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Raiders, Merchants and Sabres hockey coverage
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HARASSED – Mark Hanson-Torwalt of the St. Albert Nektar Raiders (12-1-2) is impeded by Brayden Oster of the Lloydminster Bobcats in Sunday's game at Jarome Iginla Arena. The Raiders (12-1-2) are tied for first overall in the Alberta Midget AAA Hockey League as the north division leaders after the 3-0 win. CHRIS COLBOURNE/St. Albert Gazette

Raiders rolling

The St. Albert Nektar Raiders are tied with the defending provincial champion Calgary Buffaloes for the overall best record in the Alberta Midget AAA Hockey League after the fourth victory in a row by the north division leaders.

Andreai Proctor-Ramirez stopped 15 shots for his third shutout and the team’s second in three games for four overall this season in Sunday’s 3-0 decision against the Lloydminster Bobcats (8-7-1) at Jarome Iginla Arena.

Kyle Norman in the first period and Koehn Ziemmer and Ty Cheveldayoff in the middle frame scored as the Raiders outshot the Bobcats 21-4 in the opening 20 minutes en route to 34 shots overall.

Proctor-Ramirez (7-1-1) is the top AMHL netminder with a 1.11 GAA and .952 save percentage.

The Raiders (12-1-2, 51 GF/20 GA) are also the No. 1 defensive team with a 1.33 GAA while the south division Buffaloes (12-2-2, 72 GF/29 GA) are averaging a league-high 4.5 goals per game.

Last season, the Buffaloes swept the Raiders in the best-of-five provincial final and the first two games were decided in overtime, including a penalty shot in the series opener.

The teams square off Sunday in Red Deer at 3 p.m. during the AMHL Showcase Weekend and Dec. 8 at 2:30 p.m. in St. Albert.

Saturday the Raiders faceoff against the Okotoks Oilers (12-3) at 1 p.m. in Red Deer.

Merchants stymied

The first loss after eight consecutive wins by the St. Albert Merchants was against the second-worst team in the Capital Junior B Hockey League.

The Edmonton Mustangs (2-17) led 3-1 after 20 minutes and potted a pair on the power play to make it 5-1 in the second period of Sunday's 5-3 upset at Bill Hunter Arena.

It was 2-0 Mustangs when Zach Giacobbo scored and in the second Stuart Dovey capitalized on the power play with 1:48 left in the period.

Marco Runco also tallied in the third.

Shots were 18-13 in the first, 26-12 in the second and 22-10 in the third for a margin of 66-35 in favour of the Merchants (13-6).

Brett Akins (five GA on 22 shots in 32 minutes) and Mitchell Reidy (19 saves in 28 minutes) split time in net for the Merchants.

Colton Iwaschuk (1-7, 8.34 GAA), a former Merchant, backstopped the Mustangs to victory.

The 11th win of 12 games for the Merchants was Friday’s 7-4 result against the Spruce Grove Regals (1-19) at Jarome Iginla Arena.

The teams combined for 29 infractions for 74 minutes and the only power-play marker was scored by Bryce Sturm to make it 3-1 late in the first.

Sturm and Jack Langenhahn finished with two goals apiece, Ryan Cooper registered one goal and three assists, Dovey chipped in with three helpers and Adam Wilkins and Jacob Karran notched singles.

Ryan Deets, a forward, played the last two minutes in net as an emergency back-up to Reidy (6-3, 4.31 GAA) and stopped both shots directed his way.

Reidy faced 41 shots while the Merchants were credited with the same number against Spencer Hutson (1-4, 7.00 GAA).

In the CJHL scoring race, Cooper and Dovey are tied for fourth with 36 points apiece and Sturm is in a three-way tie for sixth with 34 points.

Dovey also leads the team in goals with 17.

Friday the Merchants battle the Stony Plain Flyers (11-8-1) at 8:30 p.m. at Glenn Hall Centennial Arena and Sunday’s home game against the defending Founders Cup champion Beverly Warriors (16-3) starts at 8 p.m.

Sabres streaking

The St. Albert Gregg Distributors Sabres can extend their undefeated streak to eight games with a winning performance tonight against the Sherwood Park Flyers.

Puck drop is 8:15 p.m. at Sherwood Park.

The Sabres (12-3-1) are 10 points up on the Flyers (6-6-3) in the nitro north standings as the top team in the Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League.

The Sabres are winners of two straight during a 6-0-1 stretch after Sunday’s 6-3 victory against the KC Squires (7-8-1) at Jarome Iginla Arena.

Carmelo Crandell and Jack Ketsa tallied twice and Evan Sundar had three helpers.

Ben Constantino and Kieran Strauss (shorthanded) also scored as the Sabres outshot KC 33-25 with Luke Roberts (7-2, 3.18 GAA) in net.

Crandell’s 28 points ranks third in league scoring and his 17 goals are tied for third overall.

Sunday the Sabres play the Maple Leafs (1-12-1) at 8 p.m. at Millwoods Arena.


Jeff Hansen

About the Author: Jeff Hansen

Jeff Hansen joined the St. Albert Gazette in 1991. He writes about sports, athletes and teams from St. Albert and area.
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