Barzal Stays Hot; T-Birds Split First Two Games of WHL Final
Mathew Barzal and the Seattle Thunderbirds opened the 2017 Western Hockey League Final on Friday night in Regina with a 2-1 overtime win over the Pats. Barzal tallied assists on both Seattle goals in the OT win.
The T-Birds followed up their win with an OT loss in Game 2, falling 4-3 to the Pats, evening the series at one game apiece. Barzal found the scoresheet again, recording the lone assist on Seattle's second goal. Seattle scored all of their three goals in a 56 second span at the beginning of the second period.
Barzal, 19, is currently riding the longest active point streak in the WHL post-season at 12 games. The Islanders' 2015 first-round pick has recorded at least one point in every game he's appeared in during Seattle's playoff run totaling 20 points (5G, 15A) with six multi-point games.
The series shifts to Seattle on Tuesday, where the T-Birds are 6-0-1 this post season, for Games 3 and 4. Barzal is the last Islanders prospect remaining in his respective playoff series. Barzal and the Thunderbirds are playing for the WHL championship and trip to the 2017 Memorial Cup.
Game 1 Seattle 2 at Regina 1 (OT) Friday, May 5
Game 2 Seattle 3 at Regina 4 (OT) Saturday, May 6
Game 3 Regina 3 at Seattle 2, Tuesday, May 9, 7:05pm
Game 4 Regina 1 at Seattle 6, 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
Barzal Runner-Up for WHL Player of the Year:
On Wednesday, Barzal was named runner-up for WHL Player of the Year behind Sam Steel (Regina). This season, the Coquitlam, BC native posted 79 points (10G, 69A) in 41 regular season games, nearly a two-point per game. Barzal recorded a career-high 69 assists, good for fourth in the WHL, despite playing at least 20 fewer games than those ahead of him.
Since entering the WHL in 2013, Barzal has been the league's premier setup man, leading 'the Dub' with 215 assists while ranking third with 278 points in 202 games.