Back-to-back losses ended the playoff run for the St. Albert Gregg Distributors Sabres.
The SSAC Southgate Lions posted wins of 7-4 Wednesday at Akinsdale Arena and 2-1 Thursday at Callingwood Arena to complete the series comeback against the Sabres in the Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League.
The best-of-three nitro north division final started with Monday’s 5-2 victory for the Sabres at Millwoods Arena.
In game two, SSAC led 5-2 after 40 minutes and the last goal was scored on the power play with 4:30 to play.
Aidan Taylor, Zakk Makeiff, Michael Romeo and Connor Dale tallied for the Sabres and Ryan Arnold finished with two assists.
Shots were 35-23 for SSAC as Teagan Kendrick (four goals on 12 shots in 29 minutes) and Luke Roberts (three goals on 11 shots in 31 minutes) split time in net.
The third and deciding game saw Carter Kowalyk knot the score at one in the middle frame and SSAC potted the series winner with 4:48 left in the period.
The Sabres outshot SSAC 14-7 in the third and 39-27 overall with Kendrick (3-1, 2.92 GAA) between the pipes.
The Sabres (13-15-5) and SSAC (12-14-7) tied for third in nitro standings and in the division semifinals St. Albert swept the first-place KC Squires (20-9-4) by scores of 3-2 in overtime and 4-3.
Romeo led the Sabres in playoff scoring with seven points and tied Makeiff for the team lead in goals with three apiece.
Captain Levi Fesyk chipped in with four assists.
Fesyk and Makeiff were returnees from last year's AMBHL provincial finalists and this year’s lineup featured eight first-year bantams.
Midget 15 Flyers
The St. Albert Flyers started off the north provincial qualifier in the Alberta Minor Midget AAA Hockey League with a pair of victories in Lloydminster.
The Flyers defeated the Fort Saskatchewan Rangers 5-1 Thursday and the Grande Peace Storm 6-3 Friday morning.
The last pool A game for the Flyers before today’s crossover semifinals was Friday night against the PAC Saints (27-4-3), the top team in the north. The score was unavailable at press time.
The pool B teams are the Sherwood Park Squires (20-8-6), Leduc Oil Kings (21-10-3), Lloydminster Bobcats (20-11-3) and SSAC Bulldogs (12-17-5).
Sunday’s final is 12 noon and the two finalists join the host SSAC at provincials, March 20 to 24 at Meadows Recreation Centre in Edmonton.
Visit www.ammhl.ca for results.
Scoring for the Flyers (21-10-3), third in the north, against the Rangers (14-14-6) were Holden Selin, Graeme Hampton (power play), Zachry Desranleau, Jordan Burgardt (shorthanded) and Dylan Leslie as Carson Ironside tended the twine.
Ethan Sundar, Palmer Strang, Leslie (power play), Aidyn Hutchinson, Chase Visser and Shea Spofford (empty net) supplied the offence for netminder Ethan Kadatz against the Storm (9-18-7).
In league play, Sundar led all scorers with 69 points in 33 games and was second in goals with 32.
The St. Albert Royals will skate in the Rural & Edmonton Midget 15AA Hockey League semifinals after finishing first in pool play.
Luke Aston found the back of the net at even strength and on the power play for a three-point night in Thursday’s 5-2 decision against the SPKAC Senators at Go Auto Arena.
Owen Bourque tallied once and added three assists, Nico Gallo added one goal and two assists and Kaelan Shelton also scored.
Shots were 33-31 for the Senators as Jack Robinson (2-0, 2.00 GAA) backstopped the Royals to their third win in the blue pool.
The Royals will play the SSAC Dolce Vita Homes, second in the red pool at 2-1, in the best-of-five semifinal. Playoff dates were unavailable at press time.
The Hockey Central Panthers and Red Deer Chiefs are the other semifinalists.
In league play, the Panthers (24-1-5) placed first, the Royals (23-3-4) were second, SSAC (16-8-6) was fourth and Red Deer (14-14-2) placed seventh.
Last year the Royals lost the best-of-five final in three games to the Panthers.
Five Royals are ranked in the top 10 in playoff scoring: Bourque (4-4-8), Brydon Foster (6-1-7), Aston (4-3-7), Gallo (1-6-7) and Shelton (3-3-6).