| Posted: Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014 06:00 am
Kings are No. 2
The Morinville Kings skate into the playoffs as the number two seed in the North Central Hockey League.
The first-year senior AA team finished 13-4-1 for second place overall in the NCHL after recording one win and two losses in three games last weekend to wrap up the regular-season schedule.
The Devon Barons (13-2-3), the defending NCHL champions, wound up two points ahead of the Kings in the north standings for the league pennant.
The Kings open the best-of-three playoff series against the Westlock Warriors (9-9), the third-place team in the north, on Saturday at 8:30 p.m. at the Ray McDonald Sports Centre.
Game two goes Feb. 8 in Westlock at 8:30 p.m.
Game three, if needed, is Feb. 9 in Morinville at 10 a.m.
The Kings swept the Warriors in league play by scores of 6-5 in Morinville and 8-7 in Westlock.
The winner advances to the best-of-five semifinals.
The last game for the Kings before the playoffs was Sunday’s 4-3 overtime loss to the Drayton Valley Wildcats in Morinville.
The Wildcats (11-6-1), the top team in the south division, also beat the Kings 6-4 Friday in Evansburg.
In the rematch Sunday the Wildcats, playing their third game in as many days, scored the equalizer with the netminder pulled late in regulation time during a goal-mouth scramble.
The OT winner was a similar goal.
Shots in the third were 16-9 for the Kings.
Joshua Lafleche, Kyle Sheehan and Kyle Beddows scored for the Kings and Jordan Panasiuk (6-4, 3.79 GAA) was solid in net. He was also between the pipes in Friday’s loss.
The Kings, the NCHL’s third-most penalized team, also killed seven out of eight penalties.
The night before in Morinville, Brayden Arcand recorded one goal and three assists and Shane O’Neill added two goals and two assists in the 9-6 win over the Edson Ice (7-9-2).
Aaron Baumgartner tallied twice and Beddows, Wayne Gatza, Jorey McRae and Dalen Paul, with his team-leading 17th goal, rounded out the scoring. In net was Curtis Ronaldson (6-4, 3.79 GAA).
In the weekend opener against the Wildcats, Lafleche notched a pair and McRae and Gatza added singles for the host team at the March 28 to 30 senior AA/A provincials.
KC stuns Sabres
The St. Albert Gregg Distributors Sabres were gracious hosts Sunday against the last-place KC Squires in the Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League.
The Squires outscored the Sabres 4-2 in the first period, then hung on to record their first win of the season while outshot 43-21 in the 4-3 decision.
Bret Mossing and Samuel Smith-Ackerl connected in the first and Jayden Platz tallied in the second for the Sabres (15-11-4). Tylor Jans chipped in with two assists.
Nate Reinhart (9-7, 2.51 GAA) let in four goals on 10 shots by the Squires (1-25-3) and was replaced by Chris Curr before the first period ended. Curr (6-4-4, 2.85 GAA) finished with 11 saves in relief.
The Sabres, ranked third in the nitro north standings, are in Grande Prairie this weekend for two games against the Storm (5-17-6).
The team’s last game before the best-of-three opening playoff round is Feb. 8 against the Camrose Vikings (12-11-5) at 3:45 p.m. at Akinsdale Arena.
Flyers shut out
The St. Albert Flyers failed to fill the net in Saturday’s 2-0 loss to the visiting Camrose Vikings in the Alberta Minor Midget AAA Hockey League.
The Vikings (1-21-4), last in the north standings, struck on the power play late in period two and scored shorthanded with 54 seconds to play and Flyers’ netminder Joshua Dechaine (4-5-3, 2.42 GAA) on the bench for the extra attacker.
The Flyers (13-7-6) outshot the Vikings 28-21.
Thursday the fourth-place Flyers are in Leduc to challenge the first-place Oil Kings (20-3-4) at 7:45 p.m. and Friday they play the eighth-place KC Centennials (11-13-5) at 8 p.m. at Castledowns Arena.