AJHL Quarter Finals (March 5th)

By Marc Ciampa

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Olds 7 at Calgary Royals 6

The Olds Grizzlys surprised the Calgary Royals 7-6 at Father David Bauer Arena in Calgary Friday. Centre Colen Pappas drew first blood in the series scoring four and a half minutes into the period on a goal assisted by Ryan Melbourne and John Wegenast. Calgary’s David Evans then coverted a Cam Laing feed on the powerplay five minutes later to even it up.

In the second period, the Olds blew it wide open but not before the Royals took a 2-1 lead. Evans scored again on the powerplay, assisted by 1999 draft hopeful Krys Kolanos and Scooter Smith. Olds then struck for four straight goals. Rob Plester, Greg Davis, Tyler Brosz and Dana Lattery scored in a ten minute span to move ahead of Calgary 5-2. The Royals regrouped, however, and 40 seconds after Lattery gave the Grizzlys a three goal lead captain Ryan Bachmeier brought the Royals to within two goals. Olds put the game away quickly after that, however. Mike Harper potted a goal after the Bachmeier tally and, with three seconds left in the second, Joel MacAuley scored a powerplay goal assisted by Lattery and Pappas to make it 7-3.

Captain Ryan Bachmeier tried his best to lead the Royals to victory in the third period. Just over a minute into the period he scored and he tallied again seven minutes later. Just over a minute after Bachmeier’s second goal Kolanos scored to bring the Royals to within a goal but that was as close as they would get.

Royals goaltender Peter Dobrowolski made 37 saves for the loss while Camrose puckstopper Leonid Hryshukevitch stopped 41shots.

Grande Prairie 2 at St. Albert 4

The St. Albert Saints took a 1-0 series lead against a travel weary Grande Prairie club. In the early going, both teams were very tentative and very few shots were taken. With just over three minutes left in the first, Joey Bastien scored the series’ first goal – assisted by Pavel Beranek and Scott Farrell, who just returned from injury. Beranek scored one of his own 3:33 into the second, coverting a Kris Liber pass. Garrett Larson scored Grande Prairie’s first goal of the series a couple minutes later as the Storm closed the gap to 2-1.

The Storm tied it up with just over eight minutes to play in the game as Adam Loncan scored an even strength goal assisted by Blaine Bablitz and Larson. Thankfully for the Saints it didn’t take them long to regain that lead as Jeebo Manah put the club ahead for good 44 seconds later. Regular season points leader Ron Grimard added the insurance marker two minutes later to give the Saints a 4-2 victory in front of a standing room only crowd of 601.

Scott Kabotoff, who lead the AJHL in the regular season with a record-tying four shutouts, stopped 18 in getting the win for St. Albert while at the other end of the ice Chad Rycroft stopped 24 of the 28 shots he faced.

Three Stars

(1) Ryan Bachmeier – Royals captain does all he can with the hat trick in a losing cause.

(2) Pavel Beranek – Figures in on three of St. Albert’s four goals, netting a goal and two assists.

(3) Dana Lattery – One goal and two assists in leading Olds to an upset victory in Calgary.

On Tap

March 6th – Calgary Royals at Olds Grizzlys, 7:30pm MT

Olds leads best-of-seven quarterfinal 1-0

March 6th – Fort Saskatchewan at Lloydminster, 7:30pm MT

Best-of-seven quarterfinal tied 0-0

March 6th – Grande Prairie at St. Albert, 7:30pm MT

St. Albert leads best-of-seven quarter final 1-0

March 8th – Camrose Kodiaks at Calgary Canucks, 7:30pm MT

Best-of-seven quarterfinal tied 0-0k