AJHL Division Finals (March 27th)

By pbadmin

Lloydminster 1 at St. Albert 4 (Blazers lead best-of-seven series 3-2)
After winning by far the biggest game of the season in front of by far the most-packed house of the season, the St. Albert Saints are still alive and are now one game away from making this a best-of-one series with that one game at home, but first they must win a game in Lloydminster. The game opened with the Saints putting a huge amount of pressure on Lloyd netminder Ray Fraser. Fraser was equal to the task in the early going and then the Blazers took the puck the other way. It was then Kirby Millar’s chance to make some spectacular saves. Eventually the Saints did take over the tempo of the period, however, as Joey Bastien scored to make it 1-0 Saints. The Saints then increased their lead to 2-0 when Mike Buchan found the puck loose during a mad scramble in front of the net and put it in behind Fraser. The Saints would go in to the intermission with a comfortable 2-0 lead.
Unfortunately, the Saints seemed almost a little bit too comfortable to start the second period. The Blazers came out flying and if not for the heroics of Millar the Saints probably wouldn’t still be playing today. Lloydminster outshot the Saints 20-5 this period. The period was eventful for several reasons. First, Saints Regular Season leading scorer Ron Grimard was penalized for a hit from behind and thrown out of the game mid-way through the second. In frustration, Saints captain Mike Buchan received a ten-minute misconduct for flinging his stick into the team bench. However, despite being dominated and losing their top scorer it looked as if the Saints would escape the period unscathed. While shorthanded, Lloyd tied it up with 9 seconds left in the second, though and the teams would finish the period in a 2-1 score.

In the third, Pavel Beranek gave the Saints some breathing room as he put a rebound behind Ray Fraser. Joey Bastien then sealed the deal and made it 4-1. The goal was just reward for Bastien who had played an outstanding game but was thwarted by Fraser on many opportunities. Game Six goes today in Lloydminster.

Three Stars
(1) Kirby Millar – Saints backup most of the season has suddenly emerged as go-to guy. He was phenomenal in this game, especially in the second period when he turned aside 19 shots.
(2) Joey Bastien – Makes things happen all night. Should have probably scored five if not for Ray Fraser.
(3) Pavel Beranek – The slick-skating Czech winger makes his physical presence felt in this game, playing the role of agitator, and he adds a goal to boot.
On Tap
March 28th – Olds Grizzlys at Calgary Canucks, 2:30pm MT
Calgary leads best-of-seven series 3-1
March 28th – St. Albert Saints at Lloydminster Blazers, 4:00pm MT
Lloydminster leads best-of-seven series 3-2