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[ 1998-99 AJHL Playoff Preview ]
[ 1998-99 AJHL Playoff Quarterfinal Day 1 ]
Calgary Royals 7 at Olds 8 (OT)
The Olds Grizzlys pulled off a big upset for the second night in a row as they increased their lead in the best-of-seven quarterfinal to two games in yet another high scoring match-up.
Oddly enough, in this game where fifteen goals were ultimately scored, there was no scoring in the first period. It didn’t take Moose Jaw prospect and 2000 draft eligible Ben Knopp long to score in the second, however, as he scored a powerplay goal 21 seconds into the period. The Grizzlys’ David Erickson then scored his first goal of the postseason on the powerplay to tie the game up. The Royals then added to quick tallys – from Ryan Joseph and David Evans – to take a 3-1 lead. Olds would tie it up before the end of the period, however, as Greg Davis and Matt Brunner scored. The goal by Davis was two minutes after the Royals moved in front by two and the goal by Brunner was two minutes later.
In the third, Krys Kolanos converted a Ben Knopp pass just over a minute in to give Calgary another lead. Anders Nilsen and David Evans then made it 6-3 Royals scoring within a minute of each other. With sixteen minutes left in the period, it looked as if the Royals would escape Olds with the series tied. With fourteen minutes remaining, John Wegenest brought Olds to within two goals but Ben Knopp helped the Royals regain their three goal advantage by coverting a Ryan Joseph offering with 12:46 to play.
In what could well have been the turning point in the game, Olds’ Dana Lattery scored 22 seconds later to bring the Grizzlys to within two goals again. With nine minutes to go, then, Greg Davis made 7-6 and Joel MacAuley tied the game up at 7-7. In the extra period, MacAuley scored again 1:25 in as the Olds Grizzlys completed a stunning upset of the Calgary Royals for the second straight night.
Grande Prairie 2 at St. Albert 4
The St. Albert Saints leave for Grande Prairie Monday, where they’ll play on Tuesday and Wednesday night and try to wrap up their best-of-seven quarterfinal series. Similar to last night’s game, the teams started off slowly as Darren Peebles scored on a laser shot from the right faceoff circle that fooled goaltender Chad Rycroft. The goal, twelve minutes into the first period, came just after a Grande Prairie penalty had expired.
In the second, the Saints had a goal taken away from them that appeared to be legit. While Ron Grimard was banging away at the puck, the referee lost site of it and blew the play dead. Unfortunately for the Saints, the whistle was blown just milliseconds before Grimard buried the puck past Rycroft. Then, in an ironic turn of events, Rob Kimble tied the game up only minutes later. Near the end of the period with two minutes left, Josef Beranek’s younger brother Pavel worked a nice give-and-go that ended in Beranek depositing the puck behind a stunned Rycroft. Then, with one minute left the Saints grabbed themselves some breathing room as Jeebo Manah scored a bit of a fluke goal that still has Grande Prairie fans wondering how it slipped in during a mad goalmouth scramble.
The Saints played a solid defensive game in the third and did not let Grande Prairie generate a whole lot in the way of offence. Any hopes the Storm may of had of winning were snuffed after Kris Liber took a hit from behind. Adam Stewart got five for checking-from-behind and a game misconduct – with seven minutes left in the game and his club down by two goals. On the ensuing powerplay, Paul Jowett of the Saints ripped a shot home from the blueline sealing the deal for St. Albert. Blaine Bablitz would add a marker with just over a minute left to make the game look closer on the scoreboard, but 4-2 or 4-1 the Storm know they are now behind the eight ball.
Fort Saskatchewan 3 at Lloydminster 2
Nick Boucher was beyond outstanding in goal tonight for the Fort Saskatchewan Traders. In total, he kicked out 48 shots in what may well have been the best single performance in the AJHL playoffs so far. Lloydminster opened scoring four minutes into the first period as Jamie Weiss scored a goal assisted by John Davidson and Kyle Werner. In the second period with five minutes left, the Traders tied the game. Dustin Sherman scored a powerplay goal assisted by John Findlay and team regular season leading scorer Matt Gorman. Gorman himself gave the Traders their first lead of the series five minutes into the third but Lloydminster tied it up with seven minutes remaining in the game thanks to Mark Hallam’s heroics. But it wasn’t meant to be for Lloydminster on this night. As Nick Boucher stopped 12, 18 and 18 shots in the first, second and third periods respectively, the Traders got it done for him with two minutes remaining in the third. Nick Deschenes took a Dustin Sherman pass and hit the twine behind Lloyd netminder Ray Fraser setting the tone for what will undoubtedly be a fantastic series.
(1) Nick Boucher – Almost single-handedly defeats Lloydminster by turning aside 48 shots.
(2) Joel MacAuley – Tied the game up and won it in overtime for Olds. Can’t ask for much more.
(3) Kris Liber – Saints spark plug did it all. Killed penalties, provided a lift for the team and even took a hit for the club.
March 7th – Lloydminster at Fort Saskatchewan, 7:00pm MT
Fort Saskatchewan leads best-of-seven quarterfinal 1-0
March 8th – Camrose Kodiaks at Calgary Canucks, 7:30pm MT
Best-of-seven quarterfinal tied 0-0
March 9th – Olds Grizzlies at Calgary Royals, 7:00pm MT
Olds leads best-of-seven quarterfinal 2-0
March 9th – St. Albert at Grande Prairie, 7:30pm MT
St. Albert leads best-of-seven quarter final 2-0