The Canadian major juniors and the USHL have reached their league finals while the NAHL is still sorting out its best teams. Still plenty of great hockey left.
Youngstown Phantoms at Fargo Force Friday and Saturday at 7:05 p.m. Central time. The USHL finals have arrived and it’s a series between two teams that have never won the Clark Cup. Fargo looks to be the better squad, but the teams split their regular season series, each winning one game. One game went into overtime and the other to a shootout. That should indicate a close, long series.
Ed Chynoweth Cup
Swift Current Broncos at Everett Silvertips at Friday at 7:35 p.m. Pacific time.
The Broncos put the Silvertips on the brink Wednesday night with a 1-0 win that gave them a 3-1 series lead. But Everett won’t go easily. Every game of this series should be on the NHL Network.
J. Ross Robertson Cup
Hamilton Bulldogs at Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds Friday at 7:07 p.m. Eastern time. The Greyhounds, whom we’ve called “the best junior hockey team on the planet, having lost only seven of 68 games in regulation during the regular season,” are no better off than even (2-2) in the series after Wednesday night’s 3-2 overtime win in Hamilton. If they’re going to take the league title, Friday night’s game is almost a must-win. They wouldn’t want to go back to Hamilton to face an elimination game on Sunday.
Minot Minotauros at Fairbanks Ice Dogs Friday, Fairbanks at Minot Saturday. The Minotauros barely broke .500 in the NAHL regular season while the Ice Dogs won 45 of 60 games and lost only eight times in regulation. So why are the Minotauros here? Because they’ve had a great playoff run. It will be interesting to see if it continues against the monster from Alaska. If a third game is necessary, it will be played Sunday at 3 p.m.
Wilkes-Barre Scranton Knights at Shreveport Mudbugs Friday, Shreveport at Wilkes-Barre Scranton Knights Saturday The Knights are bit like the Minotauros -- how did they get this far? Great story if they can keep it up, but the Mudbugs are a buzzsaw. If a third game is necessary, it will be played Sunday at 6 p.m.
Royal Bank Cup
Wenatchee Wild vs. Chilliwack Chiefs Saturday at 7 p.m. Pacific time, Wenatchee Wild vs. Steinbach Pistons Saturday at 2 p.m. Pacific. Will the only U.S.-based team in the BCHL continue its march through Canada’s junior A teams?
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