Wednesday, Apr 02, 2014 06:00 am
Midget AA final
The St. Albert Crusaders are in the driver’s seat motoring to Peace River to close out the Northern Alberta Midget AA Hockey League final against the Royals.
Last weekend at Akinsdale Arena the Crusaders dropped the best-of-five series lid-lifter to Peace River 4-1 before rebounding to win the next two contests 7-3 and 4-2.
Game four is 8 p.m. Friday and game five, if needed, is 1 p.m. Saturday.
The Crusaders (22-4-6) and Royals (23-8-1) were the No. 1 teams in their respective divisions in league play and in the playoffs St. Albert is 8-2 and Peace River is 7-4.
The Crusaders also beat the Royals 7-4 in their first game at the Hockey Alberta provincials March 21 in Wainwright as both teams finished out of the playoffs in pool A.
Friday in game one Mitch Walters scored for the Crusaders in the third period after the Royals struck once in the first and three times in the second.
Shots were 49-34 for the visitors. Crusaders starter Emerson Eady (31 saves) was replaced by affiliate Robert Mason (14 saves) after two periods.
The Crusaders were also missing a number of regulars for the game.
Saturday the Crusaders posted period leads of 4-1 and 6-2 to even the series.
Cam Mazur’s hat-trick and Matt Havens’ four assists did the damage offensively.
Curtis Peck potted a par and added two helpers. Elias Chaulk and affiliate Zach Sherburne also notched singles.
The Crusaders outshot the Royals 34-33 and Eady was in net.
In Sunday’s penalty-filled affair the Crusaders broke a 2-2 tie on Havens’ shorthanded effort with 7:15 remaining in regulation time and Peck’s second goal of the game was the insurance marker with 1:49 to play.
Riley Smith’s goal in the first made it 2-1 Crusaders.
Havens also chipped in with two assists and Mazur had two helpers.
Shots were 13-3 in the third and 33-29 overall for the Crusaders as Eady (3-1, 3.82 GAA) registered the win.
The trio of Havens, Peck and Mazur are the NAMHL’s top three playoff scorers with 24, 23 and 18 points, respectively. Peck leads all scorers with 11 goals.
The Alberta Major Bantam Female Hockey League playoffs ended last weekend for the St. Albert Raiders in Cochrane.
St. Albert lost two straight to the Rocky Mountain Raiders in the best-of-three final after winning more games in the playoffs (six) than the regular season (five).
Rocky posted wins of 5-1 and 3-2 for the championship three-peat.
In the first game Rocky racked up four unanswered goals in the third period after Abby Ackerman knotted it at one with 61 seconds left in period two.
St. Albert was outshot 46-16 as Hannah Clark (37 saves on 41 shots in 50:39 minutes) and Alexis Bruce (four saves on five shots) split time in net.
The second tilt was decided on a power-play goal by Rocky with 1:19 left in regulation time to snap a 2-2 tie.
It was 2-0 Rocky when Brooke Tipton scored in the second and Grace Borle pulled St. Albert even at two with 6:55 to play.
Shots were 43-23 for Rocky and Clark (6-3, 2.16 GAA) was in net.
Rocky was the No. 1 team in the south at 20-1-3 and St. Albert was ranked fifth out of six teams in the north at 5-11-8.
Sophie Lalor of St. Albert recorded two assists in the series to finish as the AMBFHL’s top playoff point producer with 16 in nine games.
Lalor’s team-leading eighth goal in the 35th minute of sudden death was the 4-3 best-of-three series clincher in the north division final against the Sherwood Park Royals.
Hayley Basterash forced overtime with the extra attacker with 50 seconds to play in Sherwood Park.
St. Albert battled back from a 1-0 loss in Sherwood Park to win game two 4-2 at home on the strength of four consecutive goals in the second to wipe out a 2-0 deficit.