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Fort Saskatchewan 4 at Lloydminster 3
The Fort Saskatchewan Traders regained home ice advantage Sunday night with a 4-3 victory over the Lloydminster Blazers in Lloydminster.
John Findlay opened the scoring for the Traders 3:14 in on an unassisted, even strength goal. Kyle Werner tied it up for the home side only minutes later, however, as he scored his first of the playoffs. In the second, AJHL MVP Matt Gorman gave the Traders their second lead of the game on the powerplay assisted by John Findlay. Dan Gilbertson then made it 3-1 for the Fort with 2:15 to go in the period.
In the third, Mark Hallam brought the Blazers to within one with his second of the post season only 1:19 in, but the Traders regained their two goal advantage as Brent Popadych netted his first of the playoffs. A couple minutes later Paul Esdale made it close once again for Lloyd, but it was as close as they were going to get on this night.
Fort Saskatchewan goaltender Nick Boucher was phenomenal once again. He stopped 13 of 14 shots in the first, all 17 he faced in the second and 17 of 19 in the third. His counterpart Ray Fraser wasn’t as busy, facing seven, six and 10 shots in the three periods respectively.
Calgary 5 at Camrose 1 (Canucks win 4-0)
The Calgary Canucks became the second team to advance into the AJHL semi-finals and will play the winner of the Calgary Royals-Olds Grizzlys series.
Camrose gambled on this night starting 18-year-old Anthony Peterson instead of Wes Schnieder. Schnieder had played in both of Camrose’s games in the best-of-three mini-series and in all the games in this series until tonight. Schnieder also played in the majority of Camrose’s games during the regular season (although Schnieder did play more games overall this season when you factor in his games with Fort Saskatchewan).
Peterson started the game off sparkling. He stopped everything the Canucks threw at him – 19 shots – and looked as if he might be able to steal a game for the Kodiaks. However, in the second period the Canucks solved the puzzle. First, it was AJHL leading scorer Dany Heatley breaking the ice 1:24 into the game. Then, Moe Halat scored a shorthanded marker to make it 2-0. Dave Wilding then scored his third of the playoffs and the result was no longer in doubt.
In the third, Heatley scored his second of the game and fifth of the playoffs on the powerplay from Moe Halat and Ryan Manitowich to give the Canucks a 4-0 advantage. Miles Hunter then made it 5-0 with 4:43 to go. At this point, the only thing in doubt was weather or not Mike Gilhooly would get his second shutout of the playoffs. Dave Legge put an end to that as he scored what would be Camrose’s final goal of the 1998-99 season. Calgary would go on to a 5-1 victory and now face either the Calgary Royals or the Olds Grizzlies in the AJHL semi-finals.
(1) Nick Boucher – Has been the single greatest factor in all three of Fort Saskatchewan’s victories thus far in the series. Faced 50 shots in tonight’s win and is proof of how far a hot goalie can take you in the playoffs.
(2) Dany Heatley – Eligible for the 1999 NHL draft and is starting to impress scouts in a big way. Two goals tonight.
(3) Jamie Weiss – Has played well in every game for the Blazers thus far.
March 16th – Fort Saskatchewan at Lloydminster, 7:35pm MT
Fort Saskatchewan leads best-of-seven quarterfinal 3-2
March 16th – Calgary Royals at Olds, 7:30pm MT
Olds leads best-of-seven quarterfinal 3-2