T-Wolves gear up for playoff tourney
Thursday, Mar 08, 2018 06:00 am
All three Bow Valley AA Timberwolves squads are gearing up for their respective playoff runs that will begin on March 8, but first have to qualify for the South Central Alberta Hockey League (SCAHL) Championship playoffs via a conference playoff tournament.
All teams from each conference qualify for the playoff tournament. The top four teams with the best record after tournament play will advance to the semi-finals in a best-of-three series where the top ranked team will play the fourth ranked team and the second and third ranked squads will play in the other semi-final. The winners of each best-of-three series will then face off in the league championship series to earn a berth in the Alberta AA Provincial Championships.
The Bantam Timberwolves had the toughest schedule this season, going 11-19-4 on the year, good for fifth place in the North Conference. The team scored 117 goals on the season while allowing 136, but assistant head coach Riley Fordyce said his team was starting to pick up steam late in the year and could surprise some teams come the conference playoff tournament in Lacombe.
“We had our ups and downs this year for sure. Over the past couple weeks the boys have been coming together as a team, which will help us going into this upcoming stretch of games,” Fordyce said.
“I expect hard-hitting and fast-paced games out of the teams we’re playing. West Central (Tigers), Airdrie (Lightning) Olds (Grizzlies) and Red Deer (Steel Kings) are all good teams and have given us tough games.”
“With that said, we’ve had close games with Airdrie and West Central and have beaten Olds and Red Deer … it will be a tough weekend for sure, but having our full lineup back together will be a bonus as we’ve been missing some key players throughout the season during injury.”
The Pee Wee T-Wolves were dominate all season long, boasting a 27-5-1 record, good for 55 points and top spot in the North Conference just ahead of the Olds Grizzlys. The Pee Wee AA team put up 221 goals, led by leading scorers Hunter Sawka, who put up 80 points (53 goals and 27 assists) in 33 games, and was followed closely by teammate Keifer Miller who had 73 points (43 goals and 30 assists) in the same number of games played.
The Timberwolves only allowed 85 goals all season, due to the stellar play of goaltenders Rhett Stoesser and Benjamin Polhill. Stoesser played in 16 games, recording 14 wins with a goals-against-average of 2.25. Polhill won 13 of the 17 games he appeared in and finished with a 2.83 goals-against average. The North Conference leading Timberwolves will head to Sylvan Lake to play the Airdrie Lightning Red and the Airdrie Lightning White as well as Red Deer Parkland Transmission and Red Deer Motors.
The Bow Valley Midget Timberwolves proved they were the class of their league, finishing with a 22-9-3 record, translating into 47 points and a first place finish in their conference. The T-wolves proved to be a very stingy team, only allowing 84 goals through 34 games while scoring 130, almost four games a game.
Dean Olenyk finished second in the league-scoring race, tallying 15 goals and 31 assists (46 points) in 32 games. Bow Valley will be in Olds for their conference tournament and will square off against the Airdrie Lightning, Central Alberta Selects, Red Deer CanPro as well as the Red Deer Elks.
All the games will begin on March 8 and will finish on March 11. The league championship series will begin on March 15.