| Posted: Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014 06:00 am
The playoff theme for the St. Albert Merchants is Merch Madness, and the hockey hoopla starts Friday night at Akinsdale Arena.
Game time is 8 p.m. against the Morinville Jets or Beverly Warriors in the best-of-five quarter-final in the Capital Junior B Hockey League.
Itís also ladiesí night so the stands will be packed.
Visit www.stalbertmerchants.com for upcoming home game events in the playoffs.
In the west division the Merchants (34-3-1) were the runaway pennant winners for a first-round bye.
Beverly (19-19) and the Jets (17-19-2) play the third and deciding game in their series tonight at 8 p.m. at Londonderry Arena.
The Jets won game one 7-6 in Edmonton and lost game two 6-5 in overtime at Ray McDonald Sports Centre.
The two finalists for the Founders Cup will represent the CJHL at the April 3 to 6 provincials in Grande Prairie.
The Western Canadian Keystone Cup, hosted by the Abbotsford Pilots, is April 17 to 20.
The last Founders Cup celebration for the Merchants was 2005.
Last year the Merchants lost the seventh and deciding semifinal game by one goal to the Wetaskiwin Icemen in St. Albert.
The puck drops Thursday night for the St. Albert Raiders in Sherwood Park in the Alberta Midget AAA Hockey League playoffs.
Game time is 7:30 p.m. between the Raiders and Sherwood Park Kings in the best-of-three opening series in the north division.
Game two is 3:45 p.m. Saturday at Akinsdale Arena.
Game three, if needed, is 8:45 p.m. Sunday in Sherwood Park.
In the north standings the Kings (18-8-9) placed fourth and the Raiders (18-11-6) finished fifth out of six playoff teams. The top two teams received first-round byes.
The Raiders defeated the Kings 6-4 in Sherwood Park and 4-2 in St. Albert in league play.
Going into the playoffs the Raiders are undefeated in seven games, with four wins and three draws, after tying the Grande Prairie Storm 2-2 Monday afternoon in St. Albert.
It was the third game in three days for the Raiders after edging the UFA Bisons 2-1 in Strathmore and defeating the Calgary Buffaloes 3-1 in Calgary.
Ethan Lazaroís power-play goal was the winner in the third period against the Bisons (21-11-3). Harrison Klein also scored and Pat Gora stopped a game-high 34 shots.
Lazaro, Luc Smith (power play) and Brenden Passek (empty net) potted goals in the third after the Buffaloes (21-10-4) opened the scoring in the second. In net was Pat Dea (13-4-4, 1.97 GAA).
Ryan Cox, a midget 15 affiliate with the St. Albert Flyers, sniped the tying marker against the Storm (13-15-7). Wyatt Williams also lit the lamp and Gora (5-7-2, 2.53 GAA) faced 25 shots.
The St. Albert Slash won the right to play the five-time reigning Alberta Major Midget Female Hockey League champions after sweeping the Spruce Grove PAC Saints in the opening playoff round.
Game one in the best-of-five north semifinal between the Slash (6-21-5) and first-place Edmonton Thunder (23-5-4) goes tonight at 8 p.m. at Castledowns Arena.
Game two is 7:45 p.m. Friday at Northstar Hyundai Arena.
Game three is 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Castledowns.
If needed, game four is Feb. 26 at 8:30 p.m. at Northstar Hyundai and game five is March 1 at 6:30 p.m. at Castledowns.
In league play the Slash failed to find the back of the net against the Thunder in four losses by a combined score of 20-0.
In the best-of-three series against the Saints (9-15-8) the Slash posted wins of 4-0 in Spruce Grove and 5-2 in St. Albert.
Breanna Jones led all Slash scorers in the series with four goals. Morgan Loroff and Jenna Jewell had three assists apiece and Sutton Foster potted a pair.