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Winnipeg Ice win series opener in WHL’s Eastern Conference Championship – Winnipeg

The Winnipeg Ice won Game 1 for the third straight playoff series.

The Ice took the early series lead in the WHL’s Eastern Conference Championship with a 3-0 victory over the Saskatoon Blades in Game 1 of the best-of-seven series at the Wayne Fleming Arena on Friday.

The Ice scored goals less than two minutes apart in the opening period and cruised to the series-opening win.

Daniel Hauser recorded his first shutout of the playoffs as he needed to make just 16 saves in the Game 1 victory.

Read more:

Winnipeg Ice blow out Moose Jaw in Game 6, advance to WHL East Championship

Ben Zloty, Zack Ostapchuk, and Carson Lambos found the scoresheet to begin the third-round series. Ostapchuk scored on a penalty shot for their second marker of the contest after Zloty opened the scoring only 86 seconds earlier.

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“Any game you get the first goal, it’s just a huge sigh of relief,” said Ice head coach James Patrick. “It gives you some life and so, I thought the Zloty play for the first goal was outstanding. I thought we were able to feed off of that.

“I think it was really tough for them. They played a hard seven-game series and then had to turn around and play us two days later. I thought we caught a bit of a tired team. I know they’re gonna be tougher tomorrow and tougher as the series goes on.”

The Ice had an empty net goal disallowed for offside.

Winnipeg outshot Saskatoon 27-16. Ethan Chadwick stopped 24 of 27 shots for the Blades.

Click to play video: 'WHL Eastern Finals – Game 1: Ice (3) vs Blades (0)'

WHL Eastern Finals – Game 1: Ice (3) vs Blades (0)

The Ice are making their second straight appearance in the conference final, while it’s the Blades first trip to the final four since 1994.

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The Ice went 4-2 against Toon Town in their six regular season meetings.

Read more:

Ostapchuk scores OT winner, Winnipeg Ice get Game 4 win to even series with Moose Jaw

Game 2 is also in Winnipeg, scheduled for Saturday starting at 4 p.m. at the Wayne Fleming Arena.

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