The SHA playoffs keep rolling on and the quarterfinals are set to go in all four divisions. Below are the match ups we have to look forward to.
A Division North:
Lanigan Pirates (1st place LLHL) vs. Shellbrook Elks (3rd place FCHL): The Pirates are here after dumping the Tisdale Ramblers in three games, while the Elks advanced after blanking the LeRoy Braves in two straight. Home ice for the Pirates should be the difference in this series.
Hague Royals (4th place FCHL) vs. Dalmeny Fury (6th place FCHL): The Fury snuck by the Leader Flyers with two one-goal victories, while the Royals have been this year's version of the "cardiac kids", knocking off Kindersley and Waldheim. The Royals are rolling, and should continue on to the next round.
A Division South:
Bethune Bulldogs (1st place HHL) vs. Davidson Cyclones (3rd place LLHL): The "Dogs" looked strong in their last round, dumping the Bruno T-Birds in two straight, while the Cyclones had to come back and win two straight after losing game one last round against Balcarres. Home ice for the Bulldogs should be enough for them to wrap this one up in two.
Balgonie Bisons (5th place QVHL) vs. Grenfell Spitfires (1st place QVHL): Both teams from the "Q" looked strong last round as Balgonie smoked Midale 6 - 1 and 8 - 1, while Grenfell took care of the Bienfait Coalers, the top team in the Big 6, in two straight. The "Spits" should take this one, setting up a 1st vs. 1st southern final.
B Division North:
Outlook Ice Hawks (7th place SVHL) vs. Drake Canucks (2nd place LLHL): The Ice Hawks used a couple of one goal victories to knock off the Biggar Nationals last round, while the Canucks hammered the Conquest Merchants, 13 - 3 over their two matches. Outlook will have to play a full 60 minutes and get all the bounces if they hope to take out the favored Canucks.
Watrous Winterhawks (5th place LLHL) vs. Rosetown Redwings (1st place SVHL): The Hawks and Wings come into this series having both been idle for the first round of provincials. Rosetown has built up a very strong franchise, becoming a dominant team in the SVHL, while Watrous has had trouble gaining any traction this year as they are thinner than usual in net and on the back end. This could be quite lopsided, unless Rosetown fails to play a strong team game.
B Division South:
Rocanville Tigers (1st place THL) vs. Langenburg Warriors (2nd place THL): With a series that could be a preview of the THL playoffs, the Tigers and Warriors clash in this B quarterfinal. This one is tough to call, as the Warriors took two of three from the Tigers, both in a shoot out, this year. On the other hand, the one win for Rocanville was a decisive 11-5 home ice romp. Even with home ice, the Warriors will likely find themselves on the outside after this series.
Odessa Bruins (6th place QVHL) vs. Assiniboia Senior Rebels (1st place NHL): While the Bruins cruised to a 13-3 series win over the Elrose Aces, the Rebels are a different beast all together. Assiniboia was able to go into Eston and knock off the defending champs on home ice in their series opener last round en route to a series win. This one will not be close as the Rebels should advance handily.
C Division North:
Wilkie Outlaws (1st place SWHL) vs. Delisle Bruins (4th place SVHL): The Outlaws tore up the SWHL this year, finishing 9 points clear of the second place Macklin Mohawks, while the Bruins placed 4th in a competitive Valley League this year. Wilkie put on an impressive display, destroying the Loreburn 19ers 29-3, meanwhile Delisle was forced to play from behind, eventually tracking down and beating Macklin in overtime for a 7-6 series win. Wilkie seems destined to repeat this year and Delisle will find they just don't have the guns to match the Outlaws in the end.
Lake Lenore Hawks (4th place WHL) vs. Hudson Bay Hunters (3rd place FLHL): Both teams have yet to play a provincial game this year, and both had similar up and down years in their respective leagues. The Hunters looked unstoppable, going 7 - 1 in the month of January, however they currently trail the Valley Axemen two games to one in their league playoffs. The Hawks have been scorching hot as of late, finding their groove to rattle off 11 straight wins in January and February. Coin flip for this series, look for the Hawks to win by a couple goals.
C Division South:
Eatonia Huskies (5th place SWHL) vs. Radville Nationals (2nd place QVHL): The Nats and Dogs carved their way through the first round of playoffs with strong performances. The Huskies scored at will against the Lumsden Monarchs, winning their series 16-7, while the the Nationals steamrolled the Ochapawace Thunder, 16-10. This series could be a testament to the relative strength of each league, and the games should be close. In the end, look for Radville to overcome not having home ice advantage.
Bredenbury Cougars (5th place THL) vs. Milestone Flyers (4th place QVHL): Bredenbury and Milestone both dumped teams from the Big 6 Hockey League in round one, with the Cougars mauling the Redvers Rockets and the Flyers defeating Wawota. In this series, two teams that found themselves in the middle of the pack in their respective leagues will battle for a trip to the semi finals. Look for the Flyers to take the next step, setting up a QVHL faceoff.
D Division North:
Dinsmore Dynamos (5th place SVHL) vs. Kenaston Blizzard (9th place SVHL): Both the Dynamos and Blizzard needed overtime to advance from the last round, setting up a battle between Valley foes. Dinsmore took both regular season meetings this year, outscoring Kenaston 7 - 6 and 9 - 6, however regular season results do not always transfer over to playoff hockey. The Blizzard showed tremendous resiliency against Luseland, coming back from a 4 goal deficit. Look for Kenaston to pull the mild upset over the Dynamos.
Kelvington Wheatkings (1st place WHL) vs. Beechy Bombers (6th place SVHL): Kelvington almost let their series against Theodore slip away before knocking off the Buffaloes in double overtime to advance. The Bombers were also in tight, as the Allan Flames were full credit in taking Beechy right to the final buzzer, before losing the series by one goal. The Wheatkings will have a chance to show what they are made of as they face an opponent well seasoned from tough regular season play in one of the top leagues in the province. Look for the Bombers to prevail, setting up an all SVHL northern final.
D Division South:
Imperial Sabres (7th place WHL) vs. Avonlea Arrows (7th place HHL): The Sabres were impressive, going into Whitewood and pulling off the road win in game two to advance to the D quarterfinals. Avonlea, on the other hand, used an impressive home ice performance in game one before disposing of the Central Butte Flyers 8 - 4. Avonlea brings the D title into this series and Imperial will be forced to play their best hockey of the year. Look for another defending champ to fall as the Sabres will squeak this one out.
Craik Warriors (3rd place WHL) vs. Gull Lake Greyhounds (1st place WMHL): Both the Warriors and the Greyhounds were full value in round one, as Craik dropped Coronach 13-5 and Gull Lake upset Kyle 15-7. This series will be a chance for Gull Lake to show last round was not a fluke as they should be able to get by the Wheatland reps.