Courtesy image, Canadian Hockey League

Courtesy image, Canadian Hockey League

Kent-based Thunderbirds win Memorial Cup opener

Crnkovic scores hat trick to lead Seattle to 6-3 victory

Kyle Crnkovic scored three goals to lead the Kent-based Seattle Thunderbirds to a 6-3 win over the Peterborough Petes Saturday, May 27 in the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) Memorial Cup at the Sandman Centre in Kamloops, British Columbia.

The T-Birds trailed 2-1 in the second period before Crnkovic scored his first goal to tie the game at 2-2 late in the second period. Lucas Ciona scored early in the second period for the T-Birds to tie it at 1-1.

Crnkovic scored off an assist from Ciona midway through the third period to put Seattle ahead 3-2. Noah Allan scored about a minute later to give the T-Birds a 4-2 lead. Avery Hayes scores for Peterborough to cut the lead to 4-3 before Jordan Gustafson scored to put Seattle ahead 5-3.

Crnkovic scored his hat trick on an empty-net goal late in the third period.

Seattle plays Quebec at 6 p.m. Monday, May 29 in its second game of the four-team, round-robin tournament. Quebec beat Kamloops 8-3 in the tournament opener May 26.

The T-Birds play Kamloops on May 31 to complete the round-robin play which will determine which teams advance to the semifinal June 2 and the final on June 4. A team gets two points for each game won to determine which teams advance.

Seattle has never won the Memorial Cup, the championship of the CHL. The Mathew Barzal-led Seattle team lost in the Memorial Cup in 2017.

The T-Birds won the Western Hockey League title of the CHL while Peterborough won the Ontario Hockey League championship.

Memorial Cup schedule/results 

Friday, May 26 Quebec 8, Kamloops 3

Saturday, May 27 T-Birds 6, Peterborough 3

Sunday, May 28 Kamloops vs. Peterborough, 3 p.m.

Monday, May 29 T-Birds vs. Quebec, 6 p.m.

Wednesday, May 31 Kamloops vs. T-Birds, 6 p.m.

Thursday, June 1 Tie-Breaker game, 6 p.m.*

Friday, June 2 Semifinal, 7 p.m.

Sunday, June 4 Final, 4 p.m.

* – if necessary

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