The Alberta Junior Hockey League announced today the schedule for the 2012 North Division Final. The AJHL Semi-Final will feature the defending champion Spruce Grove Saints and the Fort McMurray Oil Barons. The best-of-seven series will begin on Friday, March 23rd at the Grant Fuhr Arena in Spruce Grove.
The Saints earned a first round bye in the AJHL North Division for a fourth consecutive year, by placing first in the division with 100 points. The Saints swept the Drayton Valley Thunder (4-0) in Round Two to advance to the North Division Final.
The Fort McMurray Oil Barons finished 2nd in the North Division with 98 points in the AJHL regular season. The Oil Barons swept the Grande Prairie Storm (3-0) in Round One, and eliminated the Sherwood Park Crusaders in Game Five of the North Division Semi-Finals.
The Saints won the regular season series with a 4-1-1 (W-L-OTL) record versus the Oil Barons in 2011-2012. The Saints outscored the Oil Barons 11-8 in the regular season series. The Oil Barons Scored 254 Goals For in the regular season, compared to the Saints with 214. Fort McMurray allowed only 126 Goals Against during the regular season while the Saints were also stingy allowing only 129.
The 2012 North Division Final will be a rematch of the 2011Division Final. The Saints won the 2011 North Division Title with a 4-game sweep and moved on to capture the 2011 AJHL Enerflex Cup.
Spruce Grove Saints (1) vs. Fort McMurray Oil Barons (2)
Game 1 March 23, 2012 Spruce Grove 7:00pm
Game 2 March 24, 2012 Spruce Grove 7:00pm
Game 3 March 26, 2012 Fort McMurray 8:00pm
Game 4 March 27, 2012 Fort McMurray 8:00pm
Game 5* March 30, 2012 Spruce Grove 7:00pm
Game 6* April 1, 2012 Fort McMurray 8:00pm
Game 7* April 3, 2012 Spruce Grove 7:00pm
* if necessary
The winner of the North Division Final will claim the title of 2012 Division Champion and advance to the 2012 AJHL Enerflex Cup League Final.
All series in Round Three are best-of-seven with the highest ranked seed awarded home ice advantage. The winner of the South Division Semi-Final between the Okotoks Oilers and Olds Grizzlys will face the 2011-2012 Regular Season Champion Brooks Bandits in the South Division Final. A complete playoff schedule is available on the AJHL website.
Round Four: League Final - April 6th - April 16th
The North Division Champion and the South Division Champion will compete in the League Final for the 2012 AJHL Enerflex Cup.
2012 Doyle Cup (AB / BC Championship)
A best of seven series, which will commence in Alberta on April 20th. The winner will represent the Pacific Division at the 2012 RBC Cup in Humboldt, SK from May 5th - 13th.
The 2012 AJHL Playoff Schedule, Playoff Bracket, and head to head stats for each series are available on the AJHL website www.AJHL.ca. Watch each game of the 2012 AJHL Playoffs live on AJHL Pay Per View at www.AJHL.ca.
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)