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Hockey Digest: Weekend hockey coverage

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UP IN THE AIR – Zakk Makeiff tracks down a flying puck for the St. Albert Flyers in the Alberta Minor Midget AAA Hockey League. The first of two games between the midget 15 Flyers (9-10-6) and Fort Saskatchewan Rangers (13-6-5) goes tonight at 8:15 p.m. at Go Auto Arena. The rematch is 12:30 p.m. Saturday at JRC Arena. CHRIS COLBOURNE/St. Albert Gazette

Slash wins again

Another win and another shutout for the St. Albert Slash.

Friday’s 2-0 decision against the Lloydminster Steelers was the second shutout in three days and the ninth this season for the midget AAA team in the Alberta Female Hockey League.

Mabel Maltais was tested 18 times while backstopping the Slash to their 18th victory in 20 games.

The Slash also killed off a slew of penalties in support of their netminder.

Maltais, a Slash rookie, is the AFHL leader in shutouts with five and wins with 11 without a loss.

Holly Borrett (7-1), a returning player from last year’s team that three-peated as Esso Cup national champions, is second in shutouts with four.

Borrett (0.80 GAA) and Maltais (0.90 GAA) also rank first and second, respectively, in goals-against averages.

Captain Alli Reich scored the insurance marker in the third period and assisted on Kelsey Hall’s goal in the middle frame as the Slash finished with 35 shots against the Steelers (9-9-2) in the Border City.

The next game for the Slash (18-1-1) after the exam break is Jan. 25 against the Red Deer Chiefs (2-17-1) at 2:15 p.m. at Go Auto Arena.

Raiders rocking

The 14th game without a loss for the first-place St. Albert Nektar Raiders was Sunday’s blowout in Leduc.

Chase Visser and captain Mathieu Gautier tallied twice and Koehn Ziemmer added three assists in the 7-2 drubbing of the Oil Kings.

Maddux Nollski, Ronin Pusch and Jaxon Dube also scored as the Raiders capitalized three times on the power play and once while shorthanded in the penalty-marred affair.

Gautier is tied for sixth in AMHL scoring with 28 points and Pusch leads the team in goals with 12, one more than Gautier and Dube.

Shots were 37-28 for the Raiders and one of the two goals for the Oil Kings (4-11-8) against Andreai Proctor-Ramirez (12-1-2, 1.04 GAA) was scored with the man advantage.

The Raiders, 13-0-1 since the 3-2 loss to the Sherwood Park Kings (8-13-5) Nov. 6 in St. Albert, have seven games left before the Alberta Midget AAA Hockey League playoffs.

At the exam break, the Raiders (21-1-3) are first in goals against (34) and second in goals (104).

The Raiders are back in action Jan. 25 against the host Lethbridge Hurricanes (14-8-5) at 3 p.m.

Merchants results

The first two-game winning streak since November for the St. Albert Merchants ended a stretch of four consecutive losses in the Capital Junior B Hockey League.

Kyle Fulton's first goal as a Merchant was the difference in Friday’s 4-3 overtime result against the Spruce Grove Regals (3-24-3) at Grant Fuhr Arena and a pair by Ryan Cooper and Bryce Sturm propelled the Merchants (18-13) past the Sherwood Park Knights 7-5 Sunday at Jarome Iginla Arena.

Sam Milner, Scott Lancaster and Jacob Karran (power play) also lit the lamp against the Knights (13-16-3).

Josh Antunes and Peter Corrigan chipped in with three assists apiece and Stuart Dovey had two helpers.

The shot count was 52-39 for the Merchants and Nate Reinhart (1-1, 4.50 GAA) was in net.

Dovey’s tying goal against the Regals (3-24-3) with 1:35 left in regulation time set the stage for Fulton to score the OT winner 21 seconds into the extra period.

Marco Runco and Sturm also found the back of the net while Antunes and Corrigan registered two assists apiece.

Sturm and Cooper share the team lead in goals at 22.

Shots were 47-39 for the Merchants and Mitchell Reidy (8-7, 3.84 GAA) tended the twine.

The teams combined for 26 infractions for 92 minutes and the majority of the penalties were assessed in the opening period.

The Merchants have seven games left before the playoffs start with the best-of-three qualifying round.

Friday the Merchants travel to play the Beaumont Chiefs (26-5-1), the top team in the east division, at 8:30 p.m. and Sunday’s home game is against the Stony Plain Flyers (16-14-1) at 8 p.m.

The Merchants are three points ahead of the Flyers in the west standings.

In the CJHL scoring race, Cooper is tied for fifth with 50 points and Sturm is tied for 10th with 47.

Jets in action

The Morinville Jets faceoff against the North Edmonton Red Wings tonight in the Capital Junior B Hockey League.

Puck drop is 8 p.m. at Londonderry Arena.

The Red Wings (22-7-1) and Jets (11-18-1) are second and fifth, respectively, in the west standings.

The Jets are coming off Sunday’s 10-5 win over the Fort Saskatchewan Hawks (14-10-7) at Landrex Arena.

Josh Mcrae, Zach Mcrae, Regan Regimbald and Jason Morgan produced two goals apiece and Ryan Denton and Dillon Watt also scored.

Luke Hall (4-9, 3.87 GAA) stopped a game-high 36 shots and the Jets were credited with 31 shots.

Sunday the Jets host the Edmonton Royals (25-4-2) at 7:30 p.m.

Sharks rise up

The midget elite St. Albert Sharks skate into the exam break as the north division leaders in the Alberta Female Hockey League.

The Sharks (11-3-1) are also third overall in the AFHL behind the defending provincial champion Calgary Fire Red (14-3) and 2018 champion Calgary Fire White (12-3-3) and both years the Sharks were finalists against the south division teams.

The latest win for the Sharks was 5-1 against the Fury (3-12-1) Friday in Sherwood Park.

Regan Ackroyd’s three-point night included two goals and the first was potted on the power play to knot it at one with under six minutes left in the first period.

Janay Williams (power play), Jassie Joyes and Sierra Whillans also scored as the Sharks piled up 54 shots.

Natalie Balog (5-1, 1.55 GAA) stopped 23 shots in the team’s third win in a row and seventh in eight games.

The next contest is Jan. 24 against the Edmonton Pandas (9-5-2) at 7:45 p.m. at Confederation 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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