| Posted: Wednesday, Oct 09, 2013 06:00 am
Merchants on top
The St. Albert Merchants are the No. 1 team in the Capital Junior B Hockey League after banking their fifth-straight win of the season.
Dan Rombough assisted on four goals as seven Merchants lit the lamp in Sunday’s 7-1 victory against the Beaumont Chiefs (4-2) at Akinsdale Arena.
Connor Hoekstra and Liam McNamara struck shorthanded, Brent McGugan scored on the power play and Ryan Harrison, Jared Kwasney, Taylor Wiebe and Josh Jewell filled the net at even strength.
Justin Pawlenchuk (4-0, 2.86 GAA) faced only 17 shots as the west division leaders improved to 5-0-1.
Friday in Stony Plain, Hoekstra’s hat-trick and Stefan Meunier’s three assists lifted the Merchants to an 8-2 win over the Flyers (3-2). Hoekstra is the team leader in goals (eight) and points (10) and is second in penalty minutes (20).
Jewell, Kwasney, McGugan, Mitch McNamara and Casey Reid also connected. Jewell added two assists and Pawlenchuk stopped 28 shots.
“Outscoring the opposition by a combined 15-3 score over the two games is definitely something the coaches are pleased with,” said head coach Scott Rodda. “As impressive as the effort from all of the players has been, the attitude and discipline shown has been even more impressive. Despite having an entire new coaching staff, the players have responded very well to the change.”
Rodda added the Merchants’ well-balanced attack and a strong commitment to team defence will prove to be helpful as the season progresses.
The Merchants also announced Kurtis Watts is the new captain and the assistant captains are Harrison, Wiebe and Rombough.
“There is little doubt as to the level of leadership in the Merchants’ dressing room this year and these four guys epitomize that leadership,” Rodda said. “Watts and Harrison are two overage players that have proven experience in this league and with the Merchants. Wiebe and Rombough are also returning players from last year’s club and have also proven their commitment and leadership. These guys all lead by example both on and off the ice and each bring their own flavour to the team. I think the combination of these guys speaks to the diversity and depth of our team and each of them are very deserving of this responsibility.”
The Merchants visit the Spruce Grove Regals (2-3) Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday they host the Sherwood Park Knights (4-1) at 8 p.m.
Raiders split two
The St. Albert Raiders scored three times and let in three goals in two games last weekend in the Alberta Midget AAA Hockey League.
Saturday in Leduc, Ethan Lazaro capitalized on the power play with 24 seconds to play to knot the score at one, but the Oil Kings (2-1-1) replied 14 seconds later with Jason Miller in the box for unsportsmanlike conduct after the Raiders’ goal to win 2-1.
Shots were 28 apiece. In net was Pat Gora.
Sunday in St. Albert, Matt Havens’ unassisted goal in the third period was the game winner in the 2-1 decision against the Calgary Flames (1-3).
Ty Lindberg tied it up in the last minute of the opening period.
The Flames outshot the Raiders 38-32. Pat Dea was between the pipes.
The Raiders (2-1-1) skate Saturday in Fort Saskatchewan against the Rangers (1-3) at 7:45 p.m.
Senior AA Kings
The last exhibition for the senior AA Morinville Kings before the puck drops in the North Central Hockey League is Saturday against the Athabasca Aces.
Faceoff is 7:45 p.m. at Ray McDonald Sports Center.
The first league game is Oct. 18 in Devon against the defending champion Barons at 8:30 p.m.
Last weekend the Kings dealt the Aces a 6-5 loss in Athabasca and fell 9-4 to the hometown Innisfail Flyers.
Dalen Paul and Adam Tomkow scored twice and Josh LaFleche and Adrian Esposito notched singles against the Aces.
Morgan Cardinal added three assists and Tomkow had two helpers.
Curtis Ronaldson and Jeff Pelletier split time in net.
Esposito, Jorey McRae, Shane O’Neill and Brayden Arcand tallied against an Innisfail team coached by Brian Sutter with eight former pros, including three with NHL experience, in the line-up.
Jordan Panasiuk and Kyle Bailey shared netminding duties.
The St. Albert Sabres hit the road this weekend for two games in the Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League.
Friday the Sabres (2-3-1) face-off against the Leduc Oil Kings (2-4) at 7:45 p.m. and Sunday they travel to Lloydminster to play the Heat (6-0) at 11:30 a.m.
Last Friday the Sabres blanked the KC Squires 1-0, as Nate Reinhart handled 25 shots. It was the second-straight game the Sabres posted a shut out.
Liam Peyton’s shorthanded goal in the second period defeated the Squires (0-4-1) at Callingwood Arena.
Sunday at home the Sabres settled for a 3-3 draw with the Sherwood Park Flyers (4-2-1). In the first period Zach Marano tallied twice and Ryan Cooper also scored to make it 3-1. The Flyers switched goalies after the first and in the third Davis Murray's hat-trick maker was the equalizer.
Shots were 40-25 for the Flyers. In net was Chris Curr.