The AMBHL is now into its final two weeks of action and already four matchups are set. In the Challenger South (Calgary Division), it will be the Calgary Bisons vs. Calgary Flames and the Calgary Royals vs. Calgary Northstar Sabres. While in the Nitro North it will be the St. Albert Sabres vs. Edmonton SSAC and Sherwood Park vs. Edmonton CAC with home ice advantage yet to be decided. The other two divisions are still very much up in the air….especially the Charger North where five teams are still in the hunt with Leduc the only team locking up a playoff spot so far. They are 5 points up on Spruce Grove PAC but PAC have 2 games in hand, so it looks like both teams will make the playoffs. The most points 5th place Lloydminster can finish with is 34 and Spruce Grove have 33 with 6 games remaining. In the Ram South, there are just 6 points separating first place Airdrie (48), Red Deer (45) and Lethbridge (42), with each team having 4-5 games remaining in the schedule. The big race is between the SEAC Tigers and the Okotoks Oilers who are separated by 1 point with SEAC holding a 1 point edge and a game in hand. It has been a huge improvement for Medicine Hat (SEAC) this year after gaining just 6 points in each of the past two seasons, 5 the season before and 9 before that. They haven’t made the playoffs since finishing in 1st place back in the 12-13 season.
Last night in the AMBHL, it was a preview of the Challenger South playoff matchups as the Calgary Bisons defeated the Calgary Flames 4-1 with 2004 born high ranked player Oasiz Wiesblatt scoring a pair of goals while top 10 overall ranked 03 Jayden Grubbe picked up 2 assists and high ranked Dylan James had 1-1-2. Nick Jones was forced to make just 12 saves for the win. Flames goalie Joshua McLaughlin was busy and solid in stopping 31/34 shots faced in defeat. It was the Calgary Royals all over the Calgary Northstar Sabres 7-1 with 7 different goal scorers. Lucas Ortega, Damon Jugnauth and Blake Setter all had 1-1-2.
There are four games tonight in the AMBHL with Lethbridge vs. Okotoks, Edmonton KC vs. Spruce Grove PAC, Camrose vs. Sherwood Park and Edmonton SSAC vs. Edmonton KC.
AMBHL News and Notes
- James Gibson of Edmonton CAC leads the AMBHL in scoring with 25-32-57 in 31 GP. He is 1 point up Calgary Bisons Jayden Grubbe.
- 2004 born Koehn Ziemmer leads the AMBHL in goals with 27 in 30 GP.
- Keegan Slaney leads all AMBHL defenceman in points with 11-22-33 in 30 GP.
- A pair of 2005 born players are making a big impact this season. D – Mazden Leslie has 6-11-17 in 30 GP with 69 PIMS. Kai Matthew of Edmonton SSAC has 5-13-18 in 31 GP with 46 PIMS.
- Marek Pocherewny leads all AMBHL goalies in virtually every category. He has a 12-0-3 record with a .953% and a 1.00 GAA with 5 SO.
The SBAAHL is now entering its final weekend of action before the playoffs begin. The top 5 teams in the North and South will receive a bye to the 2nd round. The first round will begin already next week and wrap up by Saturday, February 17th before a break where the 03’s will take part in the Saskatchewan Winter Games in North Battleford.
In the SBAAHL North, the Saskatoon Outlaws (47 pts), West Central Wheat Kings (46 pts), Prince Albert Pirates (46 pts) and Humboldt Broncos (44 pts) have all received a by to the 2nd round of the playoffs. Placement below is still to be determined. While in the SBAAHL South, Swift Current (48 pts), Regina Monarchs (40 pts), Regina Aces (34 pts) and Balgonie Prairie Storm (33 pts) will all advance to the 2nd round with a bye. The Regina Pat Blues, Notre Dame Hounds AA and the Weyburn Red Wings are all in a battle for the divisions final playoff spot.
There was just one game in the SBAAHL last night with the Humboldt Broncos skating away with a 6-5 OT win over the North East Wolfpack. Easton Ediger scored the OT winner, his 19th goal of the season. Austin Berezowski scored 2 goals for Humboldt to pace their attack. For North East, Trever Sanderson, who started the season with the Notre Dame AAA Hounds scored 2 goals to give him 12 and Owen Slugoski had 2-1-3 and now has 37 points for the season.
There is just one game in the SBAAHL tonight as a pair of Regina rivals will lock horns with the 2nd ranked Regina Monarchs facing the 3rd ranked Regina Aces.
SBAAHL News and Notes
- It looks as though Gabe Klassen will win the SBAAHL scoring title this year as he has a 13 point lead atop the league race. Klassen, who should be the first forward taken in the draft from Saskatchewan has 51-35-86 with 2 games remaining and it looks like he will be the only 50 goal scorer this season.
- It would’ve been interesting to see how close Saskatoon Generals F – Karter McNarland would’ve come to Klassen as he has played 7 games fewer and has 61 points in 22 games which is 2nd in SBAAHL PPG average.
- Nolan Flamand leads all 2004’s in scoring with 22-38-60 in 29 GP. Flamand we expect to be a high pick in the 2019 WHL Bantam Draft.
- Several 2005 born players are making a big impact in the league on their respective teams. Brayden Yager (Martensville) has 32-24-56 in 29 GP to lead his team in scoring. 2005 born Riley Heidt (Martensville) is 2nd in team scoring with 22-29-51 in 29 GP. Kalan Lind of the Swift Current Broncos is tied for 2nd in team scoring with 21-29-50 in 29 GP. D – Joseph L’Heureux has 2-2-4 in 13 GP but has been hurt for the past 3 months now.
- Defenceman Hunter Larocque of the Saskatoon Maniacs leads all defenceman in scoring with a huge 21-34-55 in 28GP.
The Winnipeg AAA playoffs are just a week away and it will be the teams in the Winnipeg division which includes Eastman and Interlake playing the rural champion eventually. In the Winnipeg Division, it will be the Winnipeg Sharks (53 pts), Winnipeg Monarchs (52 pts), Winnipeg Hawks (46 pts) and the Eastman Selects (43 pts). The Sharks and Monarchs are going to finish 1st or 2nd place while the Hawks and Selects will finish either 3rd or 4th.
The Manitoba Bantam AAA rural champion will be determined on the weekend of February 23-25 in Killarney/Wawanesa, MB. Nine teams will be vying for the right to play the Winnipeg division winner.
Winnipeg AAA News and Notes
- Conner Roulette has locked up the Winnipeg AAA league scoring title with 43-46-89 pts. He has a 20 points lead over 2nd place Rory Neill. Both players are part of the Winnipeg Hawks.
- The goal scoring race is a different story with Conner Roulette (43 goals), Trent Crane (43 goals) and Justin Lies (39 goals) all having a good chance at that title.
- A pair of Winnipeg Sharks goalies are going for the top GAA in the league with Caden Ryland at 2.00 and Ike Plett at 2.05.
- 2004 born Tyson Zimmer has the edge in the 04 scoring race by 1 point over Conor Geekie. Zimmer (Parkland) has 32-25-57 in 30 GP and Geekie (Pembina Valley) has 31-25-56 in 30 GP. Both will be high picks in the 2019 Bantam Draft.
PCAHA Playoffs (first to 4 points series – 2nd round)
Seafair (1) vs. North Vancouver (11)
Langley (2) vs. Semiahmoo (10)
Ridge Meadows (3) vs. Cloverdale (8) or Vancouver (9) (Clov vs. Van tonight)
NSWC (4) vs. Coquitlam (5)
The VIAHA Tier 1 playoffs are underway with Juan de Fuca, Nanaimo, Victoria, Saanich and Comox Valley all battling in a round robin tournament to see who will meet in the league finals and represent the league in the BC provincials. That tournament will wrap up this weekend.
Nanaimo (2-0-0) – Finished 1st in the league standings at 11-0-1. Should advance to league final with games vs. Comox Valley and Saanich remaining.
Juan de Fuca (2-1-0) – Finished 2nd in the league standings at 7-3-2. Still play Victoria in a key game this weekend.
Victoria (1-1-0) – Finished 3rd in the league standings at 7-3-2. Still play Juan de Fuca in a key game this weekend.
Comox Valley (1-2-0) – Played in the Tier 2 league and went 4-4-2
Saanich (0-2-0) – Finished 5th in tier 1 at 3-8-1