Seattle Thunderbirds

The Seattle Breakers were sold after the 1984-85 season, and entered the 1985-86 campaign with a new name – the Seattle Thunderbirds.  The TBirds (as they are known by their fans) continued to play in the junior A Western Hockey League (WHL), and they still play in the league to this day.  A number of NHLers have spent time with the TBirds, most notably Petr Nedved and Chris Osgood.

1985-86 – As much as things changed in the off season, they pretty much stayed the same as far as the standings were concerned.  The TBirds finished at 27-43-2, good enough for fourth place in the six team West Division.  The playoffs were over fast, as Seattle was swept in the first round by Kamloops, five games to none.

Craig Endean led the offense with 58 goals and 70 assists, and he would be the only TBird picked in the 1986 NHL Draft (5th round, 99th overall to Winnipeg).  Future NHLer Jamie Huscroft kept the opposition in line with 394 minutes in penalties, and  Larry Dyck would be named to the First Team All-Stars for his play in net. 

1986-87 – While Seattle again slipped in the standings with a fifth place 21-41-4 record, this would be a breakout season for 16 year old Glen Goodall.  Goodall led the team in scoring with 63 goals and 49 assists, giving Seattle fans a taste for the excitement that was in store for them for the next three seasons.

Goodall was all that Seattle fans had to cheer for this season, as no members of the club would make the all-star team and the fifth place regular season finish kept them out of the post season.  There were two players picked in the 1987 NHL Draft, led by first round selection Chris Joseph (5th overall to Pittsburgh).

1987-88 – The TBirds continued to play poor hockey, posting another fifth place finish at 25-45-2.  For the second straight year they would not make it to the playoffs.  Glen Goodall continued to shine, producing 53 goals and 64 assists.  Despite back-to-back 50+ goal seasons, Goodall not be selected until the 10th round (206th overall to Detroit) of the 1988 NHL Draft.  Three other TBirds would be picked as well, with Trevor Sim being the highest selection in the 3rd round (53rd overall to Edmonton).

1988-89 – Seattle made great strides in improving it’s record to 33-35-4, but unfortunately this was only good enough for another fifth place finish in the six team West Division.  While that meant a third straight season out of the playoffs, it would be the last time that the TBirds failed to make the post season. 

Glen Goodall was again outstanding, putting up 52 goals and 62 assists.  He was outpaced by teammate Victor Gervais, however, who tallied 54 goals and 65 assists.  Another big part of Seattle’s success was goaltender Danny Lorenz, who was named the Top Goaltender in the WHL and a First Team All-Star in the West Division.

In the NHL Entry Draft of 1989, two TBirds would be selected.  Lindsay Vallis would be picked in the first round (13th overall) by Montreal, while the high scoring Gervais would have to wait until the 9th round (187th overall to Washington).

1989-90 – This was a huge season for Seattle, as the team compiled it’s best record ever at 52-17-3.  Amazingly it wasn’t enough to win the West Division, as Kamloops finished the season at 56-16-0.  The TBird offense featured the second and third highest scorers in the league in Goodall (76 goals, 87 assists) and Victor Gervais (64 goals, 96 assists), and their home record was an astounding 33-2-1.  The team was so popular that the team began playing some of it’s home game in the larger Seattle Center Coliseum, which could seat well over 10,000 for hockey.  There were many nights that the team was actually able to sell out the larger building.

It was a banner year for awards as well.  Glen Goodall, playing in his final WHL season, would win the league MVP award.  At the time of his graduation, Goodall would hold the WHL career records for most games (399), goals (262), assists (311) and points (573).  He is still the leader in games played and goals.  Current NHLer Petr Nedved would win the Rookie of the Year in his only WHL season during which he scored 65 goals and 80 assists.  Oddly enough neither of these players would be named to the West Division First Team All-Stars, although teammates Danny Lorenz and Stewart Malgunas were named to the team. 

Seattle was able to knock off the Tri-Cities Americans in an ugly first round match-up which featured a brawl between Tri-Cities players and Seattle fans during a game in the Coliseum.  When some rowdy fans tossed some drinks over the glass separating them from the Americans bench, a number of Americans players dislodged the barrier and climbed into the crowd wielding sticks.  It was an ugly scene which received national media attention.  Oddly enough the same thing would happen between the same teams just two years later.   Seattle would go on to lose in the West Division finals to Kamloops, five games to one.

The 1990 NHL Draft featured 6 members of the team, including two first round selections – Petr Nedved (2nd overall to Vancouver) and Turner Stevenson (12th overall to Montreal).  Both players are still in the NHL as of the 2001-2002 season.

1990-91 – While the TBirds dropped to third in the divisional standings, their record was still a respectable 42-26-4.  This was a team that relied more on it’s fists that finesse, with Dody Wood (272 PIM) and Turner Stevenson (222 PIM) wrecking havoc on the opposition.  Even their goaltender was tough; Corey Schwab must have led the league in penalty minutes by a goaltender, as he loved to use his stick as a weapon to clear the crease.  It was also memorable in that it was the first season that I attended a Seattle Thunderbirds game.

The TBirds were led offensively by Doug Barrault (44 goals, 44 assists).  Brent Bilodeau was selected in the first round of the 1991 NHL Draft (17th overall) by Montreal – the third year in a row that Montreal had made a Seattle player their first round pick.  He would also be named a Second Team All-Star, along with Vince Boe.

Unfortunately for Seattle, the team ran into a Spokane Chiefs club that had loaded up for the playoffs.  Spokane knocked off the TBirds five games to one in the first round.  They would go on to sweep Kamloops in the division finals, sweep Lethbridge in the WHL finals, and sweep the Memorial Cup tournament, going 18-1 in the process.  Their only post season loss was to Seattle.

1991-92 – Excitement was high during my first year as a season ticket holder, as Seattle had been selected to host the 1992 Memorial Cup.  This meant that Seattle was guaranteed a berth in the tournament… or did it?  The TBirds stumbled out of the gates, and there was talk that the CHL might pull the tournament from Seattle if they couldn’t turn it around.  The club mortgaged it’s future in a number of trades that brought some great talent to the team – Chris Osgood, Blake Knox, and Curt Seher to name a few.  The Birds rebounded in the second half, including ending Prince Albert’s 18 game winning streak in a 5-0 bloodbath in Seattle.  They finished the season in fourth place, 33-34-5.

Rookie Mike Kennedy led the offense with 42 goals and 47 assists.  It was also the rookie season for defenseman Brendan Witt, whose 212 penalty minutes were second best on the team.  Witt, who would later play with Washington in the NHL, would be a mainstay on the blueline.  Turner Stevenson was a First Team All-Star, and Mike Kennedy was a Second Team selection.  The 1992 NHL Draft would only include two Seattle players, none of whom was picked before the eighth round.

In the first round of the playoffs, the club faced the Tri-Cities Americans for the second time in three years… and again for the second time in three years the Americans would engage Seattle fans in a brawl.  This time it was in the confines of the smaller Seattle Ice Arena on Mercer Street.  I had a great vantage point for this one, and the what really set things off was when a fan took the stick of an Americans player.  The player reached through the missing section of pexiglass (removed by the Americans players in an effort to get at the fans) in an attempt to retrieve his stick.  Unfortunately for him, he was cold cocked from the side by a large fan and sent tumbling back into the bench.  That’s when the fun really started…  Anyway, Seattle would defeat Tri-Cities in the first round, four games to one, and Spokane in the second round three games to one. 

The West Division finals feature the TBirds up against the first place Kamloops Blazers.  Kamloops took the first two at home, but Seattle rallied to win the next two, including a huge come from behind win in game 4.  Unfortunately, Kamloops was too strong and Seattle would fall in six.

Seattle opened the Memorial Cup tournament with a win over Verdun of the QMJHL, but proceeded to lose the next two games to Sault Ste. Marie and Kamloops.  The TBirds faced Kamloops in the semi-finals, but the Blazers again dashed Seattle’s hopes by a score of 8-3 on the way to their first of three consecutive Memorial Cups.  Turner Stevenson was named to the tournament all-star team.

1992-93 – Under new head coach Walt Kyle, Seattle’s record fell again to 31-38-3.  It was still good enough for fourth place in the West, and a trip to the playoffs.   For the second straight season Seattle would face Kamloops in the playoffs… and for the second straight year Kamloops won, this time four games to one. 

This was one of my favorite TBird teams, as it was loaded with talent and brawn.  Veteran Blake Knox led the team offensively with 23 goals and 60 assist… along with 200 minutes in penalties.  Brendan Witt had another physical year on the blueline with 239 PIM, but the real story physically was rookie Brett Duncan.  It took the league about half the season to figure out that he fought left handed, as he mowed down the opposition with 343 minutes in penalties.  Witt would be named a First Team All-Star and would be selected in the first round of the 1993 NHL Draft (11th overall) by Washington.

In what was one of the strangest things that I’ve seen in hockey, Marko Elorinne of Seattle was credited with a goal when the puck never crossed the goal line.  It was late in the third period, and the opposition had pulled their goalie for the extra attacker.  Elorinne ended up on a breakaway on the open net, only to be thwarted when a trailing defenseman threw his stick, knocking the puck off of Elorinne’s blade.  The result normally would be a penalty shot, but since their was no goalie Elorinne was awarded the goal.

1993-94 – While the TBirds continued to wallow in mediocrity with another fourth place finish (32-37-3), they did put an entertaining team on the ice.  Veterans Brendan Witt (235 PIM) and Brett Duncan (283 PIM) led a huge defense corps,  while forwards Chris Herpberger (44 goals, 51 assists) and Ollie Kjensted (30 goals, 36 assists) wheeled and dealed in the offensive end.  Kjensted made the most beautiful offensive move that I have ever seen, coming in over the blueline, doing a spin-o-rama, then dishing the puck to the streaking Herpberger for the goal.  When you watch it on tape, you can hear the crowd "Oooohhh!" as Kjensted completes the move.

Brendan Witt would again be named a First Team All-Star, as well as winning the Top Defenseman award.  Third year, 6′ 6" center Chris Wells, who finished second in team scoring with 74 points, would be selected in the first round of the NHL Draft (24th overall) by Pittsburgh.  Rookie defenseman Deron Quint, who was pure magic with the puck, would go in the second round (30th overall) to Anaheim.

In the playoffs, Seattle won it’s first round series against Spokane three games to none.  Kamloops was the opponent in the second round, and the TBirds still had no answer for the Blazers and lost the series four games to two.

1994-95 – New coach Don Nachbaur led the club to a solid 42-28-2 record, good enough for third place in the West Division.  It was a team that could fill the net (three players with 100+ points) and the penalty box (four players with 200+ PIM) with equal ease.

The offense was led by fourth year player Chris Wells (45 goals, 63 assists) who could not be moved from the front of the net.  Helping out were Chris Herpberger (49 goals, 52 assists) and Czech rookie Jan Hrdina (41 goals, 59 assists).  Defenseman Deron Quint helped the rush with his 29 goals and 60 assists, and his defensive mates Lloyd Shaw (313 PIM), Kevin Popp (257 PIM) and Drew Palmer (215 PIM) made sure that everyone had room in which to operate.  Wells and Quint were First Team All-Stars, and Herpberger was named to the Second Team.  Five players were selected in the 1995 Draft, led by Shaw who was selected in the 4th round (92nd overall) by Vancouver.

For all of the good players on this team, I will forever remember this as the "Year of the Crowe"… Calvin Crowe.  In 29 games in Seattle he racked up 97 minutes in penalties.  Most of his 1-2 shifts per game ended with Calvin in the box.  Fans would chant his name and hold up signs that had pictures of crows on them late in games.  I’ll never forget a game in the Arena during which Crowe got in two fights in two shifts (both fights were right off the face-off), and then iced the cake with a power play goal – his only of the season.  The sight of Crowe riding his stick (yes, I said riding his stick) across the rink after the goal was surreal. 

The playoffs were a disaster, as the WHL opted to go to a first round, round robin format.  Seattle was in a pool with Kamloops and Portland, and could not win a single game in the four which they played.   

1995-96 – The Birds entered a rebuilding year, and finished the season in fifth place with a 29-36-7 record.  They would go on to make a quick exit in the first round of the playoffs to, who else, the Kamloops Blazers four games to one.

The highlight of the season for Seattle fans was the play of 16 year old rookie Patrick Marleau (left).  His 32 goals and 42 assists were good enough to lead the team offensively.  Defenseman Greg Kuznik would be the only TBird selected in the draft, going in the 7th round (177th overall) to Hartford.

The most anticipated game of the season occurred a little past the half way point.  Tough defenseman Kevin Popp (earlier in the season he climbed into the Kelowna bench to continue a fight) had been traded to Portland earlier in the year, and most of the fans were anticipating a match-up between him and current TBird fighting prodigy Paul Ferone (known as "Fists of Fury" in Section 113).  They didn’t disappoint, as the two went at it early in the game – the 6′ 2", 210 pound Popp versus the 5′ 11", 160 pound Ferone.  It was a bout for the ages, with both players landing lots of big blows and congratulating each other after the fight.

1996-97 – This team, along with the 1990-91 club that went 33-2-1 at home, was the best Seattle Thunderbird team ever.  They finished the regular season in second place in the West Division with very solid 41-27-4 record, but the playoffs would be something special.

Seventeen year old Patrick Marleau was a magician with the puck, scoring 51 goals and 74 assists – the first 50+ goal performance in Seattle since 1989-90.  Tyler Willis, all 5′ 7", 150 pounds of him, led the team with 302 minutes in penalties while still racking up 52 points.  The goaltending duties were split right down the middle by Jeff Blair (3.20 GAA) and Cody Rudkowsky (3.44 GAA).  Marleau and defenseman Randy Perry were both First Team All-Stars, and eight Thunderbirds would be selected in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft.

The playoffs started against the nemesis Kamloops Blazers.  The Blazers had bounced Seattle from the post season in six of the previous seven seasons, and no Seattle team had ever won a playoff series against the Blazers.  All that changed as the Birds stomped Kamloops four games to none in what was probably the most satisfying playoff series win I have experienced.  Also in the first round, the sixth place Prince George Cougars upset the regular season champs from Portland, which meant that Seattle got a bye in the second round.  The West Division finals featured Seattle versus a tired Prince George team, and the TBirds came away with a four games to two win.

On to the WHL finals!  Unfortunately, Seattle ran into a very experienced Lethbridge team that had sold the farm to get the talent for their playoff run… and it showed.  It was everything Seattle could do to just hang on, and they were swept in four games.  I can safely say that I have never seen a better team than the one put together by Lethbridge.  Game four ended badly, with lots of fights and ejections.  Paul Ferone would be ejected from his final WHL game, as he hit a Lethbridge player over the head with a stick…. while the player was sitting on his own bench. 

1996-97 Seattle Thunderbirds – Western Division Champions

1997-98 – Things were looking good in the preseason, until we found out that the San Jose Sharks were going to keep 18 year old Patrick Marleau (their first round pick in 1997) in the NHL and not return him to Seattle.  The loss of Marleau and Kris Cantu (42 goals in 1996-97) left the TBirds with a big hole in their offense. 

The Birds fell to 31-35-6 on the season, good enough for sixth place and the last playoff spot in the West.  The pick up of Mark Parrish from the college ranks (St. Cloud State) was key, as were the off season acquisition of Matt Demarski and greatly improved play of 18 year old Brett DeCecco.  Parrish would lead the way offensively with 54 goals and 38 assists in only 54 games, followed by Dececco (92 points) and Demarski (79 points).  Chris Thompson kept the opposition honest with his 339 PIM, as did Greg Kuznik who bloodied so many players early in the season (he was a black belt) that no one would go near him during the second half.

It was during this season that I had to watch probably the worst player I have ever seen in a Seattle uniform – A.J. van Bruggen.  A 6′ 5", 225 pound twenty year old rookie, he took the stupidest penalties I have ever seen, and he took a lot of them with 126 minutes in only 37 games.  On those rare occasions when he fought, he was an embarrassment to the uniform.  A mid season trade sent him to Medicine Hat.  He played three games there before returning to Seattle on a road trip, and he promptly broke his leg in two as he tripped over the blueline in the first period with no one within 15 feet of him.  WHL career over.  Pathetic.

The playoffs were over in the first round, as Portland bumped off the Birds four games to one.  Parrish was a First Team All-Star, and two players were selected in the NHL Draft (Jason Beckett and Nathan Forster).

1998-99 – The Birds rebounded with a solid year, going 37-24-11 and finishing the season in third place in the West Division.  The offensive performances of Brett DeCecco (57 goals and 43 assists) and rookie Oleg Saprykin (47 goals, 46 assists) were impressive, but the success of this team can be attributed to one player:  Cody Rudkowsky.

It was Cody’s (right) fourth season with Seattle, his second as a starter.  He went 20-22-4 the previous season and no one had reason to expect the dominance that he would show this year.  Rudkowsky went 34-17-10 for the Birds, with a 2.90 GAA and a whopping seven shutouts – five of which occurred during a 9 game stretch between February 2-20.  He was a First Team All-Star (DeCecco and Saprykin made the Second Team), won the Top Goaltender award and the WHL Player of the Year.

Russian Oleg Saprykin had a great season, showing incredible stick handling skills and a great passing touch.  He and teammate Scott Kelman would both be selected in the first round of the 1999 NHL Draft, with Saprykin going to Calgary (11th overall) and Kelman going to Phoenic (15th overall).  Four other Thunderbirds were also selected.  Defenseman Mike Siklenka also had a notable year.  He was switched to forward late in the season, and responded with 19 regular season goals and 6 more in the playoffs.

The playoffs featured an exciting first round series against Prince George.  For the first time in franchise history Seattle would see the seventh game in a seven game series, when the blew the doors off of Prince George 5-0.  Alas, Seattle couldn’t keep the good times rolling as they lost in the second round to Tri-Cities, three games to one.

1999-2000 – Seattle finished the season at 34-30-8, in third place in the division.  This was pretty amazing when you consider that their leading scorer, Oleg Saprykin, only had 66 points on the season (30 goals, 36 assists).  He was also a Second Team All-Star.

Twenty year old captain Brett DeCecco was traded in a surprising mid-season move.  The only other thing that really stood out was the play of Jason McKee, a 20 year old rookie who came to Seattle from the college ranks.  McKee started the season at center, only to be moved to the blueline about halfway through the year.  The 5′ 9" McKee made the most of it, and still finished the season as the team’s second leading scorer with 23 goals and 39 assists.

Coach Don Nachbaur would not make it to the season’s end, as he was fired late in the season and replaced by GM Russ Farwell.  There was some joy in the playoffs, as Seattle swept Kamloops in the first round.  The TBirds were then swept themselves by Prince George, three games to none. 

The 2000 NHL Entry Draft saw four Thunderbirds selected, three of whom were picked in the second round – Gerard DiCaire (48th overall to Buffalo), Shane Endicott (52nd overall to Pittsburgh) and David Morisett (65th overall to St. Louis).

2000-01 – The Thunderbirds finished the season in sixth place in the West, with a 30-33-8 mark, under rookie coach Dean Chynoweth.  Scoring was again hard to come by, and if it hadn’t been for early season acquisitions Jamie Lundmark and Barrett Heisten I shudder to think how bad it could have been.

Shane Endicott led the club in scoring with 36 goals and 43 assists, followed closely by Lundmark and Heisten, both of whom would finish the season with 77 points in less than 60 games.  Lundmark would be named a First Team All-Star, and defenseman Gerard DiCaire would be on the Second Team.  Also notable were the play of rookie Dustin Johner (56 points) and the steadying influence of 20 year old defenseman Dion Lassu who was picked up in an early season trade.

The first round of the playoff saw Seattle take on the Kelowna Rockets, the team with the best record in the division during the regular season.  Seattle played hard, and their experienced players stepped up for an upset series win, four games to two.  The TBirds ran out of gas in the second round, falling to Spokane three games to one.

2001-02 – The WHL changed the league alignment prior to the start of the season.  There would now be two conferences and  four divisions and a total of 19 teams as the Vancouver Giants joined the circuit as an expansion club.  The Thunderbirds would play in the four team U.S. Division along with Portland, Spokane and Tri-City.  In another change, the league adopted NHL rules regarding overtime.  If the game ended as a tie during regulation play, each team was awarded one point.  The teams would then play a 5 minute, 4 on 4 sudden death overtime period.  If a team scored, they would receive credit for a win (and two points) while the loser would receive credit for an "overtime loss" (and one point).

This was the second season under coach Dean Chynoweth, and it was the second consecutive disappointment.  The TBirds finished dead last in their division with a 21-40-6-5 record and led the league in penalty minutes with 2,057 as a team.  Sophomore Dustin Johner led the team in scoring with 33 goals and 81 points, and rookie defenseman Zack FitzGerald was a physical force notching 214 penalty minutes in only 61 games.  The only reason that Seattle made the playoffs is that the expansion Vancouver club finished with less points in the standings in their five team division.

The first round of the playoffs appeared to be a foregone conclusion, as Seattle faced off with the Portland Winter Hawks.  Portland had the best record in the division and had Seattle’s number all season long.  In one of the more bizarre playoff series in league history, the last place TBirds bumped off the division leaders four games to three.  This was the second year in a row in which the Thunderbirds upset a number one seed in the first round of the playoffs.  What was even more strange is that the won three of their four games on the road in Portland, a building in which they had not won in about two years. 

In the second round Seattle was swept by Kootenay, who went on to win the WHL championship and the 2002 Memorial Cup.

2002-03 – The Thunderbirds fell out of the gate at the start of the season, losing six of their first eight games of the season.  The beginning of November saw the club sneak over the .500 make for a few days, before five straight losses knocked them back down again.  The broke the five game skid with a win over Kelowna on November 22, and from that point forward the TBirds would go 35-10-2-1 as they put together a seven game and two five game winning streaks to finish the season with a 44-22-3-3 record and first place in the US Division – the first time in the 26 year history of the team that they finished first in their division during the regular season.  The Thunderbirds also had a great home record – 27-6-3, third best in the league.

Offensively forward Brooks Laich (41 goals, 94 points, Western Conference MVP) and defenseman Tomas Mojzis (21 goals, 70 points) led the way.  Laich had a 22 game point scoring streak, best in the league, and Mojzis had a 20 game point streak at the same time!  David Svagrovsky had an excellent rookie season (17 goals, 42 points), and the very physical defense corps was led by Matt Spiller (198 PIM) and Zack FitzGerald (232 PIM).  

There was some controversy when the Thunderbirds brought in 20 year old goaltender Brent Krahn in early March.  The TBirds were playing well, and many felt that this might upset the team chemistry.  Krahn wasn’t sharp during his first game with the team, but it turned out to be the most exciting game of the season.  On March 5 the Tri-Cities Americans came to town.  After a first period that ended with the teams tied 2-2, the Americans went on a tear and scored four unanswered goals to take a 6-2 lead early in the third.  The two teams then traded goals to make it 7-3 about five minutes into the period.  After that it was all Seattle, as the team scored four goals in the last 15 minutes, with the game tying goal coming with the goalie pulled and only 11 seconds left on the clock.  TBird captain Dustin Johner put in the overtime winner to give the team an 8-7 win.

In the first round of the playoffs, the Thunderbirds bumped off the Prince George Cougars four games to one.  The second round had the Kootenay Ice in town, and the TBirds completely shut them down winning the series four games to one and only allowing the Ice to score five goals in the series.  Brent Krahn had back-to-back shutouts in games two and three.  The conference finals against the Kelowna Rockets proved a reversal of fortune, as Seattle lost the series four games to one, their only win coming in double overtime in game three.  Kelowna would go on to win the WHL Championship.

2003-04 – There really isn’t much to say about the 2003-04 season.  The Thunderbirds finished a full 10 points out of a playoff spot and their 24 wins were the second worst total put up by the franchise since 1986-87.  It also marked the end of a run of 14 consecutive playoff berths, going all the way back to 1989-90.

Tyler Metcalfe led the team in scoring with a meager 59 points (22-37-59) – the lowest total for a team point leader in franchise history.   Dustin Johner paced the club in goals with 26.

2004-05 – Seattle went from worst to first, finishing atop the U.S. Division standings with a 43-24-2-3 record.  Their 43 wins were third best in franchise history and they tied for the league lead with an impressive 20 road wins.  

The biggest key to the turnaround was the play of goaltender Bryan Bridges, who put up a stellar 1.79 GAA and tied the WHL single season record with 13 shutouts.  The team was committed to defense – their 144 goals against were best in the division and third best in the league.

A pair of Thunderbirds reached impressive individual milestones during the season.  Tyler Metcalf finished the season with 333 games played in Seattle, the second highest total in franchise history behind only the great Glen Goodall (340).  Defenseman Zack FitzGerald finished the season with 244 penalty minutes, increasing his career total with Seattle to 853.  That put him second all-time in franchise history behind only Phil Stanger (929), and even more impressive was that his total put him third all-time for any Seattle player in any era.

In the playoffs the Thunderbirds knocked off the Tri-City Americans four games to one in the opening round.  In the second round they faced the Kelowna Rockets, the team with the best home record in the league.  It was a strange series, with the road team winning the first six games before Kelowna finally broke the jinx and won game seven at home en route to the WHL championship.

 


Doug Bonner Game Used Stick

 

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