1) Travis Sanheim and Team Canada open their IIHF World Championships schedule on Friday with a game against Team Germany. In other action, Team USA takes on Latvia, France plays Slovakia (featuring top 2022 NHL Entry Draft prospects Juraj Slafkovsky and Simon Nemec) and tournament host Finland opposes Norway.
2) Kelly Cup: The Reading Royals were unable to close out their ECHL North Division Final series against the Newfoundland Growlers, sustaining a 5-1 road loss in Game 5 on Thursday. Pat Nagle stopped 18 of 23 shots in a losing cause, while Thomas Ebbing scored the lone Royals goal. Flyers defense prospect Mason Millman was minus-one with three shots on goal.
The series will move back to Reading on Saturday for Game 6. If necessary, Game 7 will be at Santander Arena on Monday.
3) OHL Playoffs: The Kingston Frontenacs fell into a three games to one deficit in their second round series with the North Bay Battalion after suffering a 4-3 home loss in Game 4 on Thursday. Kingston trailed 4-0 in the third period and fell a goal short in a desperation comeback bid that included two goals in the final minute of the third period. Flyers power forward prospect Zayde Wisdom earned an assist on the Martin Chromiak goal that cut the deficit to 4-2.
Shane Wright, who is very likely headed to the Montreal Canadiens with the first overall pick of the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, avoided getting blanked on the scoresheet with a power play assist in the final six games of the game but the outcome was already sealed. Game 5 will be in North Bay on Saturday.
4) WHL Playoffs: Leading their second round series against the Moose Jaw Warriors, three games to one, the Winnipeg Ice will host Game 5 of the second round series on Friday with a chance to close it out and move on to the Eastern Conference Final. In Game 4, a 5-3 victory for the Ice, Flyers prospect Connor McClennon notched one assist; his 14 playoff point (6g, 8a) in nine games.
Matthew Savoie, a potential candidate for the fifth overall selection of the 2022 NHL Draft, notched a goal and an assist in Game 4 to increase his playoff output to four goals and eight points in seven games. Another projected 2022 first-round Draft prospect, Winnipeg center Conor Geekie, chipped in one assist in Game 4 (his sixth assist and eighth point in nine playoff games to date).
5) QMJHL playoffs: Tied at two games apiece in their President's Cup series, Elliot Denoyers' Halifax Mooseheads are on the road on Friday to take on the Acadie-Bathurst Titan. Desnoyers, who had a pair of assists in a losing cause in Game 4, has posted nine points (1g, 8a) over the first four games of the series.
7) Today in Flyers History: Flyers Prevail in Game 7 of 1975 Cup Semis
On May 13, 1975, the Philadelphia Flyers finally put away the New York Islanders in the seventh and deciding game of the Stanley Cup semifinals with a 4-1 win at the Spectrum. After recovering from three games to zero deficit to win their quarterfinal series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Isles nearly do the same in the semis against the defending champion Flyers.
Rick MacLeish (hat trick) and company were not about to let it happen. Gary Dornhoefer set the tone, giving Philly a 1-0 lead just 19 seconds into the game. Philly held the Isles to just 15 shots for the game, and Bernie Parent stopped 14. Prior to the game, Kate Smith sang a live rendition of "God Bless America."
The Flyers went on to defeat the Buffalo Sabres in six games to capture their second straight Stanley Cup championship.