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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Memorial Cup : Kootenay Ice

The Ice finished the regular season 3rd in the Central Division and 4th in the Eastern Conference. They scored 272 goals in the regular season ranking them 6th in the league. They allowed 218 goals ranking tied for 6th best.

How they won the WHL Championship:

Round 1  : Kootenay beats Moose Jaw 4-2. Moose jaw took game 1 of the series in Kootenay 4-0. The Ice would rebound in game 2 at home with a 5-2 victory. They woud fall once again 4-0 in game 3 in Moose Jaw and even the series up at 2 with a 5-0 victory before heading home for game 5. They would take game 5 with a 3-1 win and close it out with a 5-4 win in Moose Jaw in game 6.

Round 2 : Kootenay sweeps the Heavily favored Saskatoon squad. Games 1 and 2 were in Saskatoon with the Ice prevailing with 4-1 and 3-2 scores. They would close out the sweep at home with two convincing wins, 3-0 and 5-2.

Round 3 : Yet another favorite as an opponent and another Ice Sweep. This time it was Medicine Hat. The Ice stole game 1 in Medicine Hat 6-5 in overtime then took game 2 3-0 before travelling home. They won game 3 at home 3-1 before closing it out with a convincing 7-2 victory to win the Eastern Conference Championship.

Round 4 : With two upsets out of the way, and sweeps at that, there is no way a third was in the makings. If we believed that, then we were wrong. They beat the heavily favored Portland Winter Hawks 4 games to 1 to take home the WHL Champioship and earn their spot in the Memorial Cup in Mississauga. Portland won game 1 in overtime by a score of 4-3. After that it was all Kootenay, winning by scores of 7-5, 3-2OT, 5-4OT, and 4-1.

Kootenay has 4 players eligible for the NHL Entry Draft for the first time. Here they are with their stats on the season :

It's hard to imagine Kootenay winning the Memorial Cup, but they beat three favorites to get here, and handily at that. But it is a tournament and someone has to lose.

I'll go with Kootenay finishing fourth.

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