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Thursday, March 31, 2016


REGINA -- The Regina Pats are one win away from advancing to Round 2 of the 2016 WHL Playoffs following Wednesday's 2-0 victory over the visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes in the Brandt Centre.  The triumph gave Regina a 3-1 series edge.

The Hurricanes made a change in goal for Game 4, opting to go with Jayden Sittler over Game 3 starter Stuart Skinner but it didn't make much of a difference (can he score goals?).  Again Lethbridge outshot the Pats - 32-26 in this one - but this time they were unable to penetrate Regina goalie Tyler Brown who posted a 32-save shutout and was named the game's #1 Star.

20-year old Pats sniper Cole Sanford proved again why he was acquired at the WHL Trade Deadline, notching an even-strength goal with 0:48 remaining in the first period which stood up as the game-winner.  The teams kept it clean in the second period and Regina's Adam Brooks iced the contest with an empty-netter with 1:12 remaining in the third.

Brown truly was the star of the evening and although at times it appeared as though he didn't see many of the incoming shots, his excellent positioning got him in front of the puck and he gave up few rebounds.

The Pats certainly are the best-skating of the two teams, and their swift pace seemed too difficult for the Hurricanes to match.  The Canes will now have a day off before they attempt to stave off elimination and avoid a series upset.

NOTES:  Regina was 0/1 on the powerplay and 3/3 killing penalties ... The attendance was 6181 ... Former Pats captain Chris Schlenker was one of the game's two referees.

UP NEXT:  The Pats will look to close out the series Friday when they visit the Lethbridge Hurricanes in Game 5 at 7:00 pm on 620 CKRM.



PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. - Nolan Volcan scored his second goal of the night in overtime as the Seattle Thunderbirds completed their four-game sweep of the Prince George Cougars with a 4-3 win on Wednesday night in Western Hockey League playoff action.

Scott Eansor and Ethan Bear had goals in regulation time for Seattle, while Landon Bow made 21 saves for the win.

Jansen Harkins, Chase Witala and Jared Bethune supplied the offence for Prince George. Ty Edmonds stopped 35 shots for the Cougars.

The Thunderbirds went 1 for 2 on the power play and Prince George was 1 for 3 with the man advantage.



PORTLAND, Ore. - Cole MacDonald scored twice, including the eventual winner, as Everett completed its four-game sweep of the Winterhawks.

Connor Dewar and Brandon Ralph chipped in as well for the Silvertips.

Blake Heinrich and Keoni Texeira found the back of the net for Portland.



EDMONTON - Nolan Patrick's goal in the second period was the eventual winner and Brandon topped the Oil Kings.

Connor Gutenberg and Tyler Coulter also scored for the Wheat Kings.

Lane Bauer was the lone scorer for Edmonton, which leads the series 2-1.



KAMLOOPS, B.C. - Collin Shirley scored twice as the Blazers downed Kelowna to tie their best-of-seven series 2-2.

Dallas Valentine, Quinn Benjafield and Matt Revel rounded out the attack for Kamloops,

Calvin Thurkauf had the only goal for the Rockets.



SPOKANE, Wash. - Alex Forsberg scored in the second period and again in overtime as Victoria took a 3-1 series lead over the Chiefs.

Matthew Phillips had a goal in the first period for the Royals.

Dominic Zwerger and Presten Kopeck had goals for Spokane.

© 2016 The Canadian Press