By Medicine Hat News on February 19, 2020.
With one game left in their regular season, the South East Athletic Club’s bantam AAA hockey team knows it’ll be in a playoff series.
Who the opponent will be is still undecided.
Two weekend losses mean the Tigers could yet be passed by Lethbridge for third spot in the Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League’s Ram South Division. The 10-20-0 Golden Hawks have two games in hand on the 10-19-3 Tigers.
Whoever finishes third heads to 11-15-5 Airdrie to open a best-of-five series. Fourth place draws the seemingly unbeatable 26-2-3 Red Deer Rebels.
With the other three teams in the division all below .500, Red Deer is odds-on favourite to win each of its first two rounds. But the games aren’t played on paper for a reason.
SEAC lost 6-5 to the Calgary Northstar Sabres Saturday, then 3-1 to Red Deer Sunday. They wrap up the regular season this Sunday in Okotoks.
The Tigers led for all of 30 seconds in Calgary, but outshot the Sabres 45-28. They were victimized by a last-minute game-winning power play goal by Griffin Gidney.
Elias Eisenbarth, Josh Van Mulligen, Gavin Smith, Noah Derouin and Dawson Seitz had SEAC’s goals. Silas Currie made 22 saves.
In Red Deer, Grady Martin had the lone goal for the Tigers a day after picking up two assists against Calgary. Currie made 32 saves, his team outshot 35-18.
As for the SEAC midget 15-year-olds, they’ve now tied three games in a row and are still able to fight for playoff positioning with three games left in the regular season.
The Tigers fought back to draw the AC Avalanche Saturday 5-5, getting goals from Daniel Ganert and Kade Degenstein in the final 8:18. Matthew MacPherson had a goal and two assists in a game they trailed 4-1 at one point.
Josh Drefs and Kyle Woolridge also scored, while Landon Porteous made 40 saves. The host Avalanche outshot SEAC 45-33.
Sunday’s 4-4 tie against Okotoks was a more traditional back-and-forth tilt, aside from the fact the Oilers have lost but once all season long.
At Hockey Hounds Recreation Centre, all the scoring happened in the first 40 minutes. Kieran Christianson had two goals and an assist, while Woolridge and Drefs each had a goal and a helper. Kaiden Morin was impressive in the Tigers goal, making 42 saves, his team outshot 46-16.
Now 11-15-8, SEAC trails the Calgary Rangers by a point for seventh spot in their division. All teams make the Sutter South Cup playoffs March 4-8 in Calgary.
The Jasper Homes Hounds already have first place in their midget AA division wrapped up, but a home loss could keep them from getting too high on themselves as they get set to open defence of their provincial title.
The Hounds avenged an earlier loss by beating Taber 7-3 Friday, but then lost 8-6 Saturday to the Calgary Bruins at the Kinplex.
The Hounds got shorthanded goals from Vaughn Strutt and Kyden Moore in Friday’s win, in which they killed off all seven Golden Suns power plays and went 1-for-2 with the man advantage themselves.
Jase Fleury and Cayden Dumanowski each had three-point nights and Brendan Olson made 26 saves on a night Medicine Hat saw seven different players score.
Calgary scored four unanswered goals in the second period and outshot the Hounds 47-35 Saturday. Cameron Hall and Kyden Moore had two goals each in response but Medicine Hat fell to 21-5-4.
The Hounds wrap up a five-game homestand with games against Taber (Friday, 7:15 p.m.) and Foothills (Saturday, 4:45 p.m.).
The bantam AA Hounds’ winless streak extended to five games with an 8-1 home loss to the Wheatland Warriors Sunday.
Josh Evaschesen had the lone goal for Medicine Hat, which was outshot 46-21.
The Hounds fell to 9-17-6.
Provincial playdowns started this past weekend for the Wildcats peewee female team.
The Wildcats beat Airdrie 6-0 Saturday and 7-2 Sunday. Riley Gramlich had two goals in the first game and three in the second, while Taya Christie’s shutout in the opener set the tone.
Keira Grant had two goals in the first game while Keyana Bert and Hayley Grad also scored. Bert, Myla Motz, Jailyn Painter and Treah Hall had goals Sunday.