Hockey Digest

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The St. Albert Merchants and Morinville Jets will exchange pleasantries Saturday in the Capital Junior B Hockey League.

Faceoff is 6 p.m. at Ray McDonald Sports Centre between the Jets (9-4-4), tied for second in the west division, and the fourth-place Merchants (10-7).

Previous results between the junior B rivals were 7-6 Merchants in a shootout Sept. 30 in St. Albert and 8-1 Jets on Nov. 6 in Morinville.

Tonight the Jets visit the Edmonton Mustangs (5-12) at 8 p.m. at Bill Hunter Arena.

The first loss for the Jets after five consecutive wins was Friday’s 5-4 setback to the east division-leading Edmonton Royals (15-3) in Morinville.

Tyler Hagel sniped his league-high 24th goal and added one assist. His 39 points in 15 games ranks second overall in the scoring race.

Lee Gadoury, Alex Mihalcheon, Joshua Perrott also potted goals and Jorden Rooke picked up three assists.

Shots were 49-36 for the Jets and Colton Kucher (5-4, 3.05 GAA) was in net.

The Merchants are 4-6 in the last 10 games after Sunday’s 5-1 loss to the Beverly Warriors (11-5) at Akinsdale Arena.

The last winning streak for the Merchants was five in a row, from late September to early October.

Steve Knobloch’s first goal of the season opened the scoring and the Warriors replied with five straight, including three on the power play, to end the first period.

Shots were 27-23 for the Warriors, who share second spot with the Jets in the west.

Ryan Papirny (7-4, 3.96 GAA) was replaced by Ethan Crotty (3-3, 4.70 GAA) in the Merchants’ net to start the middle frame.

Matt Havens leads the Merchants with 11 goals and 31 points and is sixth in league scoring.

The St. Albert Gregg Distributors Sabres finished the Rocky Mountain Classic in Calgary with three wins and two losses last weekend.

Scores in pool play were 11-5 for the Pursuit of Excellence Academy of Kelowna, 4-2 against Calgary Northstars and 2-1 against the Okanagan Hockey Academy of Penticton.

In the playoff round it was 5-4 for the Yale Hockey Academy of Abbotsford, the tournament winners, and 6-1 against the Notre Dame Hounds.

The tournament featured a number of teams that will be in St. Albert for the John Reid Memorial Tournament. The 39th annual bantam AAA showcase is Jan. 19 to 22.

The Sabres were 13-0 in the Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League before hosting the SSAC Southgate Lions (2-9-2) Tuesday but the score was unavailable at press time.

The next league game is Nov. 25 in Camrose against the Red Wings (9-2-3).

Meanwhile, Ethan Leyer of the Sabres was recognized as the AMBHL’s Western Hockey League prospect of the month for October.

Leyer led the league in goals with 20 and was tied for first in scoring with 33 points in 13 games before Tuesday’s contest.

Sunday’s shootout result extended the midget AAA St. Albert Slash’s winning streak to 10 games to start the Alberta Female Hockey League season.

The Slash and Red Deer Chiefs (3-9-1) skated to a scoreless draw in regulation time and during a lengthy 10-round shootout the St. Albert squad prevailed for the 1-0 decision at Go Auto Arena.

Brianna Sank (6-0, 0.82 GAA) of Ardrossan was in net for the Slash.

Madison Willan of Edmonton is the team’s top scorer with eight goals and 15 points in 10 games and Tyra Meropoulis of Edson is the assist leader with eight in five games.

The next game is Saturday versus the Edmonton Pandas (3-7) at 5:15 p.m. at Bill Hunter Arena and Sunday the Slash host the Rocky Mountain Raiders (8-4-1) at 1:30 p.m. at Go Auto Arena.

Meanwhile, netminder Camryn Drever of Edmonton, defenceman Stephanie Markowski of Edmonton and Meropoulis, a forward, represented the Slash on Team Alberta at the U18 nationals last week in Regina. They were among seven AFHL players on the roster. Alberta finished fifth overall.

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St. Albert Gazette

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