The WHL playoffs get underway tonight in Kelowna with the Rockets taking on Tri-City. The playoffs are pretty wide open this season with five or six teams capable of taking home the Ed Chynoweth Cup at seasons end. I’m going to break down each round as they come starting with the first round Western Conference playoffs. Here is how I think round one is going to go.
(1) Kelowna Vs (WC1) Tri-City
Prediction: 4-2 Kelowna
This series will come down to Kelowna goaltending in my opinion. The tenders haven’t been great for the Rockets this season and will need to step up if they want to get past this Americans team. Both teams have deadly defensive cores so it could be a low scoring matchup. Look for the Rockets to take this one in six games.
(2) Victoria Vs (3) Vancouver
Prediction: 4-2 Victoria
Only three points separated these two division rivals during the regular season but Victoria controlled their season meetings winning seven of ten. Matthew Phillips and Tyler Soy will lead the attack for the Royals and they are a tough duo to handle. I think the Victoria offence will be just a little too much for the Giants. Look for a six game series win for the Royals.
(1) Everett Vs (WC2) Seattle
Prediction 4-0 Everett
The Everett Silvertips are the beasts of the Western Conference and are lead by an elite goaltender in Carter Hart who posted a ridiculous 1.60 GAA and 0.947 save percentage this season to go along with seven shutouts. I don’t see the Thunderbirds putting up much of a fight in this one. I predict a Silvertips sweep.
(2) Portland Vs (3) Spokane
Prediction: Portland 4-3
This one was a tough one to pick but I think it comes down to Cody Glass willing his team to victory in seven games. He has nine points in his last four games and has registered at least one point in thirteen of his last fifteen games. I would expect his production to carry over into the post season. Winterhawks in seven.
The playoffs are all hockey fan’s favourite time of the year. This year’s post season is going to be exciting with so many teams equal across the board. I look forward to seeing how everything unfolds. Look for my Eastern Conference predictions tomorrow afternoon. Thanks for reading!