After finishing the regular season in the top spot in the Eastern Conference, the Winnipeg Ice is sharpening their skates in preparation for the first-round series of the 2023 WHL Playoffs.
On March 31, Ice will go head-to-head with the Medicine Hat Tigers at the Ice Cave, Wayne Flemming Arena, with the series shifting to the Co-op Place in Medicine Hat on Tuesday, April 4.
The series will mark the first WHL Playoffs meeting between the ICE and Tigers since 2014, when the franchise was stationed in Kootenay, B.C. Overall, the two teams have met four times in the post-season with each club winning two series.
On March 24, the Winnipeg Ice was awarded the Scotty Munro Memorial Trophy as Regular Season Champions for the second year in a row.
Three of the four regular-season meetings went Winnipeg’s way, including the most recent encounter, a 3-1 ICE victory on March 7 at Wayne Fleming Arena. The home side ran out winners in three of the four meetings, too, including the lone Tigers victory, a 6-4 affair on March 1 at Co-op Place.
"I think the team buying into our system, not taking a day off, not playing for yourself, but playing for the team," says Ice forward Evan Friesen when asked about the successful season the team has had. "Whether that's blocking a shot, taking a hit to make a play, just doing what you can to help the team win in the end."
Friesen says that they are going to stay consistent and continue doing what they've been doing this entire season and that is to play their system and win their games.
Yesterday afternoon, the WHL named the All-Star Teams, which are voted upon by WHL General Managers:
- WHL East Division Second All-Star Team:
- Matthew Savoie - forward
- WHL East Divison First All-Star Team:
- Daniel Hauser - goaltender
- Ben Zloty - defenceman
- Zach Benson - forward
- Connor McClennon - forward
More information about the 2023 WHL Playoffs can be found here.