Divisional Finals Set to Get Underway on Friday

South Final: Brooks vs. Drumheller

For the second straight season the Brooks Bandits and Drumheller Dragons will meet up in the playoffs.
Last year the Bandits eliminated the Dragons in five games in the South Division Semi Finals.

This time they will battle to represent the South Division in the Gas Drive Cup Finals later this month.

The two teams met six times this season with two of those games being decided in a shootout.

The Bandits won five of the six meetings.

The only matchup the Dragons were able to win came January 21st at the Drumheller Memorial Arena.

Brooks’ goaltender Michael Fredrick went 4-1 in five games and stopped 111 of the 117 shots he faced from the Dragons.

Daniel Urbani started in just one game and won that decision stopping 30 of 31 shots that he faced.

Team leaders:

•       Anthony Petruzzelli 4
•       Nick McCorrmac 4
•       Anthony Paskaurk 4
•       Anthony Petruzzelli 6
•        Anthony Paskaruk 6

The Drumheller Dragons would use four goaltenders in the six games against the Bandits.

Curtis Skip played in four games against the Bandits going 0-3-1 stopping 103 of the 114 shots he faced.

Steven Glass came in to replace Skip in one of the early season games; he stopped 18 of 20 shots.

Adam Beukeboom would face the Bandits just once and stopped 25 of 28 shots in a shootout loss to the Bandits.

The only Dragons’ goaltender to earn a victory against the Bandits this season was Devin Buffalo as he stopped 28 of 29 shots in a 2-1 victory on January 21st.

Team leaders:

•       Hunter Mills 2
•       Colton Vannucci 2
•       Alex Bechtold 2
•       Vannucci 3

Special teams could play a factor in this series.

The Bandits were 7 for 36 (19.44%) on the power play in six games.

The Dragons were 3 for 30 (10.00%) on the power play in the regular season.

For the Dragons to win, they will have to play physical but discipline, and wear down the Bandits.

For Brooks to win, they need to rely on their experienced players that were with the team for the RBC cup last year.
Here is a look at the full schedule:

  • March 28th @ Brooks 7:00pm
  • March 29th @ Brooks 7:00pm
  • March 31st @ Drumheller 7:00pm
  • April 1st @ Drumheller 7:00pm
  • April 3rd @ Brooks 7:00pm
  • April 5th @ Drumheller 7:00pm
  • April 7th @ Brooks 7:00pm

North Final: Spruce Grove vs. Fort McMurray

This is a series that everyone in the AJHL has been predicting since November.

Both the Fort McMurray Oil Barons and Spruce Grove Saints spent consecutive weeks as the number one team in the country.
The two teams would finish first and second in the AJHL.

Back in 2012, the Saints and Oil Barons met in the North Division finals.

It was a series that went seven games, with game seven going to overtime before the Oil Barons were able to win and advance to the Finals.

Both teams would be pushed to the limit and be forced to win game seven at home in the Semi Finals.

During the season, the Oil Barons would win four of six meetings; the two games they did lose in Spruce Grove were in a shootout.

Oil Barons’ goaltender Tanner Jaillet would play all six games against the Saints posting a 4-0-2 record and stopping 179 of 187 shots that he faced.

Team leaders:

•       Adam Durkee 3
•       Ryan Bloom 6
•       Ryan Bloom 8

For the most part the Spruce Grove Saints started Kenny Cameron.

In five games, Cameron posted a 2-3 record while stopping 108 of the 121 shots he faced.

Tanner McCorriston would play in just one game against the Oil Barons this season.

He stopped 23 of 27 shots in a 4-0 loss on September 7th.

Team leaders:

•       Dylan Hollman 2
•       Corey Chorneyko 2
•       Cameron Hughes 4
•       Cameron Hughes 4

Special teams weren’t really a factor during the regular season as both teams ended up with 21 power plays in six games.

The Saints were 1 for 21 (4.76%) with the man advantage.

The Oil Barons power play was only slightly better going 3 for 21 (14.29%) in the six games against the Saints.

If the Oil Barons match their output against the Saints during the regular season, they will win the series and represent the North in the Gas Drive Cup Finals.

For the Saints they are going need to find a way to put more pucks behind Oil Barons’ goaltender Tanner Jaillet (8 goals won’t do it).

Here is a look at the full schedule:

  • March 28th @ Spruce Grove 7:00pm
  • March 29th @ Spruce Grove 7:00pm
  • March 31st @ Fort McMurray 8:00pm
  • April 1st @ Fort McMurray 8:00pm
  • April 4th @ Spruce Grove 7:00pm
  • April 6th @ Fort McMurray 8:00pm
  • April 8th @ Spruce Grove 7:00pm