Blazers and Giants to meet in First Round of 2023 WHL Playoffs – Kamloops Blazers

Blazers and Giants to meet in First Round of 2023 WHL Playoffs – Kamloops Blazers

March 21, 2023 at 11:02 pm  Kamloops Blazers, Sports

The Kamloops Blazers know they’ll be facing Clubs from across the Canadian Hockey League in late May and early June, but now, the Blazers also know who they’ll face when the 2023 WHL Playoffs begin March 31.

Kamloops, the hosts of the 2023 Memorial Cup presented by Kia, will face the Vancouver Giants in the First Round of the 2023 WHL Playoffs, marking the second post-season meeting in as many years between the two B.C. Division rivals.

The first-round series was confirmed Tuesday after the Blazers fell 6-3 to the Seattle Thunderbirds and the Vancouver Giants won 3-2 in overtime in Portland versus the Winterhawks. With Tuesday’s results, Kamloops was confirmed as the second seed in the Western Conference, while Vancouver is locked in as the seventh seed.

Last spring, the upstart Giants met the B.C. Division Champion Blazers in the Second Round of the post-season, with Kamloops coming away victors in a six-game series. It’s Vancouver, though, who holds the edge between the two sides in the all-time playoff ledger, winning two of the previous best-of-seven series.

The Blazers, B.C. Division Champions for the fourth consecutive season, begin their 2023 WHL Playoffs campaign having come within a game of the 2022 WHL Championship series a year ago. Kamloops posted series wins over Spokane and Vancouver before falling to the Seattle Thunderbirds in the 2022 Western Conference Championship.

The Giants, meantime, are used to being underdogs in recent years. Last spring, Vancouver posted one of the biggest upsets in WHL Playoffs history when they knocked off the top-ranked Everett Silvertips in the First Round.

Of the eight regular season meetings, Kamloops collected points seven times, posting a 6-1-0-1 record versus Vancouver. Five of the meetings took place before the December holiday break, with the Blazers winning each of the three meetings in 2023, most recently a 6-0 shutout in Kamloops on March 11.

Kamloops captain Logan Stankoven was sensational in the season series; the Dallas Stars prospect totalled 17 points from his six outings against Vancouver on the strength of four goals and 13 assists. Surrey, B.C. product Caedan Bankier, a draftee of the Minnesota Wild, had 14 points (4G-10A) as well.

While he only played in five of the eight games against the Blazers, Slovak import and 2023 NHL Draft prospect Samuel Honzek led the Giants in the season series, totalling seven points (2G-5A).

Both Kamloops goaltenders enjoyed success against Vancouver this season, too. 2023 NHL Draft prospect Dylan Ernst collected a 4-1-0-0 record, while mid-season acquisition Matthew Kieper went 2-0-0-0 against the Giants including a shutout performance earlier this month.

For Vancouver, Vegas Golden Knights prospect Jesper Vikman was the goaltender of record in seven of the eight meetings, collecting a 2-5-0-0 record.

The Blazers have three regular season games remaining before the First Round of the WHL Playoffs begins Friday, March 31. Kamloops will return home Wednesday, March 22 to complete a home-and-home set with the Seattle Thunderbirds (7:00 p.m. PT, Sandman Centre), before a home-and-home set with the Prince George Cougars Friday, March 24 in Kamloops (7:00 p.m. PT, Sandman Centre) and Saturday, March 25 in Prince George (6:05 p.m. PT, accesso ShoWare Center).

Vancouver will wrap up the regular season with two contests against the Kelowna Rockets Friday, March 24 in the Okanagan (7:05 p.m. PT, Prospera Place) and Saturday, March 25 in the Lower Mainland (7:00 p.m. PT, Langley Events Centre).

Game 1 of the first-round series between the Kamloops Blazers and Vancouver Giants is scheduled for Friday, March 31 at 7:00 p.m. PT in Kamloops (Sandman Centre). The series will shift to the Lower Mainland for Game 3 on Tuesday, April 4 at 7:00 p.m. PT (Langley Events Centre).

2023 WHL PLAYOFFS – SERIES F SCHEDULE

Game Date Away Home Time
1 March 31, 2023 Vancouver Kamloops 7:00 p.m. PT
2 April 1, 2023 Vancouver Kamloops 7:00 p.m. PT
3 April 4, 2023 Kamloops Vancouver 7:00 p.m. PT
4 April 6, 2023 Kamloops Vancouver 7:00 p.m. PT
5 April 8, 2023 Vancouver Kamloops 7:00 p.m. PT *
6 April 10, 2023 Kamloops Vancouver 7:00 p.m. PT *
7 April 12, 2023 Vancouver Kamloops 7:00 p.m. PT *

* – if necessary

View Link to Original Source

No conversations yet

Activity Stream

Thu, Jun 6, 2024 at 8:00 am - David Suzuki posted on their blog: Ignoring climate crisis won’t make it disappear
Thu, May 30, 2024 at 8:00 am - David Suzuki posted on their blog: False balance favours industry over wildlife
Thu, May 23, 2024 at 8:00 am - David Suzuki posted on their blog: The buzz on wild bees versus honeybees
Thu, May 16, 2024 at 8:00 am - David Suzuki posted on their blog: High hopes for hemp? – David Suzuki Foundation
Thu, May 9, 2024 at 8:00 am - David Suzuki posted on their blog: Profit obsession inflames environmental racism
Thu, May 2, 2024 at 8:00 am - David Suzuki posted on their blog: LawnShare helps create vibrant, biodiverse havens
Thu, Apr 25, 2024 at 8:00 am - David Suzuki posted on their blog: The dry facts about increasing water scarcity
Thu, Apr 18, 2024 at 8:00 am - David Suzuki posted on their blog: Igniting the great global transformation
Thu, Apr 11, 2024 at 4:00 am - David Suzuki posted on their blog: Carbon pricing 101: How it works!
Full Stream