Mathew Barzal and the Seattle Thunderbirds won the Western Hockey League championship on Sunday night, beating the Regina Pats in six games, earning them a spot in the 2017 Memorial Cup. Barzal, 20, captained the T-Birds to a 4-3 overtime win over the Regina Pats in Game 6, giving Seattle their first WHL Championship in the franchise's 40-year history.
Barzal posted 25 points (7G, 18A) in 16 post-season games en route to being named the WHL Playoff MVP. The Coquitlam, BC native had eight points (2G, 6A) in the six-game championship series.
On Tuesday, Seattle fell to the Pats 3-2 at home in Game 3, while Barzal tallied the primary helper on the first Seattle goal. The T-Birds came roaring back with a 6-1 Game 4 victory, evening the series at two games apiece. Again, the Islanders 2015 first-round pick recorded an assist on Seattle's first goal.
Barzal and the T-Birds closed out their 2016-17 home campaign with a bang, topping the Pats 7-4 on Friday to take a 3-2 series lead. Barzal tallied two goals and an assist in Game 5, stretching his league-leading point streak to 15 games.
Seattle closed out the series on Sunday with a 4-3 overtime win, though Barzal was held off the score sheet, he was named the WHL Playoff MVP.
Seattle will open their 2017 Memorial Cup run against the Erie Otters, the Ontario Hockey League Champion, on Saturday, May 20th at 3:00 p.m. in Windsor, Ontario. The T-Birds will play a three-game round-robin tournament against the champions of the other two Canadian Hockey League teams (Erie; OHL & St. John's; QMJHL) as well as the host team, the Windsor Spitfires (OHL).
Seattle's Memorial Cup Schedule
** If Necessary
Saturday, May 20 vs. Erie Otters (OHL) 3:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 21 vs. Windsor Spitfires (Host) 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, May 23 vs. St. John's Sea Dogs (QMJHL) 7:00 p.m.
**Thursday, May 25 TIE BREAKER 7:00 p.m.
**Friday, May 26 Semi Final 7:00 p.m.
**Sunday, May 28 Championship Final 7:00 p.m.