The St. Albert Sabres face elimination in their best-of-three series against the SSAC Southgate Lions after Thursday’s 3-1 loss in the Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League playoffs.

Game two goes tonight at 8 p.m. at Akinsdale Arena. Game three, if needed, is Monday at 9 p.m. at Kinsmen Arena.

In the series opener, the Lions broke it open with two goals in period two after Andrew Kary knotted the score at one apiece. Brett Smythe and Guy Butlin drew assists.

The Sabres were outshot 36-21. In net was Patrick Gora.

In the nitro division the Lions (26-4-3) and Sabres (23-7-3) finished first and second, respectively.

The series winner will play the Spruce Grove PAC Saints (20-8-5) or Leduc (21-10-2) in the north final.

The Paul Kane Blues are the team to beat in metro Edmonton premier men’s basketball as the number-one playoff seed.

The 10th-ranked 4A team in Alberta finished league play with seven straight wins for a record of 11-1 in pool A.

The playoffs tip-off Monday for the Blues against the O’Leary Spartans (5-6 in pool B) at 4:45 p.m. at Paul Kane. Their only loss in premier was 47-44 at O’Leary on Jan. 5.

At the recent O’Leary tournament, the Blues beat the host team 85-76.

The semifinals are scheduled for Wednesday and the final is Saturday at 7 p.m. at O’Leary.

The last premier championship for the Blues was 2008 when they repeated as playoff winners.

The Blues are also favoured to qualify for provincials, March 17 to 19 in Edmonton. They were provincial finalists in 2007 and gold medallists the following year.

St. Albert’s U16 ringette teams were pure gold at the 21st annual Kelowna Sweetheart Tournament.

The Shock won the junior A division title and the Edge were victorious in the junior B division.

The Shock edged Calgary North Surge 4-3 in the final to finish the tournament undefeated. They also defeated Kelowna Caliente 8-1, Fraser Valley Venom 5-4, Vernon Storm 7-0, Delta Impact 2-1 and the Southview Rave 6-5 in the semifinals.

The Edge knocked off the Surrey Scorpions 7-4 for championship honours. They marched into the final after posting wins of 11-4 against the Vernon Titans, 10-5 against Penticton Junior B2, 7-3 against Delta Kaos, 9-2 against Penticton Peoples Pharmacy and 9-7 against Penticton Junior B2 in the semifinals.

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St. Albert Gazette

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