at the end of the middle frame.
Thunderbirds Reid Schaefer gives the visitors some life early in the 3rd period to cut the Seattle deficit to two goals.
The crowd was announced as 5531.
As time wound down in the 3rd Brad Lambert had the assist on the goal for the Thunderbirds with the goalie pulled to bring the visitors within one.
Seattle came this close and then this close to tying the game.
But in the end it’s the Ice who took game 1 of the WHL Championship series over the Thunderbirds by a final score of 3-2.
Winnipeg head coach James Patrick with Ice forwards Connor McClennon and Carson Latimer spoke about the 5500+ fans inside Canada Life Centre for game 1 of their WHL Championship
Seattle coach/player media availability:
Winnipeg coach/player media availability:
No rest for either club as game 2 is tomorrow night in Winnipeg. Puck drop is at 6 PM CDT.