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1996–97 WHL season

League notesEdit

Regular seasonEdit

Final standingsEdit

East Division GP W L T Pts GF GA
x Brandon Wheat Kings 72 47 24 1 95 339 208
x Swift Current Broncos 72 44 23 5 93 336 243
x Regina Pats 72 42 27 3 87 326 259
x Moose Jaw Warriors 72 36 29 7 79 278 240
x Prince Albert Raiders 72 29 34 9 67 235 262
Saskatoon Blades 72 18 48 6 42 227 344
Central Division GP W L T Pts GF GA
x Lethbridge Hurricanes 72 47 22 3 97 342 248
x Red Deer Rebels 72 43 26 3 89 317 297
x Medicine Hat Tigers 72 39 32 1 79 270 278
Calgary Hitmen 72 15 53 4 34 199 360
Edmonton Ice 72 14 56 2 30 231 395
West Division GP W L T Pts GF GA
x Portland Winter Hawks 72 46 21 5 97 300 196
x Seattle Thunderbirds 72 41 27 4 86 311 249
x Spokane Chiefs 72 35 33 4 74 260 235
x Kelowna Rockets 72 35 35 2 72 298 314
x Kamloops Blazers 72 28 37 7 63 256 285
x Prince George Cougars 72 28 39 5 61 238 287
Tri-City Americans 72 22 43 7 51 225 288

Scoring leadersEdit

Note: GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; PIM = Penalties in minutes

Player Team GP G A Pts PIM
Todd Robinson Portland Winter Hawks 71 38 96 134 53
Byron Ritchie Lethbridge Hurricanes 63 50 76 126 86
Patrick Marleau Seattle Thunderbirds 71 51 74 125 22
Peter Schaefer Brandon Wheat Kings 61 49 74 123 66
B.J. Young Red Deer Rebels 63 58 56 114 72
Josh St. Louis Swift Current Broncos 65 57 51 108 20
Brett McLean Kelowna Rockets 72 44 60 104 89
Kelly Smart Brandon Wheat Kings 69 39 60 99 8
Josh Holden Regina Pats 58 49 49 98 111
Greg Schmidt Red Deer Rebels 66 45 53 98 97

Goaltending leadersEdit

Note: GP = Games Played; Min = Minutes played; W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties ; GA = Goals against; SO = Total shutouts; SV% = Save percentage; GAA = Goals against average

Player Team GP Min W L T GA SO SV% GAA
Brian Elder Brandon Wheat Kings 52 2930 32 15 0 132 2 .906 2.70
Brent Belecki Portland Winter Hawks 27 1568 17 7 1 71 1 .909 2.72
Chris Wickenheiser Red Deer/Portland 41 2428 24 14 3 110 3 .913 2.72
David Haun Brandon Wheat Kings 27 1442 15 9 1 72 1 .898 3.00
Donavon Nunweiler Moose Jaw Warriors 56 3278 27 21 5 166 6 .907 3.04

1997 WHL PlayoffsEdit

  • Top eight teams in the Eastern Conference (East and Central divisions) qualified for playoffs
  • Top six teams in the Western Conference (division) qualified for the playoffs
  First Round Division Semi-Finals Division Finals WHL Championship
                                     
C1 Lethbridge 4  
E5 Prince Albert 0  
  C1 Lethbridge 4  
    E4 Moose Jaw 2  
E1 Brandon 2
E4 Moose Jaw 4  
  C1 Lethbridge 4  
  C2 Red Deer 1  
E2 Swift Current 4  
C3 Medicine Hat 0  
  E2 Swift Current 2
    C2 Red Deer 4  
C2 Red Deer 4
E3 Regina 1  
  C1 Lethbridge 4
  W2 Seattle 0
W2 Seattle 4  
W5 Kamloops 1  
  W2 Seattle bye
           
     
       
  W2 Seattle 4
  W6 Prince George 2  
W1 Portland 2  
W6 Prince George 4  
  W3 Spokane 0
    W6 Prince George 3  
W3 Spokane 4
W4 Kelowna 2  

Conference QuarterfinalsEdit

Eastern ConferenceEdit

Lethbridge vs. Prince Albert
Date Away Home
March 19 Prince Albert 2 4 Lethbridge
March 21 Prince Albert 1 2 Lethbridge
March 23 Lethbridge 5 4 Prince Albert
March 24 Lethbridge 5 4 Prince Albert
Lethbridge wins series 4–0
Swift Current vs. Medicine Hat
Date Away Home
March 18 Medicine Hat 1 8 Swift Current
March 20 Swift Current 5 1 Medicine Hat
March 22 Medicine Hat 1 5 Swift Current
March 23 Swift Current 4 2 Medicine Hat
Swift Current wins series 4–0
Brandon vs. Moose Jaw
Date Away Home
March 20 Moose Jaw 4 2 Brandon
March 21 Moose Jaw 4 3 Brandon
March 23 Brandon 5 4 Moose Jaw
March 24 Brandon 3 2 Moose Jaw
March 26 Moose Jaw 3 2 Brandon OT
March 28 Brandon 2 3 Moose Jaw OT
Moose Jaw wins series 4–2
Red Deer vs. Regina
Date Away Home
March 20 Regina 4 6 Red Deer
March 21 Regina 4 5 Red Deer OT
March 23 Red Deer 6 2 Regina
March 24 Red Deer 1 5 Regina
March 26 Regina 1 5 Red Deer
Red Deer wins series 4–1

Western ConferenceEdit

Portland vs. Prince George
Date Away Home
March 21 Prince George 2 5 Portland
March 22 Prince George 5 3 Portland
March 25 Portland 0 4 Prince George
March 26 Portland 2 4 Prince George
March 29 Prince George 1 2 Portland
March 31 Portland 2 3 Prince George
Prince George wins series 4–2
Spokane vs. Kelowna
Date Away Home
March 21 Spokane 5 3 Kelowna
March 22 Spokane 5 3 Kelowna
March 26 Kelowna 5 2 Spokane
March 28 Kelowna 0 4 Spokane
March 29 Kelowna 6 3 Spokane
March 31 Spokane 5 2 Kelowna
Spokane wins series 4–2
Seattle vs. Kamloops
Date Away Home
March 21 Kamloops 2 5 Seattle
March 23 Kamloops 3 7 Seattle
March 25 Seattle 4 1 Kamloops
March 27 Seattle 2 3 Kamloops
March 29 Kamloops 4 5 Seattle
Seattle wins series 4–1

Conference semifinalsEdit

Eastern Conference
Lethbridge vs. Moose Jaw
Date Away Home
March 31 Moose Jaw 2 3 Lethbridge OT
April 1 Moose Jaw 5 4 Lethbridge OT
April 3 Lethbridge 5 3 Moose Jaw
April 4 Lethbridge 4 5 Moose Jaw
April 6 Moose Jaw 1 5 Lethbridge
April 8 Lethbridge 5 4 Moose Jaw
Lethbridge wins series 4–2
Swift Current vs. Red Deer
Date Away Home
March 31 Red Deer 5 2 Swift Current
April 1 Red Deer 5 3 Swift Current
April 3 Swift Current 2 4 Red Deer
April 4 Swift Current 3 2 Red Deer OT
April 6 Red Deer 2 11 Swift Current
April 8 Swift Current 2 6 Red Deer
Red Deer wins series 4–2
Western Conference
Spokane vs. Prince George
Date Away Home
April 4 Prince George 5 4 Spokane OT
April 5 Prince George 4 2 Spokane
April 7 Spokane 1 2 Prince George
Prince George wins series 3–0
Seattle earns bye

Conference finalsEdit

Eastern Conference Western Conference
Lethbridge vs. Red Deer
Date Away Home
April 12 Red Deer 2 3 Lethbridge OT
April 13 Red Deer 7 4 Lethbridge
April 15 Lethbridge 5 3 Red Deer
April 16 Lethbridge 6 4 Red Deer
April 18 Red Deer 2 5 Lethbridge
Lethbridge wins series 4–1
Seattle vs. Prince George
Date Away Home
April 10 Prince George 3 2 Seattle 2OT
April 11 Prince George 1 4 Seattle
April 14 Seattle 5 2 Prince George
April 15 Seattle 3 4 Prince George
April 18 Prince George 1 4 Seattle
April 20 Seattle 6 1 Prince George
Seattle wins series 4–2

WHL ChampionshipEdit

Lethbridge vs. Seattle
Date Away Home
April 25 Seattle 2 7 Lethbridge
April 26 Seattle 1 4 Lethbridge
April 29 Lethbridge 3 1 Seattle
April 30 Lethbridge 5 1 Seattle
Lethbridge wins series 4–0

All-Star gameEdit

On January 22, the Western Conference defeated the Eastern Conference 7–5 at Spokane, Washington before a WHL record crowd of 10,455.

WHL awardsEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

Preceded by
1995–96 WHL season
WHL seasons Succeeded by
1997–98 WHL season