As the 2023 WHL Playoffs are quickly approaching, the Winnipeg Ice are preparing to battle all teams they face to end up on top as they finish first in the Eastern Conference.
The Winnipeg Ice travelled to the Westoba Place in Brandon where they managed to pull out a 3-2 victory after going into a shootout.
With this win secured, the Ice are WHL Regular Season Champions for the second year in a row, and for the third time in the franchise's history.
Evan Friesen was the first to score in the second period. Wheat Kings' Nolan Flamand and Dawson Pasternak scored in the third to take the lead. The Ice was quick to tie the game as Briley Wood found the back of the opposing team's net.
With those two goals, Winnipeg improved its record to 56-10-1. Recording a franchise record of 113 points and 56 victories, the Ice claimed their third Division title, and second East Division crown in Club history on March 12.
Connor McClennon and Zack Ostapchuk scored in the shootout to win the game.
Brandon outshot Winnipeg 39-33, however, Ice goalie Mason Beaupit earned the victory.
- Winnipeg Ice lose strong first period lead, Moose Jaw wins 6-4
- Winnipeg Ice continues to make history with 2 wins against Prince Albert
- Ice down Wheat Kings in OT
Heading into their home game yesterday, the ICE put together the League’s most impressive offence; their 318 goals are a franchise record and 78 more than the next nearest WHL rival, while their 172 goals against are third-fewest in the League.
The Ice played an amazing game on home ice with a 5-3 victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings once again.
It was a memorable game as all three graduating players made it on the scoresheet; McClennon with two goals, and Owen Pederson and Zloty each with an assist.
Conor Geekie captured his third hat trick of the season, along with two assists for a five-point game. Geekie and McClennon each had a game-high four shots on goal despite Brandon outshooting Winnipeg 27-23.
Beaupit earned his 16th win of the season.
The three goals from Brandon came from Rylen Roersma, Calder Anderson and Roger McQueen.
With a record of 57-10-1-0 (115 points), the ICE represents one of only two WHL Clubs (the other being Kelowna Rockets in 2013/14, 2014/15) to reach the 50-win plateau this season. This is the fourth consecutive campaign in which Winnipeg has secured a record with a points percentage of .600 or better. This is also the 10th campaign in franchise history in which the ICE has notched at least 40 wins.
Ben Zloty has set a new single-season franchise record for assists and points by a defenceman, with 81 points (13 goals and 68 assists). The previous record was held by Brayden McNabb during the 2010-11 season with 71 points. Zloty's 68 assists is also a new single-season franchise record for assists by a defenceman.
Daniel Hauser set a new Ice franchise record for most wins by a goaltender in a single season with 37 wins. He eclipsed the previous record of 36 wins by Wyatt Hoflin in the 2014-15 season.
Here is a list of all the franchise and league records set by the Winnipeg Ice during the 2022/23 regular season:
- With 61 points on home ice, the Ice set a franchise record for points on home ice. They eclipsed the previous record of 60 points set last season.
- With 54 points on the road, the Ice set a new franchise record for points on the road. They eclipsed last season’s 51 in 34 games.
- With 57 wins, the Ice set a new franchise record for most wins in a single season eclipsing last season’s 53.
- With 57 wins, the Ice set a new WHL record for most wins by a team playing a 68-game regular season schedule. The previous record of 54 was held by the 2018-19 Prince Albert Raiders.
- With 30 wins on home ice, the Ice set a franchise and WHL records for home ice wins by a team playing a 68-game regular season schedule during the internet era. They eclipsed last season's 29 wins by the Ice and Edmonton Oil Kings.
- With 27 wins on the road, the Ice set a WHL record for road wins by a team playing a 68-game regular season schedule during the internet era. The 2018-19 Prince Albert Raiders won 26 games.
- With 27 wins on the road, the Ice set a new franchise record eclipsing last season’s 24 wins in 34 games.
- By scoring 325 goals this season, the Ice set a new franchise record eclipsing last season’s 317.
- By scoring 157 goals on the road this season the Ice has set a new franchise record eclipsing the previous record of 140 during the 2000-01 season.
The Winnipeg Ice, the top seed in the Eastern Conference, now prepares to face the Medicine Hat Tigers, situated as the eighth seed, in the first round of the 2023 WHL Playoffs.
The series will mark the first WHL Playoffs meeting between the ICE and Tigers since a Second Round affair in 2014. Medicine Hat rallied from a 3-1 series deficit to defeat the Kootenay ICE in seven games. Overall, the Clubs have met four times in the post-season with each Club winning two series.
Game 1 of the first-round series between the Winnipeg ICE and Medicine Hat Tigers is scheduled for Friday, March 31 at 7:05 p.m. CT in Winnipeg (Wayne Fleming Arena). The series will shift to Medicine Hat for Game 3 on Tuesday, April 4 at 7:00 p.m. MT (Co-op Place).
For the 2023 WHL Playoff schedule, click here.