The Saskatoon Blades and Winnipeg ICE will kick off the third round of the WHL playoffs with game one of the Eastern Conference Final tonight in Winnipeg.

The Blades have gone the distance in both their series so far, defeating Connor Bedard and the Regina Pats in seven games before coming back from down 3-0 to knock out the Red Deer Rebels earlier this week. The ICE started with a four-game sweep of the Medicine Hat Tigers and then defeated the Moose Jaw Warriors in six games this week.

The Western Conference Final between the Seattle Thunderbirds and Memorial Cup host Kamloops Blazers starts on Saturday, with both teams unbeaten in this year's playoffs.

Lightning spoil party for Leafs, force game six

The wait continues for Toronto Maple Leafs fans.

Anthony Cirelli and Michael Eyssimont had a goal and an assist each as Tampa Bay beat the Leafs 4-2 to stay alive in their playoff series. Nicholas Paul and Alex Killorn also scored for the Lightning while Morgan Rielly and Auston Matthews scored for the Leafs, who still lead the series 3-2. Game six is in Tampa Saturday night.

Meanwhile, the season is over for the Winnipeg Jets, who fell 4-1 to the Vegas Golden Knights in game five of their series Thursday night. Chandler Stephenson had two goals for Vegas, who will face either Edmonton or Los Angeles in the next round. The Oilers lead the series 3-2 with game six in LA on Saturday.

Also, Erik Haula scored twice and Akira Schmid made 23 saves as the New Jersey Devils blanked the New York Rangers 4-0 to take a 3-2 lead in that series.

In NHL playoff action tonight, Carolina, Boston, Dallas and Seattle have a chance to move on to the next round with the Hurricanes visiting the Islanders, the Bruins travelling to Florida, the Stars heading to Minnesota and the Kraken hosting Colorado.

Canada moves into semis at World U18s

Macklin Celebrini and Andrew Cristall had two goals each as Canada beat host Switzerland 7-3 in the quarter-finals of the World Under-18 Hockey Championship on Thursday.

Canada will face Sweden in Saturday’s semi-final with the gold medal game on Sunday.

Celtics eliminate Hawks in NBA playoffs

Jaylem Brown had 32 points and Jayson Tatum added 30 as the Boston Celtics beat Atlanta 128-120 to eliminate the Hawks in six games. The Celtics will face the Philadelphia 76ers in the next round of the NBA playoffs.

Tonight, Golden State hosts Sacramento and LA welcomes Memphis with the Warriors and Lakers looking to move on with wins.

Blue Jays host Seattle in Wild Card rematch

The Toronto Blue Jays will welcome the Seattle Mariners to Rogers Centre for the first time since the 2022 AL Wild Card Series. The Mariners overcame an 8-1 deficit to eliminate the Jays from the postseason back in October.

Alek Manoah will start for Toronto tonight against Luis Castillo.

Quarterbacks dominate early picks of NFL Draft

The Carolina Panthers selected Alabama quarterback Bryce Young with the first overall pick at the NFL draft Thursday night.

The 2021 Heisman Trophy winner was one of three quarterbacks selected in the first four picks of the draft. CJ Stroud of Ohio State went second overall to Houston while Florida’s Anthony Richardson went fourth to Indianapolis.

The draft continues with rounds two and three tonight and rounds four through seven on Saturday.

Minor lacrosse teams begin regular season action

The Swift Current Rampage lacrosse teams will see their first league action of the season on Saturday. 

The U11 squad will host Moose Jaw and Regina at S3 Arenas, while U13 Rampage #1 will visit Moose Jaw for games against the Mustangs and the Standing Buffalo Fighting Sioux. U13 Rampage #2 and the U15 Rampage will both be in the Queen City for games against Regina and Moosomin. 

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