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Cougars ready to tangle with Thunderbirds in Round 2 of WHL playoffs

The Seattle Thunderbirds and Prince George Cougars will meet in the Second Round of the 2023 WHL Playoffs presented by Nutrien beginning Friday, April 14.

The series was confirmed Sunday after Prince George advanced to the Second Round with a 5-4 overtime victory over the Tri-City Americans, capturing that best-of-seven series in six games. Seattle, who had won its First Round series Wednesday, is the top seed in the Western Conference, while the Cougars enter the Second Round as the fourth seed.

The two sides have met five times in post-season play since Prince George became a WHL city in 1994, with the most recent encounter coming in the First Round of the 2016 WHL Playoffs. Seattle swept the best-of-seven affair en route to winning the Western Conference Championship, their fourth series win against Prince George of those five previous encounters.

The Thunderbirds captured the U.S. Division title on the strength of a regular season that included a Club-record 54 wins. Seattle met the Kelowna Rockets in the First Round of the 2023 WHL Playoffs presented by Nutrien, a series that lasted four games in a Thunderbirds sweep.

The Cougars advanced to the Second Round for the first time in 16 years Sunday by virtue of a Game 6 win over Tri-City. Dallas Stars prospect Chase Wheatcroft, who led the Club with 107 points during the regular season, fired home the overtime winner in Sunday’s deciding contest.

Seattle won three of the four regular season meetings, most recently an 8-1 decision at accesso ShoWare Center December 13. The two sides split a two-game series in Prince George in late October, with the Thunderbirds winning both of their home fixtures in the season set.

Vegas Golden Knights prospect Jordan Gustafson shone for Seattle in the season series against Prince George, scoring six times while standing as one of three Thunderbirds with seven points over the four games (Kyle Crnkovic and Montreal Canadiens draftee Jared Davidson were the others).

2023 NHL Draft prospect Koehn Ziemmer led the way for the Cougars versus Seattle in the regular season, totalling six points (4G-2A) over his four appearances in the season series.

In goal, 2023 NHL Draft prospect Scott Ratzlaff earned two of the three Thunderbirds victories, collecting a .904 save percentage versus Prince George along the way.

Vancouver Canucks prospect Ty Young was the victorious netminder in the lone Cougars win against Seattle this season, a 4-1 decision at CN Centre October 29.

Game 1 of the second-round series between the Seattle Thunderbirds and Prince George Cougars is scheduled for Friday, April 14 at 7:05 p.m. PT in Kent, Wash. (accesso ShoWare Center). The series will shift to Prince George for Game 3 on Tuesday, April 18 at 7:00 p.m. PT (CN Centre).


Game Date Away Home Time  
1 April 14, 2023 Prince George Seattle 7:05 p.m. PT  
2 April 15, 2023 Prince George Seattle 6:05 p.m. PT  
3 April 18, 2023 Seattle Prince George 7:00 p.m. PT  
4 April 19, 2023 Seattle Prince George 7:00 p.m. PT  
5 April 21, 2023 Prince George Seattle 7:05 p.m. PT *
6 April 23, 2023 Seattle Prince George 6:00 p.m. PT *
7 April 25, 2023 Prince George Seattle 7:05 p.m. PT *

* – if necessary

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