SASKATOON — The Saskatoon Blades and Regina Pats will continue their Saskatchewan Highway 11 rivalry in the postseason.
The squads will clash in the Western Hockey League’s Eastern Conference quarterfinals. Thanks to a 48-15-4-1 record, the Blades are the conference’s third seed and will have home ice advantage for the best-of-seven series. The Pats are the conference’s sixth seed after a 34-30-3-1 regular season.
The series will feature the WHL’s top scorer from the regular season. Pats forward Connor Bedard earned the Bob Clarke Trophy after racking up 143 points in only 57 games. The projected No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming National Hockey League Draft had 36 more points than the league’s second leading scorer, Prince George’s Chase Wheatcroft, who had 107 in 68 games. Bedard paced the WHL with 71 goals and was tied for the league lead in assists at 72 with Prince George’s Riley Heidt.
The series schedule is:
|Game 1||March 31||In Saskatoon|
|Game 2||April 2||In Saskatoon|
|Game 3||April 4||In Regina|
|Game 4||April 5||In Regina|
|Game 5||April 7||In Saskatoon|
|Game 6||April 8||In Regina|
|Game 7||April 10||In Saskatoon|
Perhaps surprisingly, the two teams have only met three times in the postseason in the past 30 years. The Blades won two of those series. The last time they played in the playoffs was in 2006 with the Saskatoon squad prevailing in six games.
This season, the Blades won the regular season series, 4-2. However, the teams split the last four games they played against each other.
In the playoffs, the Saskatoon squad hopes to keep things rolling after a historic regular season. The Blades’ 48 wins is a team record in a 68-game schedule. Their .745 winning percentage is third in Blades’ history. With 101 points in the standings, it was the team’s fifth 100-point season in its 59-year history.
The Blades wrapped up the season with a pair of wins. In front of 14,768 at SaskTel Centre, the Saskatoon team beat the Pats, 3-2. Blade Brandon Lisowsky scored the game’s first two goals. The Pats fought back with markers from Tanner Howe and Sam Oremba. Trevor Wong delivered the game winner for the hosts in the third period. Wong lit the lamp twice as the Blades closed out the season with a 6-3 win over the Moose Jaw Warriors.
Wong led the team in scoring with 59 assists and 86 points. Egor Sidorov paced the squad with 40 goals.