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The puck drops Sunday at 8 p.m. between the St. Albert Crusaders and St. Albert Blues at Mark Messier Arena.

The puck drops Sunday at 8 p.m. between the St. Albert Crusaders and St. Albert Blues at Mark Messier Arena.

In the Rural Edmonton Midget AA Hockey League the Crusaders (14-5) are in second place and the Blues (11-7-1) are fifth overall out of 12 teams.

Previous scores were 4-3 Blues in October and 7-4 Crusaders in November.

The Crusaders, the 2009 provincial champions, are spearheaded offensively by Steven Woolger (13-10-23 in 19 games), Brady McCorriston (7-13-20 in 13 games) and Mitch Allen (5-15-20 in 16 games). Brett Wells (6-1) ranks third among goalies with a 2.99 GAA.

As for the Blues, Matt Bowles (17-18-35 in 17 games) is fourth in league scoring and Erin Belfour (21-11-32 in 19 games) is tied for sixth in the points race.

The first game back from the Christmas break for the Blues is tonight against the first-place KC Colts (17-4-1) at 6:45 p.m. at Castledowns Arena.

League play resumes next week in metro Edmonton high school basketball with two big games scheduled in the premier conference.

Tuesday’s varsity men’s tilt between the Paul Kane Blues and Sturgeon Spirits tips off at 6:30 p.m. at Namao. Both teams were 2-1 at the Christmas break. The Spirits are trying their luck in premier after losing the 2009 city conference final.

Wednesday’s battle of St. Albert promises to be barnburner, as the St. Albert Skyhawks visit the Paul Kane Blues at 6:15 p.m. in varsity women’s hoops. The Skyhawks, listed second overall in the first 3A provincial rankings of the season, are 2-0 in premier and 6-2 overall. Paul Kane, unranked in 4A, is 1-2. Both teams are back on the court Tuesday. The Skyhawks host the winless St. Francis Xavier Rams and Paul Kane visits the Salisbury Sabres (1-3). Game times are 6:15 p.m.

The SAPEC Boston Pizza junior high basketball tournament swings into action Thursday at 4 p.m. at the Sir George Simpson, Vincent J. Maloney, Lorne Akins and Ecole Secondaire Sainte Margureite d’Youville (ESSMY) schools.

The tournament draw of 16 girls’ teams and 16 boys’ teams continues Friday at 4 p.m. and Saturday at 8 a.m. Saturday’s finals are 3:30 p.m. (girls) and 4:45 p.m. (boys) at ESSMY.

Representing the SAPEC league are the Elmer S. Gish Warriors, William D. Cuts Crusaders, Richard S. Fowler Falcons, Sir George Simpson Voyageurs, Lorne Akins Gators, Vincent J. Maloney Marauders, Morinville Wolves and ESSMY Leopards.

Meanwhile, league play tips off Jan. 12. The reigning SAPEC champions are Simpson (boys’ 2008 and 2009 winners) and the lady Wolves. Head coach Dan Wiles of the lady Gators expects his team to challenge for playoff honours. Simpson will be pressed by Lorne Akins and Maloney for the boys’ title.

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