Mitch Reidy stopped 17 shots as the St. Albert Tire Warehouse Raiders shutout the Leduc Oil Kings in Thursday’s best-of-five series opener in the Alberta Midget AAA Hockey League.
The 5-0 decision against the defending AMHL champions at Akinsdale Arena also marked the first playoff game for the Raiders after a first-round bye.
Jacob Hiemstra scored early in the first period and Brock Bartholomew, Austin Spiridakis (power play), Blake Sydlowski and Jacob Charko (power play) potted goals in the third.
Xavier Halterman and Stuart Dovey chipped in with two assists apiece.
The Raiders registered 21 of their 50 shots in the last period.
Reidy’s shutout matched his season total for the No. 1 defensive team in the north division.
The Raiders host game two in the north semifinal tonight at 8 p.m. and game three is 8:15 p.m. Sunday in Leduc.
If needed, game four goes Tuesday in Leduc and game five is Friday at Akinsdale Arena and the start times are 7:30 p.m.
The winner advances to the best-of-five north final against the KC Pats (21-10-4) or Fort Saskatchewan Rangers (11-19-5).
The Raiders (18-12-5, 97 GF/73 GA) and Leduc (11-16-8, 105 GF/123 GA) finished second and third, respectively, for the second consecutive year in the north standings.
Last year’s north semifinal between the two teams ended with Leduc winning the fifth and deciding game in St. Albert.
The St. Albert Gregg Distributors Sabres continue their playoff march today in the Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League.
Game two in the best-of-five north conference final against the PAC Saints starts 5:15 p.m. at Tri-Leisure Centre.
Game one was played Friday in St. Albert but the score was unavailable at press time.
Game three is 8:30 p.m. Monday at Go Auto Arena.
If needed, game four is 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Tri-Leisure Centre and game five is 8:15 p.m. Thursday at Go Auto Arena.
The winner plays the Calgary Bisons (29-3-4) or Airdrie Xtreme (25-5-6) in the best-of-five AMBHL championship for the right to represent Alberta at westerns, March 29 to April 1 in Kamloops.
In league play, the Sabres (25-3-8) posted wins of 6-1 and 3-0 against the Saints (18-14-4).
The fourth victory in five playoff games for the Sabres was 6-3 against CAC Lehigh Cement (20-12-4) Wednesday in St. Albert.
The second goals of the night for Jaxon Dube and Chase Visser were both scored on the penalty kill in the third period.
David Saunders and Zachry Desranleau (power play) also found the back of the net in the deciding game in the best-of-three nitro north final.
Shot were 39-20 for the Sabres in support of netminder Carson Ironside (3-1, 2.00 GAA).
Ethan Sundar is the top-scoring Sabre in the playoffs after two series with 10 points and shares the team lead in goals with Visser and Dube with four apiece.