The Seattle Thunderbirds have been promoted to the East Coast Hockey League after defeating the Regina Pats for the WHL Championship Sunday night.
Seattle, who made it to last year’s WHL Championship series before losing to the Brandon Wheat Kings, defeated Regina in last night’s Game 6 to take the series 4-2. The Thunderbirds came back from two goals down in the 3rd period to send the game into overtime where they won the game.
This is Seattle’s first promotion to the ECHL, the 3rd highest tier in the United States hockey pyramid, in club history.
“To be frank, this is the greatest moment in this franchise’s history,” stated Thunderbirds head coach Steve Konowalchuk. “Our guys were sorely disappointed this team wasn’t promoted to the ECHL last season. They gave it their all this season to get back to the championship series. These boys have earned this promotion.”
Seattle join the Erie Otters of the OHL and Saint John Sea Dogs of the QMJHL as the final team to earn promotion to the ECHL. The three teams will now participate in 2017 Memorial Cup being held in Windsor alongside the host club, the Windsor Spitfires.
The three ECHL sides who have been relegated are the Elmira Jackals, Wichita Thunder, and Indy Fuel. Based on geography, the Wichita Thunder have been designated to the WHL.