What We’re Watching – March 24, 2023

Randy Feere

The final weekend of the WHL Regular Season is upon us, and while the First Round matchups are determined in the Western Conference ahead of the 2023 WHL Playoffs presented by Nutrien, it’s all to play for out East, especially at the bottom of the bracket.

Here’s What We’re Watching this weekend!

The post-season fates of three Eastern Conference Clubs could be determined Friday in Swift Current as the Broncos begin a pivotal home-and-home set with the Medicine Hat Tigers (7:00 p.m. MT, InnovationPlex). Swift Current sits three points shy of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference (currently held by Medicine Hat), while the Tigers are one point behind the seventh-place Calgary Hitmen in the standings. A Medicine Hat win Friday would secure post-season safety for both the Hitmen and Tigers, while a Swift Current victory would thin the gap in the standings to two points between seventh and ninth place with a return engagement between the Broncos and Tigers set for Saturday evening in Medicine Hat (7:00 p.m. MT, Co-op Place). Calgary is idle Friday, but will play a pair of matinees this weekend versus the Edmonton Oil Kings beginning Saturday (2:00 p.m. MT) at Rogers Place.

The Regina Pats visit the Saskatoon Blades for the second time inside a week Friday (7:00 p.m. MT, SaskTel Centre) in what could well be a First Round preview. Saskatoon is locked into the third seed for the First Round of the 2023 WHL Playoffs presented by Nutrien, while Regina can finish either fifth or sixth. The Blades have won three of the five meetings this season, though it was the Pats who skated away winners this past Sunday in front of nearly 15,000 fans in Saskatoon.

The Tri-City Americans will don special uniforms for Autism Awareness Night Friday when they host the Spokane Chiefs (7:05 p.m. PT, Toyota Center). Complete with a jersey auction, as well as commemorative t-shirt and puck sales, the Americans are raising funds for Responding to Autism, an organization which provides a variety of resources for people with autism in the Tri-Cities.

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