| Posted: Wednesday, Mar 06, 2013 06:00 am
The St. Albert Merchants pulled victory from the jaws of defeat in the Capital Junior B Hockey League quarterfinals by winning the fifth and deciding game 4-3 in overtime Sunday.
Blair Macuch’s unassisted goal at 4:05 in sudden death against the Beverly Warriors at Londonderry Arena punched the Merchants’ ticket to the best-of-seven semifinal against the Wetaskiwin Icemen.
Mike Roeleveld sent the game into OT on the power play with 21 seconds left in regulation time.
Ryan Harrison also tallied twice and Casey Reid added three assists for the Merchants. In net was Justin Pawlenchuk (5-2, 2.66 GAA in 451 minutes played).
Three games in the series were decided in OT.
In game one captain Brady Reid scored the 5-4 winner in the extra period at Bill Hunter Arena.
The Merchants won game two 7-3 at Akinsdale Arena, then lost 7-0 at Londonderry last Wednesday and 3-2 in four OT periods Friday in St. Albert as Evan Kuhr netted the winner on the power play in the 116th minute of play.
There was no scoring after Beverly tied at two apiece with 2:54 to go in period two.
Brady Reid potted a pair in the marathon affair.
The Merchants will now host the Icemen in the semifinal opener tonight at 8 p.m. at Akinsdale.
Game two is 7:30 p.m. Friday in Wetaskiwin.
Game three is Sunday at 8 p.m. in St. Albert and game four is next Wednesday at 8 p.m. in Wetaskiwin.
The winner will play the Sherwood Park Knights or the North Edmonton Red Wings in the best-of-five Founders Cup final.
In league play the Merchants (22-12-4) finished third in the west division and the Icemen (25-12-1) placed second in the east standings.
The Icemen swept the season series 4-3 in overtime in a penalty-filled affair at home in October and 6-4 in December in St. Albert.
Raiders in tough
The St. Albert Raiders are teetering on the brink of elimination in the best-of-five midget AAA north division semifinals against the Lloydminster Bobcats after losing game three 3-2 in double overtime Monday at Akinsdale Arena.
Cole Nicholson struck on the power play with 31 seconds gone in the second OT period after Matteo Gennaro of the Raiders was penalized for charging with only seconds left in the first extra period.
All the scoring in regulation time took place in the middle frame. The Bobcats scored on the power play and while shorthanded. Replying for the Raiders were Jake Kohlhauser on the power play and Kyler Hehn at even strength with 13 seconds left in the period to knot it at two.
Shots were 31-22 for the Raiders. In net was Mitch Martell.
The 2012 provincial finalists won the series opener 4-2 in St. Albert last week and the Bobcats posted the same result in game two Saturday in Lloydminster. Brett Smythe and Harrison Klein scored and Martell and Pat Gora shared netminding duties in the loss.
Game four goes tonight at 6:30 p.m. in the Border City.
If needed, game five is Friday at 7:30 p.m. in St. Albert.
In the north standings four points separated the second-place Raiders (19-9-6) and fourth-place Bobcats (16-10-8).
In league play the Raiders won 5-2 on the road and tied the Bobcats 2-2 at home.
The season is over for the St. Albert Slash after losing the fifth and deciding game in the Alberta Major Midget Female Hockey League north division semifinals Sunday in Grande Prairie.
The hometown Storm won 5-2 after letting a 2-0 series lead slip away from them in losses of 2-1 Friday and 2-0 in double overtime Saturday in St. Albert.
In game three Abigail Benning and Charity Price scored in the third period and Andrea Dombowsky made 21 saves for the shutout.
Rebecca Wall sniped the OT winner in game four 51 seconds into the second extra period and Dombowsky stopped a game-high 36 shots.
In game five the Storm led 4-0 before Rachel Rochat and Wall connected in the second. Dombowsky faced 25 shots.
The third-place Slash (14-13-5) failed to beat the third-place Storm (19-6-7) in Grande Prairie this season after losing twice in league play and three times in the playoffs.