Fifteen tournaments ran across the province of Alberta from March 21-25, while three league champions also earned provincial honours the previous week.
Teams skating away from the weekend’s tournaments with gold medals were: Bonnyville Sr. Pontiacs (Senior AA), Lethbridge Headwater Hurricanes (Minor Midget AAA), Lethbridge Hurricanes (Midget A), High Prairie Mavericks (Midget B), Stettler Storm (Midget C), Kitscoty Pitbulls (Midget D), St. Albert Slash (Midget Female AAA), SPS Fuzion (Midget Female A ), Irma Aces (Midget Female B), Calgary Fire White (Bantam Female Elite), Cold Lake Ice (Peewee A), Provost Blades (Peewee B), Winfield Peewee (Peewee C), Irvine Bulldogs (Peewee D), and Okotoks Oilers (Peewee Female A).
Two league playoffs wrapped up on Wednesday evening in Senior AAA and Bantam AAA. The Lacombe Generals repeated as Senior AAA Provincial champs with a 6-1 win over the Stony Plain Eagles, taking the best-of-seven series four games to one.The Generals now head to the Allan Cup, which runs April 9-14 in Rosetown, SK.
An incredibly close Bantam AAA series between the Airdrie Xtreme and St. Albert Sabres, which saw a total of nine overtime periods, came to a close when Airdrie scored near the end of the fourth overtime of game five. The Xtreme, led by HockeyNow Player of the Year finalist and AMBHL top playoff scorer Craig Armstrong, advance to the Western Canadian Bantam AAA Championship, March 29 to April 1 in Kamloops, BC.
The Alberta Junior Female Hockey League crowned a champion as well, with the Sherwood Park Steele skating away with the Provincial banner.
In addition to the on-ice action, five more host communities held a True Spirit of Hockey Day to celebrate a shared love for hockey and the community that supports the sport: Daysland/Forestburg (Thunderstars), La Crete, Okotoks, Oyen, and Taber.
The 2018 Provincial Championships tournament schedule wraps up this coming weekend with six tournaments set for March 29-April 1: Junior B (Fort St. John), Junior C (Sherwood Park), Midget AA (Spruce Grove), Midget Female Elite (Calgary), Bantam AA (Edmonton), Peewee AA (Glenlake/Calgary). The Midget AAA Provincials will wrap up by April 1 as well, with the best-of-five series between the Knights of Columbus Pats and Lethbridge Hurricanes tied at 1-1.
The Junior A Provincial Championship will be decided through the Alberta Junior Hockey League Playoffs. The North and South Division finals begin on March 31. The Brooks Bandits and Okotoks Oilers are set to face off in the South Division Final for the second straight year, while the Spruce Grove Saints will have to wait for Game Seven between the Whitecourt Wolverines and Fort McMurray Oil Barons to decide who they will face in the North Division Final.
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