It's a must-win game tonight for the Seattle Thunderbirds against the Edmonton Oil Kings at Rogers Place in Game 5 of the WHL championship series.

The Oil Kings grabbed a 3-1 series lead in the WHL championship series on June 8 when Logan Dowhanluk scored with four seconds remaining in regulation for a 3-2 win.

Five minutes into the first, Oil Kings Brendan Kuny collided with Bauer. Kuny fell, his head struck the ice, and he was taken to a local hospital, then released. Bauer was originally assessed a two-minute minor for interference, but officials changed it to a five-minute major and he sat out the rest of the game and tonight's game.

The Oil Kings have the upper hand in the series, but you can't count out the T-Birds. They've overcome plenty of adversity in the playoffs, starving off elimination in two back-to-back seven-game series.

Bauer remains confident in his team and says you're never out of the fight.

"There are a lot of different bounces, lots of different plays that happen, you just have to keep picking away about it," said Bauer in a phone interview with Cochrane Now earlier in the series. "You're never going to be in an ideal situation all the time, so it's just a matter of battling and sticking to it."

The T-Birds refused to surrender against the Kamloops Blazers and went on to win the last two games of that series to advance to the finals.

"It was a big pivotal moment," says the Cochrane hockey player. "We'd been in a game seven the round before, so we had a bit of experience in that regard in those big situations. We came together as a group, put together a good 60 minutes, and came away with that win. It was very special and something we'll remember for a while."

It happened around the same time he signed to a three-year entry deal with the Winnipeg Jets. Bauer says he wasn't about to allow that signing to distract him from the job ahead.

"There'd been talks going on before but it got said and done there, and I wasn't too involved in that process. I had a job to focus on in winning that game with a great team around me."

"The team was very supportive, yet, with that being said, I wanted to brush it aside for the meantime and focus on that next game, and we got that job done."

Still, he's pleased to be joining the Jets.

"I couldn't be happier to be a Winnipeg Jet, and I'm excited to get started in their system."

Game time is 7 p.m. It's being broadcasted on TSN 4.

PLEASE NOTE: Bauer wasn't named the first star in Game 2 of the finals as indicated in the WHL game summary. It was Luke Prokop, #6 of the Oil Kings