Good hockey cubs beat the teams below them in the standings, and that’s what the St. Albert Steel did last weekend.
In a pair of north division road games, the sixth-place Steel (13-15-1-2) outscored the last-place Drayton Valley Thunder (5-22-1-2) 8-6 Friday and the next night edged the seventh-place Lloydminster Bobcats (10-17-0-4) 6-5 in the Alberta Junior Hockey League.
The Steel have now banked seven out of a possible eight points in their last four games while running their record to 4-5-0-1 in their last 10 games.
The Steel start a four-game home-stand Friday at Performance Arena against the Thunder at 7 p.m. At 2:30 p.m. Sunday they host the fourth-place Bonnyville Pontiacs (19-13).
In the Border City, the Steel rallied to defeat the Bobcats on third period goals by Spencer Pommells (fifth in 11 games) at 14:48 and Bryce Williamson (22nd) at 18:49.
Period scores were 2-1 Bobcats after the first and 4-4 after the second. Steel starter Mark Kotylak was pulled with 4:19 left in the first after the Bobcats made it 2-0 on 11 shots. Chris Sharkey faced 19 shots the rest of the way while picking up his third AJHL win. Shots overall were 33-30 for St. Albert.
Dan Carr (21st), Tyler Porteous (first AJHL goal), Reed Linaker (16th) with his 10th power play goal of the season and Rob Zandbeek (fourth) also scored.
The night before in Drayton Valley, a five-goal explosion in the third period propelled the Steel to victory. A pair by Carr early in the third, including his 10th PP goal, put the Steel in front 5-3. Linaker led all Steel scorers with two goals and two assists. Bob Pond (second), Phil Gervais (sixth), Williamson and Taylor Fraser (sixth) on the PP also tallied. The Thunder outshot the Steel 43-33. Kotylak stopped 17 of 18 shots in the first en route to his 10th win. The Thunder scored twice late in the game to make it look respectable.
At today’s press conference at Servus Credit Union Place, the Canadian Curling Association is expected to announce the Continental Cup of Curling is coming to St. Albert in January of 2011, coinciding with the city‘s 150th birthday celebrations.
The Continental Cup is billed as the Ryder Cup of curling — North America versus the world. Players compete in men’s, women’s and mixed events, including a skins game, which challenge the skills of the game’s premier shotmakers.
The last Continental Cup was staged in 2008 at Camrose. It made its debut in 2002 and has been contested six times, all in Canada.