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Hockey Digest

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  |  Posted: Wednesday, Jan 22, 2014 06:00 am

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Money Men lose

The St. Albert Merchants suffered their first loss since Nov. 8, when the Beaumont Chiefs handed the team to beat in the Capital Junior B Hockey League a 3-2 setback Friday.

The loss halted a 17-game winning streak for the first-place Merchants (28-3-1).

The Chiefs (16-13-4) scored twice with under six minutes left in the second period to lead 2-1 and made it 3-1 with 7:46 remaining in the game.

Jordan MacPhee’s shorthanded goal opened the scoring in the second and Mitch McNamara pulled the Merchants to within one with 2:21 to play.

The Merchants outshot the home team 32-20. In net was Max Cathcart (9-3, 2.15 GAA).

Tonight the Merchants visit the North Edmonton Red Wings (17-10-3) at 8 p.m. at Londonderry Arena.

Friday the Merchants host the rival Morinville Jets (15-15-2) at 8 p.m. on the Source for Sports Family, Friends and Fan Night.

Merchants fans will receive a ballot to enter the name of their favourite player in a draw for Source for Sports gift cards.

Other draws, plus the 50/50, will take place.

Merchants 2014 calendars will also be on sale, with proceeds supporting the St. Albert Food Bank and the junior B team.

The Merchants are 14-1-1 at Akinsdale Arena.

The Jets won five in a row before losing 3-2 to the Stony Plain Flyers (14-16-1) Sunday in Morinville.

The second-most penalized team in the CJHL beat the Merchants 6-5 in overtime in the season opener in St. Albert and suffered losses of 6-5 and 5-4 in Morinville as the Money Men rallied in the third to win both games in November.

Kings marching

The Morinville Kings can clinch the North Central Hockey League pennant in their inaugural senior AA campaign this weekend with three games on tap to wrap up the regular season.

The Kings (12-3) trailed the defending NCHL champion Devon Barons (11-2-3) by one point with a game in hand in the north standings after knocking off the Slave Lake Winterhawks 6-5 in overtime Saturday for their fourth straight win and 10th in 11 games.

The Kings close out league play Friday in Drayton Valley against the Wildcats (9-5-1), ranked first in the south, at 8:30 p.m.

The Kings return home to host the Edson Ice (6-8-2) Saturday at 8:30 p.m. and the Wildcats on Sunday at 4 p.m. at Ray McDonald Sports Centre.

The best-of-three first round playoffs start next weekend.

The Kings are also the host team for the March 28 to 30 senior AA/A provincials in Morinville.

The Kings kept pace with the Barons, formerly the Legal Vipers, on Joel Pelletier’s first goal of the season, a point shot that found the back of the net in the OT session at Slave Lake.

Chris Fraser assisted on Pelletier’s third point of the game and 14th in 13 games.

It was 2-2 after the first as Aaron Baumgartner and Dalen Paul connected. Paul’s goal was his team-leading 16th in 14 games. He also picked up two assists on the night for a team-high 24 points.

Jorey McRae and Kyle Beddows potted goals in the second and Joshua Lafleche made it 5-2 five minutes into the third.

The Winterhawks rallied to force OT, with their fifth goal coming with four minutes to play.

Jared Cardinal finished the game with three assists and Baumgartner had a pair.

The winning goalie was Jordan Panasiuk. His 3.47 GAA is tops in the league.

Raiders slumping

The St. Albert Raiders dropped into the sixth and last playoff spot in the north division after losing twice last weekend in the Alberta Midget AAA Hockey League.

Sunday’s 5-3 setback to the division-leading Lloydminster Bobcats (20-8-2) in the Border City was the third loss in four games for the Raiders (14-11-3).

The Bobcats tallied twice in the third to break a 3-3 deadlock after two periods.

Jason Miller scored once and assisted on goals by Brendan Passek (shorthanded) and Wyatt Williams.

The Raiders were outshot 31-25. In net was Pat Gora (4-7-1, 2.70 GAA)

The day before the Raiders fell 3-1 to the Maple Leafs (9-16-4) at Bill Hunter Arena.

Williams scored in the third after the Leafs potted a shorthanded goal and two power-play markers in the second against starting goalie Pat Dea (10-4-2, 2.02 GAA). Dea faced 27 shots before Gora took over in net. Gora had four saves in 19 minutes of action.

The Raiders have a break in the schedule and don’t play until Feb. 1 against the Canadian Athletic Club (18-7-5) at 2:45 p.m. at Bill Hunter.

With seven games remaining in league play the Raiders are eight points in front of the seventh-place Grande Prairie Storm (9-13-5) with a game in hand.


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