Playoff series updates and post-season previews

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Sabres playoffs

The season is on the line tonight for the St. Albert Gregg Distributors Sabres in the Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League.

The deciding game in the best-of-three nitro north division final against CAC Lehigh Cement starts at 8:15 p.m. at Go Auto Arena.

CAC forced a third game in Monday’s 4-3 overtime win at Clareview Arena.

Breck McKinley’s second goal of the third period with 42 seconds left in regulation time tied it at three for the Sabres.

The CAC led 3-1 after two periods and potted the winner in the 12th minute of OT.

Ethan Sundar also scored his fourth playoff goal during a three-point night.

Both teams tallied once on the power play.

Shots were 6-5 in OT and 57-18 in total for the Sabres.

Matt Tebbutt (three goals-against on 10 shots in 26 minutes) and Carson Ironside (one goal-against on eight shots in 45 minutes) split time in net.

The Sabres opened the series in Sunday’s 5-0 decision in St. Albert as Ironside stopped 16 shots.

Sundar scored twice and Chase Visser, Jaxon Dube (power play) and Levi Fesyk notched singles on 44 shots.

Sundar is second in AMBHL playoff scoring with nine points.

McKinley and captain Tyson Greenway added two assists apiece.

In the nitro north semifinals, the Sabres (25-3-8) swept the SSAC Southgate Lions (12-15-9) by scores of 6-4 and 6-1 and CAC won its best-of-three series against the Sherwood Park Flyers (20-8-8) in two games.

The Sabres beat CAC three times in four league games.

The winner plays the Leduc Oil Kings (17-11-8) or PAC Saints (18-14-4) in the best-of-five north conference final.

Raiders playoffs

The St. Albert Tire Warehouse Raiders have a score to settle in the Alberta Midget AAA Hockey League playoffs.

The Raiders face-off against defending champion Leduc Oil Kings in the best-of-five north semifinals for the second year in a row and the series opener is 8:15 p.m. Thursday at Akinsdale Arena.

Leduc defeated the Raiders in the fifth and deciding game in St. Albert in last year’s playoff.

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 year in a row in the north standings.

The home team prevailed in the season series by scores of 6-3 for Leduc in October and 5-2 for the Raiders in November.

Game two is 8 p.m. Saturday at the Akinsdale rink and game three is 8:15 p.m. Sunday in Leduc.

If needed, game four is 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in Leduc and game five is 7:30 p.m. Friday at Akinsdale.

The winner plays the KC Pats (21-10-4) or Fort Saskatchewan Rangers (11-19-5) in the best-of-five north final.

The Pats and Raiders had first-round byes and Leduc swept its opening best-of-five series against the Southside Athletic Club (7-17-11).

Flyers sit second

The St. Albert Flyers tie the bow on the regular season this weekend in the Alberta Minor Midget AAA Hockey League.

The Flyers (22-6-6) visit the Camrose Red Wings (6-20-6) Saturday at 7:15 p.m. and Sunday’s game time is 5 p.m. against the KC Centennials (4-24-5) at Akinsdale Arena.

The Sutter North Cup provincial qualifier starts March 8 in Fort Saskatchewan and three teams advance to the midget 15 provincials, March 21 to 25 in Lethbridge.

The Flyers remain in second place behind the Sherwood Park Squires (24-6-4) in the north division after posting victories last weekend of 5-4 against the fourth-place PAC Saints (16-13-5) in Spruce Grove and 3-2 against the third-place CAC United Cycle (19-11-5) in St. Albert.

Robert Kincaid potted the only goal of the third period against CAC on Sunday.

Maddux Nollski notched his 20th of the season and Ethan McKinley also scored in the middle frame.

Ethan Barwick (16-5-3, 2.30 GAA) faced a game-high 30 shots after recording 31 saves the day before against the Saints.

Ryland Strauss sniped the winner at 11:36 of the third after Mathieu Gautier’s third goal of the game tied it at four at 5:46.

Dylan McFatridge capitalized with the man advantage early in the third for the team’s second power-play marker.

Kincaid and Nollski finished with two assists apiece.

Slash games

The St. Albert Ron Hodgson Slash close out the regular season in the Alberta Female Hockey League with two games this weekend.

The Slash host the Red Deer Chiefs (16-8-4) at 8 p.m. Friday at Go Auto Arena and the last game is Saturday against the Edmonton Pandas (3-22-3) at 7:30 p.m. at Bill Hunter Arena.

The Slash (20-8) are ranked second behind the Rocky Mountain Raiders (23-4-2) in the six-team midget AAA standings.

The AFHL provincials are March 22 to 25 in Red Deer and the winner advances to the best-of-three Pacific Regional playoff, April 6 to 8 in British Columbia.

The 10th annual Esso Cup is April 21 to 29 in Bridgewater, N.S. and the Slash are the defending national champions.

The third consecutive win in eight days for the Slash against the Lloydminster Steelers was Saturday’s 4-1 decision in St. Albert.

Tyra Meropoulis tallied twice and her second goal was an empty netter after connecting earlier on the power play.

Madison Willan and Makenna Schuttler also scored and Jayme Doyle and Willan each had two helpers.

Shots were 22-21 for the Slash and Camryn Drever (11-3, 1.36 GAA) was the winning netminder.

Jets eliminated

A winning season for the Morinville Jets ended in Friday’s overtime loss in the Capital Junior B Hockey League playoffs.

The North Edmonton Red Wings scored the series clincher in the 15th minute of sudden-death hockey to win the best-of-five west division quarter-final in four games.

The 7-6 result at Ray McDonald Sports Centre started with the Red Wings lighting the lamp three times before Lee Gadoury put the Jets on the board with 1:38 left in the second period and the Red Wings answered with 37 seconds left in the frame.

The teams swapped goals in the third as Zach Mcrae and Brett Dubuc (power play) connected for the Jets.

After the Red Wings made it 6-3 at 13:36 the Jets roared back on goals by Alex Michalcheon (power play) at 15:31 and Dubuc at 18:20 and 19:12 to force overtime.

Dubuc’s hat-trick goal was his eighth of the playoffs and 11th point.

Shots were 15-9 in the third, 13-9 in OT and 45-41 overall.

Brett Kampjes picked up three assists and Colton Kucher 2-2, 3.37 GAA) was between the pipes.

The Jets lost three in a row to the Red Wings after Tyler Sonnichsen slotted the 3-2 OT winner in game one at Londonderry Arena.

The Red Wings replied with victories of 4-3 in Morinville and 6-0 at Londonderry Arena.

The Red Wings evened the series with a pair on the power play in the third to lead 4-2 and in game three struck four times with the man advantage and the last three goals in the third were scored on the power play while out-shooting the Jets 37-25 overall.

In the west standings, two points separated the second-place Red Wings (25-11-2) and third-place Jets (24-12-2) and the teams split the season series with two wins apiece on home ice.

The Jets advanced to the quarter-finals by sweeping the Edmonton Mustangs (14-20-4) in the best-of-three qualifying round.

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.

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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.