WHL second round predictions

The Hitmen were extended to seven games by the upstart Moose Jaw Warriors, and in fact trailed 3-1 in the quarter-final series before staging a late — although not surprising — rally.

Eastern Conference semifinals

(1) Calgary Hitmen vs. (5) Medicine Hat Tigers

The Hitmen were extended to seven games by the upstart Moose Jaw Warriors, and in fact trailed 3-1 in the quarter-final series before staging a late — although not surprising — rally. Did they look beyond the Warriors, or where they merely suffering from a severe case of nerves that can often afflict a heavily-favoured team? Whatever, the Tigers have a proven track record and therefore will be taken seriously by the Hitmen, who are a superior team in virtually every category. Calgary in six.

(2) Brandon Wheat Kings vs. (3) Saskatoon Blades

The Blades, with a back end as good as any in the league and a red-hot netminder in Steven Stanford, held the Rebels to a mere four goals during a quarter-final sweep of Red Deer. But the Wheat Kings will present a much greater offensive challenge than the Rebels could mount and will undoubtedly snipe their fair share of goals. Due to the annual winter fair being staged in their home rink, the Wheat Kings will open the series in Saskatoon before moving to Brandon for the third to fifth games. Will that be a factor? Not in the long run. Brandon in seven.

Western Conference semifinals

(1) Tri-City Americans vs. (6) Kelowna Rockets

The Rockets, once their rather large collection of walking wounded returned to active duty, were strong down the regular-season homestretch and rode that momentum to a seven-game quarter-final upset of the Everett Silvertips. But the ‘Tips were clearly vulnerable, while the Americans, after finishing fourth overall last season and yet falling short of a berth in the Western Conference final due to a 4-2 series loss to a Rockets team far superior to the current edition, are motivated by the need for revenge. Tri-City in six.

(2) Vancouver Giants vs. (5) Portland Winterhawks

The Giants actually finished four points back of the ‘Hawks in the conference regular-season standings but garnered the No. 2 seed as the top team in the B.C. Division. The Giants overcame shaky goaltending in the opening round to eliminate the Kamloops Blazers in four games, while the Winterhawks won four games on the road while ousting the Spokane Chiefs in seven. The ‘Hawks, blessed with a myriad of young talent, do look better on paper, but the playoff-savvy Giants are loaded with street smarts. Vancouver in seven.

gmeachem@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

House prices in Alberta are going up in many communities, reports the ATB. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy)
Alberta’s house prices are on the rise: ATB

Supply has been low, relative to demand

The interchange at Highway 2 and McKenzie Road at the south end of Gasoline Alley is being redesigned with two roundabouts. Construction is expected to begin this month and finish in October. (Graphic from Red Deer County)
Roudabouts coming to McKenzie Road overpass at Gasoline Alley

Project expected to improve traffic flow at busy intersections

A federal strategy to preserve threatened trout could conflict with provincial coal leases in the Eastern Slopes of the Rockies. (Contributed photo by Jeff Lund).
Federal regulations could save Alberta’s bull trout by shutting down mining plans, says biologist

Ottawa’s new strategy identifies a 30-metre protected area along rivers and streams

A prairie fire in the Burnt Lake district. (Photo by Bert Fors via Red Deer Archives)
Michael Dawe: Fires of spring 1931 in central Alberta

Central Alberta has just come through a relatively warm and dry winter… Continue reading

Gwynne Dyer
Opinion: Boris Johnson is to blame for what’s happening in Ireland

Twenty-three years of peace in Northern Ireland, after a sectarian war that… Continue reading

Canada's Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes, fom left, celebrate after winning women's gold medal match against Brazil's team at the Beach Volley Worldtour Major Series, in Vienna, Austria on August 4, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Ronald Zak
Canada’s world champion beach volleyball duo finally getting games before Tokyo

Canada’s world champion beach volleyball duo finally getting games before Tokyo

Toronto Raptors center Khem Birch (24) gets fouled by Atlanta Hawks guard Bogdan Bogdanovic (13) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, April 13, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Bogdanovic, Capela lead Hawks past Raptors 107-103

Bogdanovic, Capela lead Hawks past Raptors 107-103

Titanic was the largest and most luxurious ship in the world. Photo provided and colourized by Jiri Ferdinand.
QUIZ: How much do you know about the world’s most famous shipwreck?

Titanic sank 109 years ago today, after hitting an iceberg

Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Hyun Jin Ryu throws to a New York Yankees batter during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, April 13, 2021, in Dunedin, Fla. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)
Ryu sharp into 7th, Semien homers as Blue Jays top Yanks 7-3

Ryu sharp into 7th, Semien homers as Blue Jays top Yanks 7-3

Calgary Flames' Johnny Gaudreau (13) scores the game winning goal on Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender David Rittich (33) in overtime NHL action in Toronto on Tuesday, April 13, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Gaudreau scores in overtime, Flames beat Maple Leafs 3-2

Gaudreau scores in overtime, Flames beat Maple Leafs 3-2

Jim Bullock, Vicki Pappas and Randy Waples off to Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame

Jim Bullock, Vicki Pappas and Randy Waples off to Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame

Most Read