The Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) today announced the schedule for the 2019 Inter Pipeline Cup AJHL Finals. The best-of-seven series between the Brooks Bandits and the Spruce Grove Saints will begin on Friday, April 12th in Brooks, AB.
The series will begin with games 1 and 2 in Brooks on Friday and Saturday, before moving to Spruce Grove for Games 3 and 4 on Monday and Tuesday at the Grant Fuhr Arena. If necessary, Game 5 would be in Brooks next Friday, Game 6 in Spruce Grove next Sunday, and a decisive Game 7 in Brooks the following Tuesday. Puck drop for all games is scheduled for 7 PM.
The Brooks Bandits have advanced to the League Final after capturing the Viterra AJHL South Division Title with a win in Game 6 on Sunday versus the Okotoks Oilers. The Bandits earned a first round-bye in the 2019 Inter Pipeline AJHL Playoffs before defeating the Canmore Eagles (6th) on their way to the South Division Final versus the second-place Oilers.
This will be the Bandits sixth League Final appearance in franchise history as they look to claim their fifth league title in the past eight seasons (2012, 2013, 2016 and 2017).
The Bandits captured the Dave Duchak Trophy as the Regular Season Champions for the fourth time after recording the most successful regular season in the history of the League. The Bandits held a record of 57-3, becoming the first team to ever record 57 wins, 112 points, and setting a new league record with a 33-game regular season win streak. The Bandits held an undefeated home record and also set a new AJHL best for fewest losses with only three on the season. The Saints delivered the Bandits one of those three losses on October 27th, 2018 – the season series ended at 1-1 after the Bandits avenged the loss on November 16th, 2018.
Spruce Grove defeated the Sherwood Park Crusaders in Game 6 of the Viterra AJHL North Division Final on Sunday to claim their spot in the Inter Pipeline Cup Finals. Spruce Grove completed the regular season third overall in the North Division and had to eliminate the Drayton Valley Thunder (6th) and Bonnyville Pontiacs (2nd) to reach the Division Final and upset the first-place Crusaders.
The Spruce Grove Saints are the defending AJHL Champions and have won five League Championships (2010, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2018). It will be the eighth time in the last ten years that Spruce Grove will represent the league’s North division in the final, and the fourth time that the Bandits and Saints will be the teams vying for the title.
The AJHL Champion will advance to the 2019 Doyle Cup versus the BCHL Champion for the right to represent the Pacific Region at the 2019 National Junior A Championship. The best-of-seven series will begin in the AJHL on April 26th & 27th, 2019. The season concludes with the National Junior A Championship in Brooks, AB from May 11th-19th, 2019.