Sunday in Saskatchewan usually means a lot of things; church, rest, family time, hearty meals and at this time of year, intense hockey! Nine games were played on Sunday, some teams flexed their defensive muscle, while others were just looking to save some face. Here's what went down.
A-Division: The action kicked off at 5:00 in Shellbrook, where the Elks were riding the momentum of a 5-0 road win from game one against the LeRoy Braves. The Elks did not want to risk having to go back to Watson for a third game so they knew they needed to take care of business at home. For a second straight game the Elks shut the door, blanking the Braves 3-0 to sweep the series.
In Leader, the Flyers were hoping that home ice would be enough to send their series with the Fury back to Dalmeny for a third game, however they came up one goal short, dropping the second game 6-5, which means the Fury advance to meet the winner of the Hague/Waldheim series.
Speaking of the Royals and the Outlaws, there was a lot of anticipation leading into game one of this series between two FCHL rivals. The Royals had eliminated the Kindersley Red Lions in dramatic fashion, while the Outlaws hammered the Meadow Lake Stampeders in their first round match up. Crisp passing and timely goals were the keys to this game as the Outlaws ran away with game one, 9-2. Game two in this series goes tonight in Hague.
In Bruno, the T-Birds, fresh off their ousting of the defending A champs, looked to keep their good play rolling as they met the Bethune Bulldogs. The Bulldogs were able to pull off the 3-2 road victory and will now try to wrap up the series on home ice.
The final game of the night in the A division took place in Davidson, where the Cyclones welcomed the Balcares Broncs and an old foe in a new jersey, David Spooner. Spooner played several seasons for the Drake Canucks in the LLHL, causing the Cyclones fits and Sunday night would be no different. Spooner, who was sporting a very respectable 3.28 GAA in the QVHL this season turned aside 65 shots as the Broncs pulled off the 4-3 road win. They will look to wrap this series up at home on Saturday the 14th.
B-Division: Two games were played in the B division on Sunday. In the first match, the Drake Canucks ventured to Conquest to tangle with the Merchants. The Canucks scored early and often, and showed why they will be a favourite to advance to at least the north final. In the end the Canucks speed was too much for the Merchants to handle and the visitors racked up an 8-2 victory. The Canucks will take their 6 goal lead home for a Saturday night tilt.
In the other B action the Carnduff Red Devils were down, but certainly not out against the Langenburg Warriors. Both teams finished the regular season in the top halves of their respective leagues, and this series reflected how close the teams were. In game one, the Warriors took advantage of home ice to pull of a 5-4 win, however a one goal lead in a two game total point series is far from a lock. In game two, the Devils gave it their all, but came up one goal short again, losing on home ice 2-1 to make the final count 7-5 for Langenburg. The Warriors now face off against the Rocanville Tigers, also of the THL. The Tigers finished first in the league, ahead of Langenburg, however the Warriors won the season series 2 to 1. This will be another tight series for sure.
C-Division: There was one game on the slate in the C division, and that saw the Redvers Rockets host the Bredenbury Tigers. One week earlier, the Tigers built a 4 goal lead by posting a 6-2 home ice win in game one. The Rockets were hoping that home ice would be the key, however the Tigers built to their lead before cruising to a 5-1 win, taking the series 11-3. Bredenbury now awaits the winner of the Milestone/Wawota series.
D-Division: Only two games were played in the D-division, and the action started in Avonlea, with the Arrows welcoming the Central Butte Flyers. Avonlea were picked by some to repeat in D this year, and game one was a good start their potential run as they topped the Flyers 5-1. In Kyle, the Elks were coming home down 9 goals after a humbling 10-1 loss to the hands of the Gull Lake Greyhounds. The Elks are a proud franchise and were not going to go down without a fight, and while they won the game 6-5, they lost the series 15-7. Such results tend to get coffee-row coaches debating the merits of 2 game total point series.