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Islanders Prospect Report

Linus Soderstrom wins SHL Championship, Mathew Barzal to play for WHL Title

by Kelly Keogh kellykeogh19 / New York Islanders

Linus Soderstrom won the Swedish Hockey League championship over the weekend and Mathew Barzal is set to play for the Western Hockey League crown. Read more in the Islanders Prospect Report. 

Soderstrom, HV71 Win SHL Championship 

Linus Soderstrom, the Islanders' 2014 fourth-round pick (95th overall), backstopped HV71 to Swedish Hockey League title on Saturday night. The SHL is the premier professional hockey league in Sweden and this is the fifth title for HV71. 

Tweet from @HV71: Linus! ����

HV71 beat Brynas in seven games to take the SHL crown, winning Game 7 2-1 in overtime. Soderstrom turned aside 29 of 30 shots he faced in the championship game including all four shots in overtime. The 20-year-old goaltender was named the third star of the game. 

Soderstrom started all 16 playoff games for HV71 on their title run, posting a 12-4 record with a 2.11 goals-against average and a .922 save percentage. The Stockholm native posted a 2.46 GAA with a .914 SV% in the championship series.

Tweet from @SeattleTbirds: Mathew Barzal & Scott Eansor with WHL VP of Hockey Richard Doerksen and the Western Conference Championship Trophy(@Marissa_Baecker photo)

Barzal, Seattle to play for WHL Title

Mathew Barzal continues to lead the way for the Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey, who clinched their place in the WHL final on Sunday night. 

Barzal, who missed Seattle's first-round series against the Tri-City Americans with an illness, has scored a point in every game he's appeared in this post-season. Through 10 playoff games, the Coquitlam, BC native has posted 17 points (5G, 12A) with five multi-point games. 

On Tuesday, Barzal had the secondary assist on the eventual game-winner for Seattle to take a 2-1 series lead over the Kelowna Rockets and followed that up with another helper in Wednesday's 4-2 loss, evening the series at two games apiece. 

The series shifted back to Seattle on Friday where Barzal exploded for three assists in the T-Birds' 5-3 win, helping him earn First Star honors. The 20-year-old forward followed up his three-point night with another multi-point game (1G, 1A) to help Seattle advance to the WHL Final and end the Rockets' season for the second straight year.

Tweet from @SeattleTbirds: 2016-17 WHL Western Conference Champions #BackToBack #WinTheCup #SEAvsKEL #WHLPlayoffs(@Marissa_Baecker photo)

The Thunderbirds will face off against the Regina Pats for the for the Ed Chynoweth Cup - the WHL championship. The Pats' 112 regular-season points will give them home-ice advance for the series. The T-Birds and Pats played just once this season, back on Oct. 30 in Regina, where Seattle lost 6-3. This will be Barzal's first meeting with the Pats as he was still with the Islanders during the late October meeting. 

The winner of the Seattle-Regina series will take home the WHL title and advance to the 2017 Memorial Cup, a four-team tournament represented by the champions of the three leagues that make up the CHL (WHL, Ontario Hockey League & Quebec Major Junior Hockey League) as well as a host team. The Windsor Spitfires are hosting this year's Memorial Cup. 

WHL Championship Schedule
Regina vs. Seattle 

Game 1 Seattle at Regina Friday, May 5, 6pm
Game 2 Seattle at Regina Saturday, May 6, 6pm
Game 3 Regina at Seattle, Tuesday, May 9, 7:05pm
Game 4 Regina at Seattle, Wednesday, May 10, 7:05pm
**Game 5 Regina at Seattle, Friday, May 12, 7:35pm
**Game 6 Seattle at Regina, Sunday, May 14, 5pm
**Game 7 Seattle at Regina, Monday, May 15, 6pm

** If necessary 


2017 IIHF World Championships 

The 2017 World Championships start this week (May 5) in Germany and France. Current Islanders Anders Lee (USA), Brock Nelson (USA), Calvin de Haan (CAN), Thomas Greiss (GER) & Dennis Seidenberg (GER) have already been named to their national teams but stay tuned to @NYIslanders on Twitter to see if any New York Islanders prospects are named to represent their respective countries.

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