If you didn’t know after watching him play for four years in a Prince Albert Raiders jersey, Reid Gardiner can certainly put the puck in the net.
With the Kelowna Rockets, Gardiner now leads the WHL playoffs in just about every offensive stat. Nobody in the league has more playoff points (22), goals (12), power play goals (7) or game-winning goals (4) than Gardiner in his 11 postseason games. He’s also tied for sixth in assists with 10.
Gardiner got 12 of his points in three games this week, which was good enough for the WHL Player of the Week award.
The biggest game Gardiner had previously was his four-goal, two-assist effort which gave the Rockets a 6-2 win over the Portland Winterhawks to win the series in five-games.
Although he didn’t play one game for the Raiders in his overage year, Gardiner is still in the Raiders’ Top-10 for all-time franchise goals with 106. He started the year with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, the AHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Upon his return to the WHL in January the Raiders traded his rights to the Kelowna Rockets.
Gardiner and the Rockets will take on the Seattle Thunderbirds in the WHL Western Conference Finals.
Although the WCF matchup has already been decided, the Eastern Conference Finals is still very much to be determined.
Both semifinals series have gone to seven games. The Regina Pats, who won the WHL regular season award, were down 3-1 to the Swift Current Broncos but forced a game seven with a 5-3 victory in the Speedy Creek on Saturday. The rubber match takes place Monday night.
The Broncos have a number of local ties on them. They are coached and managed by former Raider great Emanuel Viveiros, who won the Memorial Cup with the Raiders in 1985. Prince Albert’s Jake Hobson, whose father Doug was on that Memorial Cup team, is also on the Broncos’ blueline, as well as Prince Albert Mintos centre Logan Barlage. The Pats’ defenceman Connor Hobbs is a former Raiders draft choice and prospect.
The other series between the Medicine Hat Tigers and Lethbridge Hurricanes will be decided with a Game 7 showdown on Tuesday in the Hat.
Prince Albert’s Josh Manson and his Anaheim Ducks look to take a commanding 3-0 series lead over the Calgary Flames in the first round of the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs.
Manson has played at least 18 minutes of ice time in the first two playoff games, getting over 20 in Game 2. He’s played every game this season for the Ducks, his second full NHL season.
Beam me up Scotty
Ian Scott and Team Canada are a perfect 3-0 at the 2017 IIHF Under-18 World Hockey Championships. They beat Switzerland 7-3 Monday morning.
Although Scott didn’t play, he was 2-0 with a .916 save percentage and 1.96 goals against average in the opening two games of the tournament.
Jeff D'Andrea is paNOW's sports reporter. He can be reached at [email protected] or tweet him @jeff_paNOW.
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