Friday, 11 May 2018

Silvertips stay alive in WHL title series with Broncos

Game 6 set for Sunday in Swift Current

Riley Sutter had three points for the Silvertips.
    The Everett Silvertips wouldn’t allow the pesky Swift Current Broncos to seal the deal.
    On Friday night before 6,628 spectators at the Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett, the host Silvertips came out with their best effort of the WHL Championship series pulling out a 6-3 victory in Game 5 with the Swift Current Broncos. The host side held a 40-24 edge in shots on goal.
    The Broncos still lead the best-of-seven set 3-2, and they will try to make good on their second chance to capture the Ed Chynoweth Cup in Game 6 on Sunday at the Credit Union i-Plex in Swift Current.
    If the Silvertips win Game 6, they will force a series deciding Game 7 on Monday at the i-Plex. The start time for both of those games in 7 p.m. each night locally.
    In Friday’s encounter, the Silvertips stormed out of the gate in the first period with goals coming from the sticks of Wyatte Wylie on the power play and captain Matt Fonteyne at even strength to go ahead 2-0.
    With 2:10 remaining in the first period, Broncos captain Glenn Gawdin completed a tick-tack-toe passing play from linemates Aleksi Heponiemi and Giorgio Estephan for a power-play goal to cut Everett’s lead to 2-1.
Connor Dewar had three points for the Silvertips.
    At the 6:37 mark of the second, Gawdin scored to tie things up at 2-2. Broncos offensive defenceman Colby Sissons slipped the puck from the point to Gawdin alone in front of the Silvertips net, and he tucked a shot around Everett star netminder Carter Hart.
    The Silvertips surged out to a 4-2 lead at the 6:09 mark of the third period with slot dives coming from the sticks of Sean Richards and Riley Sutter.
    The Broncos didn’t go away. With 7:09 to play in the third period, the Broncos were buzzing deep in the Everett zone. Swift Current centre Matteo Gennaro fed a pass from behind the Everett net to pinching defenceman Noah King in the right slot.
    The 18-year-old rookie buried his first career WHL goal in either the regular season or the playoffs to trim the Everett lead to 4-3.
    Shortly after King’s goal, Gawdin had a chance to potentially net the equalizer, but he placed a shot wide of the Everett goal.
    Silvertips left-winger Connor Dewar sealed the win for the host side with a pair of empty-net goals. He had an assist in the contest to go with his two tallies for a three-point night.
    Sutter had a pair of assists to go with his goal to also finish with three points on the night for Everett.
Rookie defenceman Noah King scored for the Broncos.
    Stuart Skinner turned away 34-of-38 shots to take the setback in goal for the Broncos. Hart stopped 21 shots to pick up the win in goal for the Silvertips.
    The Silvertips, who finished third overall in the WHL with a 47-20-2-3 record in the regular season, are 6-6 at home and 8-1 on the road during the post-season.
    The Broncos, who finished second overall in the WHL with a 48-17-5-2 mark in the regular season, are 8-4 at home and 7-6 on the road in the playoffs.
    The winner of the WHL Championship series advances to the Memorial Cup tournament to play for the CHL title. The Memorial Cup runs May 18 to 27 in Regina.
    At the moment, the host Regina Pats are the only club with a spot in the four-team field.
    In the OHL Championship series, the Hamilton Bulldogs hold a 3-2 lead on the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. Game 6 is set for Sunday in Hamilton.
    In the QMJHL Championship series, the Acadie-Bathurst Titan hold a 3-2 lead on the Blainville-Boisbraind Armada. Game 6 is set for Sunday in Acadie-Bathurst.

Hay says he retired from Blazers, left door open to coach

Don Hay spoke to the media on Friday about retiring as Blazers head coach.
    On Thursday, the Kamloops Blazers announced Don Hay had retired as the team’s head coach, and on Friday, Hay addressed the media in Kamloops.
    Hay wasn’t at the Blazers press conference on Thursday, when the team announced he had retired as the club’s head coach and would stay on with the club in a newly created role of senior advisor of hockey operations. That sparked speculation that Hay was pushed out as head coach.
    The 64-year-old met with the media on Friday, where he read a prepared before fielding questions.      Hay said he decided to retire from the Blazers, but he left the door open to return to coaching at any level, if the opportunity presented itself. He said he would discuss future opportunities to coach with his family.
    The legendary bench boss said he wasn’t at the press conference on Thursday, because he was laying down sandbags to protect his cabin from possible flooding. He also went to watch his granddaughters compete in track and field.
    Hay is the all-time leader in career regular season head coaching victories in the WHL posting a 750-506-110 record with the Blazers, Tri-City American and Vancouver Giants. The Blazers missed the playoffs with a 30-37-1-4 record this past season.
    During his career, Hay was a Blazers assistant coach when they won the Memorial Cup in 1992 and their head coach for their Memorial Cup victories in 1994 and 1995. Hay guided the Vancouver Giants to a Memorial Cup title in 2007.
    The Blazers also announced general manager Stu MacGregor has joined the amateur scouting department of the Dallas Stars and the contracts of Matt Recchi, who was the team’s director of player personnel, and Mike Needham, who was an assistant coach, will not be renewed.
    The Blazers are bidding to host the 2020 Memorial Cup, so this shake up wasn’t expected.
    Gregg Drinnan, who is “The Dean” of sportswriters when it comes to covering the WHL, is based in Kamloops, and he penned a column that is telling about the situation in Kamloops. That piece can be found right here.

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