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Pavelski, McDavid, Benn, Tarasenko reach semis

EA SPORTS NHL 17 votes count double on Twitter Thursday

by Pat Pickens @Pat_Pickens / Staff Writer

It's another Twitter Thursday, when votes count double and fans and teams angle to get their favorite player on the cover of EA Sports NHL 17.

This year, eight superstars have been selected to represent their NHL and World Cup of Hockey teams and compete to become the NHL® 17 cover athlete.

Connor McDavid, Team North America and the Edmonton Oilers are squaring off against Joe Pavelski, Team USA and the San Jose Sharks in one semifinal; in the other, it's Jamie Benn, Team Canada and the Dallas Stars against Vladimir Tarasenko, Team Russia and the St. Louis Blues.

Semifinal voting runs through Monday at 3 p.m. ET, and fans can either vote on Twitter using the hashtag of their favorite player or at The winners this week will reach next week's final. This is the only Twitter Thursday of the semifinals, and teams and fans again are finding fun and creative ways to vote.

The St. Louis Blues official Twitter account wants hockey fans to celebrate the Tarasenko de Mayo holiday:

Tweet from @StLouisBlues: Happy Tarasenko de Mayo. And double-vote Thursday! #NHL17Tarasenko #NHL17Tarasenko

Team STL is giving away a copy of NHL 17 if Tarasenko graces the game's cover, which is pushing fans to use #NHL17Tarasenko:

Tweet from @Team_STL: #TeamSTLGiveaway!If #NHL17Tarasenko wins the #NHL17CoverVote, 1 RTer will win a copy of #NHL17!RETWEET TO ENTER!

In the first round, the Stars official Twitter account offered free playoff tickets for fans who used the #NHL17Benn hashtag, and Dallas is upping the ante to push fans to boost Benn to the finals:

Tweet from @DallasStars: -2 tickets to Game 5-Signed mini-helmet-Signed puck-Signed bobbleheadAND-Signed @jamiebenn14 jersey!#NHL17Benn

This Kuwait-based Stars fan wants to win the contest, so she's voting for Benn:

Tweet from @tbhdemers: I don't know how will I go to game 5 because I'm from Kuwait but I want the signed jersey #NHL17Benn

Dylan Strome, McDavid's former teammate with Erie of the Ontario Hockey League, got more than 3,000 retweet votes with this enticing message:

Tweet from @stromer19: 2500 rt's and I post an embarrassing picture of my bestfriend @cmcdavid97 because I want to see his face on a video game cover #NHL17McDavid

The Calder Trophy nominee is giving away a signed game-used stick to those who use the hashtag #NHL17McDavid:

Tweet from @cmcdavid97: Twitter Thursday giveaway, how about a game used stick? Tweet and RT! #NHL17McDavid #NHL17CoverVote

Warrior Hockey posted it would give away a signed game-used stick to one person who used #NHL17Pavelski:

Tweet from @WarriorHockey: Another round of voting, another chance at a @jpav8 signed, game used stick! RT for a chance to win! #NHL17Pavelski

The black cat named Jo Paw-velski boosted the Sharks' luck in Games 1 and 2 of their Western Conference Second Round series against the Nashville Predators. Her Twitter account is trying to inspire people to vote for her namesake:

 Tweet from @sharkscat: meow, #NHL17Pavelski

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