Hockey Digest

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Faceoff is 7 p.m. against the Crusaders in Sherwood Park.

The Steel (24-22-2) trail the sixth-place Crusaders (24-20-6) by four points with two games in hand.

The seventh defeat in 10 games for the Steel was Saturday’s 3-1 loss to the second-place Fort McMurray Oil Barons (38-13-1). Attendance was 300 at Performance Arena.

Taylor Fraser’s team-leading 29th goal and 13th on the power play evened the score at one apiece in period two.

Steel goalie Rhys Hadfield (24-18-2) faced 35 shoots. Davis Jones (10-2, 2.15 GAA), a St. Albert product and Oil Barons rookie, stopped 31 shots.

The night before in front of 205 fans in St. Albert, the Steel edged the Oil Barons 3-2 on the strength of three unanswered goals in the middle frame. The first of two goals by Fraser knotted it at 1-1 on the power play 30 seconds into the period. Sixty-four seconds later, rookie Ryan Berlin connected with his ninth of the season. At 9:36 Fraser potted his second of the night. His 55 points in 48 games is tied for seventh best in the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s scoring race.

Early in the third the Oil Barons made it a one-goal game. They outshot the home team 15-5 in the period and 39-28 overall. Hadfield was solid in net.

This weekend the Steel play three in a row, starting with the Sell Out For The Stollery game Friday at home against the last-place Drayton Valley Thunder (8-37-7) at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10. Team jerseys will be auctioned off as part of the fundraiser. Fifty per cent of the night’s proceeds will benefit the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation.

Saturday at 7 p.m. the Steel host the Calgary Canucks (14-32-5), the bottom team in the south division. This is the last season for Canucks’ head coach Don Phelps, who plans to retire after 27 years with the club.

On Sunday at 2:30 p.m. the Steel and Thunder hooked up in Drayton Valley.

The Steel are 9-13-1 on the road and 15-9-1 at home.

Meanwhile, the Steel are 2-5 in their last seven games with all-star centre Reed Linaker (25-24-49, 32 games) sidelined with a lower body injury.

The St. Albert Slash finished the regular season with three players tied for the scoring lead in the Alberta Major Midget Female Hockey League.

Captain Melissa Kueber, Jessica Kampjes and Karly Heffernan registered 47 points apiece for the host team for the 2011 Esso Cup national championship.

Kueber led all scorers with 31 goals, including seven on the power play, in 24 games. Kampjes ranked second in goals with 26 in 30 games. Heffernan also recorded the most assists in league play with 31 in 32 games.

The last game before the playoffs for the Slash (23-6-3) was Sunday’s 3-0 decision against the last-place Grande Prairie Storm (3-25-4) at Performance Arena. Chloe Sanderson (10-3-2, 1.79 GAA) faced 15 shots en route to posting her fifth shutout and the team’s 10th. Kampjes potted two and Kueber tallied once during a 43-shot barrage.

In the playoffs the Slash have a first-round bye as the number-two ranked team in the north. The best-of-three divisional semifinals start Monday.

The playoffs start Feb. 15 for the St. Albert Sabres in the Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League.

In the opening playoff round the Sabres will have home-ice advantage in the best-of-three division semifinal against the Sherwood Park Flyers.

After Tuesday’s game against the Maple Leafs (score unavailable at press time), the Sabres close out league play with games Thursday in Sherwood Park against the Flyers (15-11-3) at 8:30 p.m., Saturday against the Grande Prairie Storm (3-25) at 5:30 p.m. at Akinsdale Arena and next Wednesday against the visiting SSAC Southgate Lions (22-3-3) at 7:45 p.m. The Sabres are four points back of the first-place Lions in the division standings.

The Sabres finished their January schedule with five straight wins after Saturday’s 4-2 victory against the Lloydminster Heat (14-12-3) in St. Albert. Jake Kohlhauser scored twice and added one assist. Paul Lovsin and Brett Van Os notched singles. Brendan Passek drew two assists. Patrick Dea stopped 23 Camrose shots.

The St. Albert Flyers pitched back-to-back shutouts last weekend in the Alberta Minor Midget AAA Hockey League.

Tanner McCorriston faced 14 shots in Saturday’s 10-0 drubbing of the KC Centennials (4-18-5) at Callingwood Arena. Jake Mykitiuk led all scorers with four assists.

The next day in Fort Saskatchewan, Landon Bow turned aside 31 shots in the 3-0 win over the Rangers (9-14-4). Gabriel Chabot, Jeff Harrison and Mykitiuk scored as the Flyers registered 42 shots.

Mykitiuk is the top goal scorer in the north conference with 31, and is second in points with 55 in 27 games.

The next game for the Flyers (20-6) is Friday against the SSAC Bulldogs (21-7-1). Faceoff is 9 p.m. at Kenilworth Arena. The Flyers trail the second-place Bulldogs by three points with three games in hand.

At 1:15 p.m. Saturday the Flyers host the Camrose Kodiaks (8-17-2) at Akinsdale Arena.

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St. Albert Gazette

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