On the final night of the Western Conference schedule, the muddy waters cleared and at the end of it, the Prince George Cougars pounced into sixth place and will face the Portland Winterhawks in the first round of the 2022 WHL Playoffs.
The best-of-seven series between the Cougars and Winterhawks was set after a complex tiebreaker scenario that saw three teams – the Cougars, Spokane Chiefs, and Vancouver Giants – all tied for the final three playoff positions. The three-team tiebreaker saw the Cougars into sixth place on the strength of goals differential, while the Winterhawks had previously locked into the third position.
The 2017 WHL Playoffs represent the last post-season meeting between the Cougars and Winterhawks. It was Portland advancing on the strength of a 4-2 series victory.
The Winterhawks went a perfect 4-0-0-0 in the season series, most recently knocking off the Cougars by a 5-3 tally on February 26.
Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Jaydon Dureau led all skaters in scoring through four games, collecting 11 points (2G-9A). On the Cougars bench, it was rookie star Riley Heidt earning five points (3G-2A) to lead his squad.
In net, former Cougars netminder Taylor Gauthier recorded two victories and logged a 1.50 goals-against average and .944 save percentage to boost the Winterhawks. For the Cougars, it was Tyler Brennan who was the goaltender of record for all four losses.
The Winterhawks finished the campaign with a record of 47-16-3-2, while the Cougars wrap up the schedule at 24-39-4-1.
Game 1 between the Winterhawks and Cougars is scheduled for Friday, April 22 at 7 p.m. PT (Veterans Memorial Coliseum). The best-of-seven series will head north of the border for Game 3 on Tuesday, April 26 at 7 p.m. PT (CN Centre).
|1||Prince George||@||Portland||Friday, April 22||7:00|
|2||Prince George||@||Portland||Saturday, April 23||6:00|
|3||Portland||@||Prince George||Tuesday, April 26||7:00|
|4||Portland||@||Prince George||Wednesday, April 27||7:00|
|5 *||Prince George||@||Portland||Saturday, April 30||5:00|
|6 *||Portland||@||Prince George||Monday, May 2||7:00|
|7 *||Prince George||@||Portland||Wednesday, May 4||7:00|
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