George Alexander sports column          

Seattle T-Birds WHL Western Conference Champs Apr2716

Seattle Thunderbirds 2016 WHL Western Conference Champions. Photo via Twitter

George A Portrait thumbnailThe Seattle Thunderbirds are the hottest club in the Western Hockey League right now. Scorching hot, in fact. The T-Birds have absolutely waltzed their way right through the WHL Playoffs. Their post season record is a sterling 12-1. They dismantled the Prince George Cougars in four straight, took out the Everett Silvertips in just five games and just swept the defending league champs, the Kelowna Rockets, in another four game sweep.

With the Western Conference title already in hand, Seattle will now advance to the WHL final to play the Brandon Wheat Kings starting Friday night. The T-Birds have only been in one league final before. Back in 1997, they were felled in a four game sweep by the Lethbridge Hurricanes.

Seattle’s lineup is stacked throughout. They boast several of the WHL’s top players including Treaty 4’s own, Ethan Bear of the Ochapowace First Nation. Bear, is arguably the top defenceman in the entire league. His stats and accomplishments can certainly back that up. Bear has absolutely lit up this years WHL Playoffs. In 13 games, Ethan has amassed a stellar line of 9 goals and 6 assists for 15 points. Throw in Bear’s +11 plus/minus rating and you have MVP-like statistics.

I’m sure Ethan is proud of his individual stats and accomplishments so far this season. He’s already been named a 2015-16, First Team WHL Western Conference All-Star on the blue line. Impeccable play will go a long way to establishing a a strong foothold within the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers organization to which Bear belongs. However, like any competitor Bear would love to hoist the WHL’s Ed Chynoweth Cup first and foremost.  A possible 2016 Memorial Cup birth is also on the line. Ethan is certainly a winner already but to become a champion would be the ultimate pinnacle. Bear and his Seattle Thunderbirds are well on their way.

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