The Prince Albert NAPA Raiders are one strong game away from reaching the Saskatchewan Hockey Association’s pee wee division northern final following a 4-1 victory over West Central on Friday.
Ben Zultok, Owen Ozar, Ethan Regnier and Kevin Ledoux scored for the Raiders, who will travel to Dodsland on Tuesday to try and wrap up the two-game, total-goal playoff. Should the Raiders prevail over West Central they will take on the winner of the Warman-Humboldt series in the northern final.
The Liteway Electric Raiders have a little more work to do in their midget division semifinal with Humboldt as they trail the Broncos by two goals following a 4-2 loss in the opening game of the two-game, total-goal series on Friday.
Josh Elliot had both goals for Prince Albert, who will travel to Humboldt on Thursday to try and overcome the deficit and advance to the northern final against either Beardy’s or the North East Wolf Pack.
It will be a busy week for Liteway Electric as not only do they have the trip to Humboldt, they also have league games against Beardy’s on Wednesday at 8:15 p.m. at the Kinsmen Arena and on Friday at 8:15 p.m. at the Steuart Arena against the Battlefords.
The Venice House Raiders, who compete in the Saskatchewan Bantam AA Hockey League, were idle from league play this weekend, but they will be back in action this week with three games in four days.
On Thursday, Venice House travels to Tisdale to take on the North East Wolf Pack before returning home on the weekend for a Saturday match-up against the Melville Millionaires and on Sunday against the Regina Pat Blues. Saturday’s contest is at 8 p.m. at the Kinsmen Arena with Sunday’s tilt going at 11:15 a.m. at the Steuart Arena.
The Prince Albert Icehawks, meanwhile, were on a two-game trip through the southwestern portion of the province and a 7-6 overtime loss in Maple Creek on Saturday to the Cypress Cyclones, coupled with an 8-1 setback to the Tri-Town Thunder earlier in the week, has almost mathematically eliminated them from a chance at getting a post-season berth. Results from a Sunday game in Kerrobert against the West Central Rage were unavailable at press time.
The loss to the Cyclones, Prince Albert’s seventh in a row, drops their overall record to 5-19-4 and leaves them 14 points back of the Saskatoon Westley’s for the final playoff spot in the Prairie Junior Hockey League’s North Division. With just 11 games left on the schedule, the mathematical number for Prince Albert to officially be excluded from the post-season is five and that could be lower depending on the result in Kerrobert.
The game in Maple Creek exemplified what the Icehawks have experienced this season as they built up a 5-2 lead after 20 minutes of play and they maintained the three-goal advantage through 40 minutes before the Cyclones scored three unanswered goals in the third period and then sealed the win on Lane Sanderson’s third marker of the game 2:36 into the extra session.
Lyndon Arcand led the Icehawks with three goals while singles were added by Jordon Harasyn, Bray Klarenbach and Jordan Grywacheski. Jayden Rieben started the game in the Prince Albert goal, but he was pulled in favour of Tyler Gordon after allowing two goals on the first four shots. Gordon finished the game with 41 saves.
Prince Albert had just the minimum 10 skaters on Saturday, which would explain the late collapse against a squad that has struggled even more than the Icehawks. The Cyclones have also won just five games this year, but they have played two more contests than Prince Albert.
The Icehawks will remain on the road when they travel to Saskatoon on Wednesday to face the Quakers before returning home on Friday to host the West Central Rage at 7:30 p.m. at the Kinsmen Arena.