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Hockey Digest: Playoff season for St. Albert teams

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LEADING THE WAY – Bronwyn Boucher of the St. Albert Slash breaks away from Jacelyn Scott of the Lloydminster Steelers during action in the Alberta Female Hockey League. The Slash (25-2-3) finished first in the six-team midget AAA standings for a berth at the AFHL Final Frozen Four provincials, March 20 to 22 in Calgary. The Slash are the three-time defending Esso Cup national champions. BRUCE EDWARDS/St. Albert Gazette

Midget AA playoffs

The St. Albert midget AA teams in the Northern Alberta Hockey League are in action today in the Besa division tournament at Spruce Grove.

The Steel faceoff against the PAC Saints at 3 p.m. at Grant Fuhr Arena and the Source for Sports Crusaders play the Sturgeon Sting at 7:15 p.m. at Tri-Leisure Centre.

Friday’s scores between the Steel and Sturgeon and the Crusaders against the Saints were unavailable at press time.

The Crusaders, the defending Playoff Cup champions, started off the tournament with victories of 9-2 against the Leduc Roughnecks and 8-6 against the Fort Saskatchewan Rangers and the Steel were also successful by beating the Rangers 4-1 and the Roughnecks 7-0.

The rest of the playoff schedule was unavailable at press time.

The winner of the seven-team Besa playoff qualifies for the best-of-three metro conference final against the Anderson division tournament rep.

The Crusaders (28-3-1) and Steel (25-5-2) finished league play as the top two teams in the Besa standings.

The Steel also handed the Crusaders, ranked No. 1 overall in the NAHL, losses of 6-4 and 8-6.

After two playoff games, Brett Reiter of the Steel led all scorers with eight points and was tied with Zachry Desranleau of the Crusaders and two other players for the most goals at four apiece.

In league play, Brady Harroun of the Crusaders racked up a league-high 47 goals in 32 games as the co-leader in points with Blake Anderson of the Peace River Royals at 70 apiece.

Reiter tied for fifth in the scoring race with 59 points.

Bantam AA playoffs

The next playoff round for the St. Albert Blues starts tonight in the Edmonton & Rural Bantam AA Hockey League.

The Blues host CAC Think Green Alberta at 8 p.m. at Jarome Iginla Arena in the best-of three metro conference final.

Game two is 1 p.m. Sunday at Confederation Arena and game three, if needed, is 7 p.m. Tuesday at Jarome Iginla Arena.

The blue division Blues (19-6-7) and red division CAC (15-14-3) won their respective divisional playoff tournaments.

The metro conference winner advances to the best-of-three league final against the white division Lakeland Panthers (32-0) or black division Whitecourt Wolverines (16-3-3).

The CAC is 5-0 n the playoffs and the Blues are 4-1 after blanking the Sherwood Park Leafs 3-0 in Tuesday's division final.

The Blues started off the tournament with the 3-2 loss to PAC Green (6-25-1), followed by wins of 5-4 against the Leafs (11-13-8), 4-3 against the Sherwood Park Sabres (13-14-5) and 2-1 in double overtime against division-leading Leduc Roughnecks (26-3-3).

The Blues were led offensively in the tournament by Theo Pisani’s four goals and seven points and Cohen Daoust’s four goals and six points.

Edward Capstick (4-1, 1.52 GAA and one shutout) was between the pipes.

In league play, Tysen Tomlinson was the top scorer for the Blues with 21 goals and 34 points, followed by Curan McLaughlin with 20 goals and 32 points and Pisani’s 19 goals and 31 points.

Capstick ranked tied for fourth among ERBHL netminders with a 2.02 GAA.

Sharks playoffs

The midget elite St. Albert Sharks have a first round-bye as the north division leaders in the Alberta Female Hockey League.

The Sharks (18-7-1) will play the Sherwood Park Fury (9-15-2) or North Central Impact (9-14-3) in next weekend’s playoff series for a berth at the four-team provincials, March 26 to 29 at Red Deer.

Calgary Fire Red (22-3-1) and Calgary Fire White (18-5-3) finished first and second, respectively, in the south division as the AFHL’s top two teams.

The Sharks have lost the last two provincials finals to the Calgary squads.

Sierra Whillans led the Sharks in scoring with 17 goals and 24 points in 23 games.

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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