The Division Semi-Finals and Round Two of the 2014 AJHL Gas Drive Playoffs begins tonight. The North Division match ups include the Regular Season Champion Spruce Grove Saints versus the Sherwood Park Crusaders and the Fort McMurray Oil Barons versus the Lloydminster Bobcats. In the South Division, the Brooks Bandits will face the Olds Grizzlys and the Drumheller Dragons will battle the Canmore Eagles.
The Spruce Grove Saints earned a first round bye in the North Division for a sixth consecutive season, while the Crusaders swept the Bonnyville Pontiacs to advance to Round Two. Spruce Grove won four of six meetings in the regular season including an overtime victory. The Crusaders and Saints met in the North Semi-Finals last year with the Saints winning the series in six games.
Fort McMurray swept the Drayton Valley Thunder in the opening round of the playoffs and advanced to the Division Semi-Finals, however, the Bobcats were forced to go the full distance to win their first round series against the Whitecourt Wolverines in Game 5. Fort McMurray won five of six meetings versus the Bobcats in the regular season. This will be the first time the Oil Barons and Bobcats meet in the playoffs since 2001.
The defending RBC Cup Champion Brooks Bandits captured the South Division and earned a bye for the third straight year. The Olds Grizzlys upset the second seed Okotoks Oilers in Game 5 to earn their place in the Division Semi-Final. The Bandits won five of the six games against the Grizzlys in the regular season series. Brooks swept Olds in the 2012 South Division Final.
The Drumheller Dragons knocked off the Calgary Mustangs in a three game sweep to close out the best-of-five opening round series, and the Canmore Eagles advanced to Round Two after eliminating the Camrose Kodiaks in Game 4. Canmore and Drumheller each won three games in their regular season series. The Dragons swept the Eagles in the opening round of the 2013 playoffs.
AJHL North Division Semi-Finals
Spruce Grove Saints (1) vs. Sherwood Park Crusaders (4)
- Game 1 Friday, March 14 @ Spruce Grove 7:00PM
- Game 2 Saturday, March 15 @ Spruce Grove 7:00PM
- Game 3 Monday, March 17 @ Sherwood Park 7:00PM
- Game 4 Wednesday, March 19 @ Sherwood Park 7:00PM
- Game 5 Friday, March 21 @ Spruce Grove 7:00PM*
- Game 6 Sunday, March 23 @ Sherwood Park 7:00PM*
- Game 7 Tuesday, March 25 @ Spruce Grove 7:00PM*
Fort McMurray Oil Barons (2) vs. Lloydminster Bobcats (3)
- Game 1 Friday, March 14 @ Fort McMurray 8:00PM
- Game 2 Saturday, March 15 @ Fort McMurray 8:00PM
- Game 3 Monday, March 17 @ Lloydminster 7:30PM
- Game 4 Tuesday, March 18 @ Lloydminster 7:30PM
- Game 5 Saturday, March 22 @ Fort McMurray 8:00PM*
- Game 6 Monday, March 24 @ Lloydminster 7:30PM*
- Game 7 Wednesday, March 26 @ Fort McMurray 8:00PM*
AJHL South Division Semi-Finals
Brooks Bandits (1) vs. Olds Grizzlys (4)
- Game 1 Friday, March 14 @ Brooks 7:00PM
- Game 2 Saturday, March 15 @ Brooks 8:00PM
- Game 3 Monday, March 17 @ Olds 7:30PM
- Game 4 Tuesday, March 18 @ Olds 7:30PM
- Game 5 Friday, March 21 @ Brooks 7:00PM*
- Game 6 Sunday, March 23 @ Olds 7:30PM*
- Game 7 Tuesday, March 25 @ Brooks 7:00PM*
Drumheller Dragons (2) vs. Canmore Eagles (3)
- Game 1 Friday, March 14 @ Canmore 7:00PM
- Game 2 Saturday, March 15 @ Canmore 7:00PM
- Game 3 Monday, March 17 @ Drumheller 7:00PM
- Game 4 Tuesday, March 18 @ Drumheller 7:00PM
- Game 5 Friday, March 21 @ Drumheller 7:00PM*
- Game 6 Sunday, March 23 @ Canmore 5:00PM*
- Game 7 Tuesday, March 25 @ Drumheller 7:00PM*
* if necessary (best-of-five series)
Head to head stats for each match up are available through the Live Scores page of the AHL website on game day. The complete 2014 AJHL Playoff Bracket is available here.
Round Three: League Semi-Finals – The remaining two teams in each division will playoff for the title of Division Champion and advance to the 2014 AJHL Gas Drive Cup Final.
Round Four: AJHL Gas Drive Cup: League Final –The North Division Champion and the South Division Champion will compete in the League Final for the 2014 AJHL Gas Drive Cup.
Watch each game LIVE on AJHL Web TV and Fast Hockey at www.AJHL.ca.