Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 06:00 am
Miners dig deep
The St. Albert Miners can punch their ticket to the provincial final with a victory Wednesday night against the Edmonton Outlaws in the best-of-five senior B semifinal in the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League.
Game three starts at 8 p.m. at Coronation Arena.
The Miners, a perfect 16-0 in the regular season, defeated the fourth-place Outlaws (7-9) by scores of 14-5 and 9-6 last week at Go Auto Arena.
The series winner will play the Rockyview Knights of Airdrie or the Calgary Mountaineers Ė both teams were 8-6-2 in league play Ė in the best-of-five championship for the right to represent Alberta at the Presidentsí Cup, hosted by the Tri-City Bandits, Aug. 25 to 29 in Coquitlam, B.C.
Last year the Miners were eliminated in the semifinals by the Mountaineers and the year before bowed out in the final to the Knights after posting identical 2-4 records at the 2010 and 2011 nationals.
In the series opener against the Outlaws, last yearís provincial finalists, nine Miners filled the net while building period leads of 7-1 and 11-1.
Graedon Cornfield, this yearís Harris Toth Award winner as the RMLLís regular season points leader with 86, including a league-high 50 goals in only 15 games, potted a pair with the man advantage and added three assists.
Playmaker Sean Reid, the runner-up in the scoring race with 78 points on the strength of a whopping 60 assists, notched the hat trick.
Jarrett Toll of the Edmonton Rush wired two goals and two assists, Darren Kinnear struck twice, captain Nate Schmidt had one goal and three assists and Derek Draper, Jordan Cornfield, Chris Schmidt and John Lintz of the Rush also scored.
The Outlaws beat netminder Dave Marrese four times on the power play and once shorthanded.
In game two Jordan Cornfield fired three goals, Tom Buckley and Toll pumped in two apiece and the Schmidt brothers both scored in support of Marrese.
The Miners led 2-1 after the first and 7-4 after two periods.
If needed, game four is Friday at Coronation Arena and game five is Saturday at Go Auto Arena. Start times are 8 p.m.
The Year of the St. Albert Crude will have to wait until 2015 after the No. 1 junior B Tier 1 team in the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League went down to defeat in the best-of-three north semifinal last weekend at Akinsdale Arena.
After winning game one 15-8 Friday the Crude went on to lose 14-9 Saturday and 10-8 Sunday to the Saskatoon-based Saskatchewan Swat, ranked fourth in the north at 11-9, nine points back of the first-place Crude at 15-4-1.
In the deciding game the Crude, last yearís provincial finalists, scored twice in the third period on goals by captain Erik Turner in the opening minute and Derek Burak on the power play with 12:09 to play to break a 6-6 tie.
The Swat replied with 10:17 to go, and after Matt Murphy of the Crude was foiled on a breakaway, play was halted because of a broken pane of glass behind the Swat bench with 6:08 remaining. Following a 15-minute delay as team officials from the Crude and Swat swept up the glass, the Swat beat netminder Troy Boucher three times in the final 2:08 minutes, including the insurance marker with seven ticks on the clock.
It was 3-3 after the first as Reece Runco, Cody Stannard and Jacob Dion potted goals for the Crude and in the second Dion on the power play, Turner and Cam Ellingson scored. The period ended with two goals by the Swat in the last 4:02 minutes to draw even.
All 10 Swat goals were scored at even strength.
In game one Stannard racked up two goals and six assists and Turner sniped three goals and added five helpers.
In league play Stannard led the Crude in scoring with 52 points and was second in goals with 37 in 18 games.
Turner was the Crudeís top marksman with 38 goals in 14 games and was second in scoring with 47 points.
In game two the Swat erased a one-goal deficit by outscoring the Crude 6-3 in the second to lead 9-7 after 40 minutes. Two of the six goals were shorthanded efforts.
It was 11-7 before the Crude scored with 11:19 to play in the third to close to within three of the visitors.