Junior B playoffs underway
Merchants sweep series; Jets and Red Wings play deciding game tonight
By: Jeff Hansen
| Posted: Wednesday, Feb 20, 2013 06:00 am
The St. Albert Merchants swept their opening playoff series and the Morinville Jets need a win tonight to follow their junior B rivals into the next round.
Last weekend the Merchants outscored the Edmonton Mustangs 7-3 to win the best-of-three qualifying round in the Capital Junior B Hockey League.
The Merchants will now play the Beverly Warriors in the west division’s best-of-five quarter-finals. Dates and times were unavailable at press time.
The Warriors (25-11-2) and Merchants (22-12-4) finished second and third, respectively, in the west.
The Merchants beat the Warriors three times by scores of 6-2 at Akinsdale Arena and 8-5 and 4-7 at Londonderry Arena. The Warriors needed overtime to knock off the Merchants 3-2 in St. Albert.
Justin Pawlenchuk backstopped the Merchants to playoff wins of 3-2 and 4-1 against the Mustangs (20-16-2), ranked sixth in the west.
Ryan Harrison, Blair Macuch and Mike Roeleveld scored Friday in St. Albert.
Sunday in Edmonton Alex Hawirko tallied twice on the power play in the first period after the Mustangs opened the scoring. Macuch connected in the second and Stefan Meunier found the back of the net in the third. Harrison picked up two assists.
Meanwhile, the Jets dropped a 4-3 decision to the North Edmonton Red Wings on Monday in Morinville after winning the playoff opener 5-3 in Edmonton.
Tonight’s third and deciding game starts at 8 p.m. at Londonderry Arena.
The winner will face-off against the defending champion Spruce Grove Regals (28-6-4) in the next round.
In game one the Jets rallied from a 3-2 deficit on goals by Brad McCorriston and Nick Pratt in the middle frame and Justin Proulx’s empty net marker.
Michael Putt opened the scoring in the first and Pratt made it 2-1 at 6:14 of the second.
Proulx also assisted on three goals and McCorriston had two helpers. In net was Mike Brown.
In Morinville the Red Wings pumped in four straight goals after the first of three goals by Travis Geislinger put the Jets on top 1-0. There was no scoring in the third. In net was Brad Miller.
In the west standings the Red Wings (23-13-2) placed fourth and the Jets (23-15) were fifth.
In league play the teams split the four game series.