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Hitmen blank Ice in 2014 WHL Playoffs

Calgary Hitmen
Calgary HitmenWikimedia Commons

According to the Western Hockey League website, the Calgary Hitmen defeated the Kootenay Ice on Saturday to tie their Eastern Conference quarterfinal playoff series at one game apiece.

Hitmen center Landon Welykholowa of Calgary scored twice. The fact that Welykholowa had a multi-goal game was surprising because he only had one goal in 34 regular season games this season between the Hitmen and Victoria Royals.

Brady Brassart and Adam Tambellini also had a goal and two assists each, while Chris Driedger had 35 saves for the shutout. Game three of the best out of seven series will be Monday night in Kootenay.

There was also a bizarre situation in Edmonton as it was announced prior to the Edmonton Oil Kings/Price Albert Raiders playoff game that they may have to go to a shootout to determine the winner of game one of the series instead of going to sudden death overtime. The reason was because they needed to be off the ice three hours before the Edmonton Oilers were playing the Calgary Flames at Rexall Place. Luckily, the Oil Kings won 5-3 and overtime and a shootout was avoided.

For the second time this month, there was a scheduling conflict in a junior hockey playoff series in Alberta. In the Alberta Junior Hockey League, the Drumheller Dragons needed to give home ice advantage to the Canmore Eagles because a conflict even though they had more points in the regular season. Luckily, Drumheller won their series.

What happended in Edmonton yesterday was inexcusable. They could have had their playoff game at 9 a.m. instead of 1:30 p.m. to avoid conflicts. Having a playoff game first thing in the morning would have avoided the Oil Kings and Raiders from having to go to a shootout.

Canadians love morning hockey. Thousands attended Canadian bars for the gold medal game of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, and there was also a major playoff game between Russia and South Korea being played at 9:00 a.m. local time at the Women's World Curling Championship in St. John, New Brunswick on Saturday, so morning playoff action in another sport does exist in Canada.