Junior B playoff updates and coverage of the midget AAA Raiders and midget 15 Flyers


Merch Madness

The third and deciding game between the St. Albert Merchants and Stony Plain Flyers in the west division qualifying round was played Tuesday at Akinsdale Arena but the score was unavailable at press time.

Overtime decided the winner Friday in St. Albert and Sunday at Glenn Hall Centennial Arena and the scores were 4-3 in both games.

Andy Barr’s unassisted effort gave the Merchants the series lead and the Flyers responded with Eric Lacombe’s winner in the extra frame of game two.

Lacombe also scored the equalizer in the third period after goals by Mark Matsuba and Matt Havens put the Merchants on top 3-2 in the second period.

Cam Mazur opened the scoring for the Merchants in the first frame.

Shots were even at 38 apiece and Ethan Crotty drew the start for the Merchants after facing 34 shots in game one.

Jack Langenhahn’s goal with four ticks on the clock forced overtime in game one.

Marco Runco made it 1-0 in the second and Kole Bryks pulled the Merchants to within one of the Flyers before the three-minute mark in the third.

The Merchants were credited with 45 shots.

The series winner advances to the best-of-five division quarter-final against the first-place Beverly Warriors (26-11-1) and game one is 8 p.m. Friday at Clareview Arena.

Visit www.cjhl.org for playoff updates.

This is the third straight year of Merch Madness between the Merchants and Flyers in the qualifying round and the fourth consecutive year they have played in the post-season. The Flyers swept last year’s series and the Merchants prevailed two years ago on Mazur’s double overtime winner in game three

The Merchants (21-16-1) and Flyers (15-20-3) finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the west standings and The Blue Guys beat Stony Plain four times in league play.

Jets advance

The Morinville Jets have advanced to the next round in the Capital Junior B Hockey League playoffs after sweeping the Edmonton Mustangs in two games.

Scores in the best-of-three series were 4-2 Saturday at Ray McDonald Sports Centre and 5-2 Sunday at Bill Hunter Arena.

The best-of-five quarter-final between the Jets and North Edmonton Red Wings starts 8 p.m. Friday at Londonderry Arena and game two is slated for Sunday in Morinville. The start time was unavailable at press time.

Visit www.cjhl.org for the playoff schedule.

The Red Wings (25-11-2) and Jets (24-12-2) finished second and third, respectively, in the west division and the teams split the four-game season series with two wins apiece on home ice.

Last year the Jets were the top team in the west at 27-7-4 and in the quarter-finals were eliminated by the fifth-place Stony Plain Flyers in five games.

This year’s playoff opener started off with goals by Lee Gadoury, Brett Dubuc and Josh Mcrae before the Mustangs got on the board with a power-play marker at 6:10 of the second period.

The shot count was 39-31 for the Jets and Colton Kuchar tended the twine.

Dubuc’s second goal in game two was scored on the power play during a penalty-filled third period.

Gadoury, Brett Kampjes (power play) and Josh Perrott also found the back of the net.

Gadoury and Dean Jones finished with two assists apiece.

Luke Hall stopped 17 shots while the Jets finished with 33.

Raiders rolling

The St. Albert Tire Warehouse Raiders have one game remaining before the team’s first-round bye in the Alberta Midget AAA Hockey League playoffs.

Sunday’s face-off is 12:15 p.m. against the Calgary Northstars (22-8-3) at Akinsdale Arena.

The KC Pats (20-10-3) and Raiders (17-12-5) qualified for the best-of-five north division semifinals as the top two teams in the standings.

The Raiders also finished second last year at 16-4-4 and lost the fifth and deciding game in the north semifinal to the third-place Leduc Oil Kings, the eventual AMHL provincial champions.

The Raiders, with six returning players in the lineup, are winners of four in a row after losing three straight by shutouts and the last victory was 4-2 against the Lloydminster Bobcats (7-24-2) Sunday in the Border City.

The second of three goals by Cam Aucoin snapped a 2-2 deadlock with 8:10 to play.

Aucoin’s first goal was a shorthanded effort and the Bobcats tied it at two in the third period on the penalty kill.

Aucoin leads the team offensively with 13 goals and 26 points.

Brock Bartholomew also scored, Jacob Hiemstra chipped in with three assists and Eddie Gallagher had two helpers.

Shots were 49-20 for the Raiders and Mitch Reidy (10-5-3, 2.12 GAA) was between the pipes.

The second straight shutout for the No. 1 defensive team in the north (2.08 goals-against per game) and the fifth of the season was posted by Evan Fradette (7-7-2, 1.94 GAA) in Saturday’s 3-0 result against the Southside Athletic Club (7-15-11) at Bill Hunter Arena. Fradette faced only 11 shots while recording his fourth shutout and the second in consecutive starts.

Blake Sydlowski struck twice and Carson Henry also scored.

Flyers flying

The pennant race between the St. Albert Flyers and Sherwood Park Squires is heating up the north division standings in the Alberta Minor Midget AAA Hockey League.

A pair of victories last weekend lifted the midget 15 Flyers (20-5-6) to within two points of the Squires (22-6-3) with five games remaining for both teams before the North Sutter Cup provincial qualifier starts March 8 in Fort Saskatchewan.

The fourth win after two losses for the Flyers was Sunday’s 12-1 throttling of the Camrose Red Wings (5-19-6) at Akinsdale Arena.

Ethan McKinley and Maddux Nollski potted three goals apiece as the Flyers racked up 58 shots.

Ronin Pusch, Ethan Pool, Matt Reidy, Dylan McFatridge, Tye Pedersen and affiliate David Saunders (shorthanded) also scored.

Saunders, Pedersen, Mathieu Gautier and Taige Harding also collected three assists apiece.

Matt Clement (6-1-3, 3.01 GAA) faced 20 shots.

The day before in the Fort, Nollski sniped four goals and Pusch (power play) also scored in the 5-2 decision against the penalty-riddled Rangers (15-15-3).

Reidy and Gautier added two assists apiece.

Nollski leads the Flyers in scoring with 19 goals and 34 points.

Ethan Barwick (14-4-3, 2.15 GAA) stopped 27 of 29 shots and the Flyers were credited with 54 shots.

The Flyers don’t play again until next Wednesday against the SSAC Bulldogs (9-15-6) at 7:45 p.m. at the Akinsdale rink.


About Author

Jeff Hansen

Jeff Hansen joined the St. Albert Gazette in 1991. He writes about sports, athletes and teams from St. Albert and area.