Congratulations to the Fort Saskatchewan Rangers who have won the AMBHL Provincial title and will represent the AMBHL at this years Western Canada Bantam Hockey Championship in Warman, SK at the end of the month. In the final game, Fort Saskatchewan got a goal from one of their highest ranked prospects – Noah Boyko in the 3rd period for the win and the AMBHL Championship. Sebastian Cossa stopped 36/37 shots for Fort Saskatchewan and Brayden Peters stopped 21/23 for Lethbridge.
The Rangers, who were not ranked as a top 15 team in our initial team rankings at the beginning of the season really gelled as a team as the season wore on. The Rangers finished the regular season at 27-7-2, good enough for 1st place in the Charger North Division, 2nd in the north and 3rd in the overall AMBHL standings. The Rangers finished the season ranked 10th in western Canada and 4th out of the non-CSSHL teams behind only the St. Albert Sabres, Lethbridge Golden Hawks and Calgary Bisons.
In the playoffs, the Rangers got by the Lloydminster Heat in 2 straight games by scored of 3-2 in double overtime and then a wild 9-6 contest. Top ranked G – Sebastian Cossa was on the shelf for that series and and 03 born Bradley Mistol took the goaltending duties. In the division final series vs. Grand Prairie, Cossa was back and the Rangers won a pair of close encounters vs. the Storm by scores of 2-1 and 3-0. Cossa turned aside 50/51 shots faced in the series to help advance the team to the north final vs. a St. Albert team who lost just once all season long in regulation! In the north final, the Rangers took a 2-0 best of 5 series lead thanks to 54/57 saves by Cossa. Then the Sabres roared back for 2 straight wins before the Rangers took the final in a wild 7-4 game where they scored the final 4 goals in the 3rd period with Raphael Pelletier erupting for 5 goals in the game! Then in the final, the Rangers once again got out to a 2-0 best of 5 series lead with 3-2 OT and 2-1 wins with Sebastian Cossa stopping 70/73 shots in Lethbridge. The Golden Hawks then evened the series at 2-2 with a pair of wins in Fort Saskatchewan to force the 5th and deciding game last night in Lethbridge.
The Rangers will have most likely the first goalie chosen at the WHL Bantam Draft with Sebastian Cossa even haven a outside chance at cracking the first round. Other prospects such as Noah Boyko, D – Damon Cyr, Jacob Boucher, Riley Fiddler-Schultz, Raphael Pelletier, Alex Thacker and Jesse Burchart are all likely draft picks on May 4th!