The St. Albert Gregg Distributors Sabres are three wins way from the first Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League provincial championship since 1999 when the best-of-five series against the Calgary Bisons or Airdrie Xtreme starts this weekend.
The challenger south Bisons (29-3-4, 154 GF/57 GA), nitro north Sabres (25-3-8, 186 GF/76 GA) and ram south Xtreme (25-5-6, 148 GF/72 GA), finished as the top three teams in the AMBHL regular season.
The Sabres are 7-1 in the playoffs after sweeping the PAC Saints (18-14-4) in the best-of-five north conference final.
Scores were 5-2 Friday in St. Albert, 6-3 Saturday in Spruce Grove and Monday’s 7-2 series clincher at Go Auto Arena.
Jaxon Dube and Zachry Desranleau potted a pair each and Evan Arnold, Breck McKinley and Ethan Sundar also scored. Chase Visser and Graeme Hampton picked up two assists apiece.
Shots were 46-16 for the Sabres and Matt Tebbutt (2-0, 2.73 GAA) was in net.
The Sabres also out-shot the Saints 42-16 in game two with Carson Ironside (5-1, 2.17 GAA) between the pipes and 48-28 in the series opener with Ironside drawing the start.
Sundar lit the lamp four times and captain Tyson Greenway recorded one goal and three assists in game one.
Sundar was the AMBHL’s top playoff scorer after Monday’s contest with 16 points and is second in goals with 10.
Greenway and Dube have 13 and 12 points, respectively, and Arnold, Visser and McKinley each have 10 points.
The St. Albert Tire Warehouse Raiders were on the brink of elimination in the Alberta Midget AAA Hockey League playoffs in game four Tuesday in the north division semifinal.
The score was unavailable at press time against the defending champion Leduc Oil Kings.
A win in Leduc would force a fifth and deciding game Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Akinsdale Arena.
The winner plays the KC Pats (21-10-4) or Fort Saskatchewan Rangers (11-19-5) in the best-of-five north final.
The Raiders (18-12-5, 97 GF/73 GA) and Leduc (11-16-8, 105 GF/123 GA) started off the semifinal round in Thursday’s 5-0 shutout by the Raiders in St. Albert as Mitch Reidy faced 17 shots.
Saturday’s score was 5-2 for Leduc in St. Albert as Reidy gave up four goals on 18 shots in 24 minutes and Evan Fradette let in one goal on 12 shots.
Xavier Halterman and Brock Bartholomew (power play) scored and Stuart Dovey assisted on both goals as the Raiders registered 41 shots. There was no scoring in the third period.
Game three Sunday in Leduc ended with the home team on top 3-0.
Shots were 47-40 for Leduc and Fradette was in net.
Leduc opened the scoring on the power play with 1:20 left in the first and in the third made it 2-0 at 8:02 before adding an empty net goal with 21 seconds remaining.
Last year’s north semifinal between the Raiders and Leduc ended with the Oil Kings winning game five in St. Albert.
Sutter North Cup
The puck drops Thursday for the St. Albert Flyers in the Sutter North Cup provincial qualifier in the Alberta Minor Midget AAA Hockey League.
Faceoff is 5:15 p.m. between the Flyers (24-6-6) and the host Fort Saskatchewan Rangers (16-17-3) in pool B action.
The Flyers also play the Leduc Oil Kings (16-14-6) at 11:30 a.m. Friday and the CAC (19-11-6) at 10 a.m. Saturday in the Fort.
The top two teams in the A and B pools advance to Saturday’s semifinals.
Sunday the third-place game is 10:30 a.m. and the final is 1 p.m. at JRC Arena.
The two finalists and third-place winner advance to the midget 15 provincials, March 21 to 25 in Lethbridge.
Pool A consists of the Sherwood Park Squires (25-6-5), PAC Saints (18-13-5), Grande Peace Storm (14-14-8) and Lloydminster Bobcats (11-15-10)
The Flyers won last year’s North Sutter Cup and finished third at provincials.
The Flyers ended the regular season as winners of four in a row as the second-place team in the north division behind the Squires.