WHL Classics: Lethbridge Hurricanes at Saskatoon Blades


More exciting Western Hockey League action is on the way tonight! WHL Classics continues with another Game 7 matchup between the Lethbridge Hurricanes and Saskatoon Blades.

Winding the clocks back to the first round of the 2009 WHL Playoffs, the two teams have experienced highs and lows throughout the first six games of the series and will now be looking for one final triumph for the right to advance in their quest to claim the WHL Championship in 2009.

Leading the way for the Hurricanes, Zach Boychuk will be offensive candidate number one for the visitors. His six goals in the series leads all skaters on either side. Making matters even more impressive, four of those have come in Saskatoon.

While he’s scored just once in the series to date, Colton Sceviour shouldn’t be counted out as an offensive threat. Scoring 62 goals over his last two regular seasons, he clearly has the ability to light the lamp and could provide that game-changing spark for the Hurricanes at a critical time.

On defence, the difference comes courtesy of Luca Sbisa. While he’s not the team’s top point producer on the blue line, Sbisa broke out for 15 points (3G-12A) in the 2008 WHL Playoffs and could provide a boost at the right time in the playoffs once again.

Countering for the home side, the Blades aren’t short on talent either. They had seven players reach the 20-goal plateau this season, led by a 31-goal performance from Walker Wintoneak. Wintoneak scored in the opening two games of the series on home ice but has yet to find the back of the net since. It goes without saying that getting a Game 7 boost from the stick of their leading goal getter in the regular season would go a long way.

Derek Hulak, who led the team in overall scoring during the regular season, has five points (2G-3A) to rank second in team scoring during the 2009 WHL Playoffs.

Leading the team in scoring has been import defenceman Jyri Niemi. The Finnish defender is coming off back-to-back 30-point performances during the regular season and has accrued seven points (1G-6A) to date. His help in either finding the back of the net or setting up a teammate will go a long way in helping their fortunes.

Between the pipes, Juha Metsola will tend to the crease for the Hurricanes while Braden Holtby will guard the pipes for the Blades.

Catch all the action right here on WHL Classics beginning at 7 p.m. MT!

Lethbridge Hurricanes scoring leaders (As of March 31)

Rank Player Goals Assists Points
1 Zach Boychuk 6 2 8
2 Dwight King 1 5 6
3 Colton Sceviour 1 2 3
T4 Cam Braes 1 1 2
T4 Drew Hoff 1 1 2
T4 Carter Ashton 1 1 2
T4 *Austin Fyten 1 1 2
T4 Ben Wright 0 2 2

Saskatoon Blades scoring leaders (As of March 31) 

Rank Player Goals Assists Points
1 Jyri Niemi 1 6 7
2 Derek Hulak 2 3 5
T3 Adam Chorneyko 2 2 4
T3 Stefan Elliott 1 3 4
T5 Milan Kytnar 3 0 3
T5 Walker Wintoneak 2 1 3
T5 Chris Langkow 1 2 3

2009 WHL Playoffs First Round 
March 20 – Lethbridge 1 at Saskatoon 5
March 21 – Lethbridge 5 at Saskatoon 2
March 24 – Saskatoon 3 at Lethbridge 1
March 25 – Saskatoon 1 at Lethbridge 2
March 28 – Lethbridge 3 at Saskatoon 1
March 30 – Saskatoon 5 at Lethbridge 1
April 1 – Lethbridge at Saskatoon (WHL Classics)

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