The 2013 North Division Semi-Finals will begin on Thursday, March 14th in the AJHL communities of Spruce Grove and Bonnyville. Two Edmonton area teams will meet as Spruce Grove and Sherwood Park face off in a highly anticipated Semi-Final series. The Bonnyville Pontiacs will battle the AJHL’s newest team, the Whitecourt Wolverines, in the opposing North Division series.
The Spruce Grove Saints earned a first round bye in the North Division for a fifth consecutive season and now meet the Sherwood Park Crusaders in a best-of-seven series. Sherwood Park advanced to the North Division Semi-Final with a 3-2 series upset of the Grande Prairie Storm.
The Saints won the regular season series over the Crusaders with a record of 4-2. The Saints were first overall in the North Division with 79 points (35-16-9), while the Crusaders finished the regular season in 7th place with 63 points (28-25-7).
The series will open with two games in Spruce Grove then shift to Sherwood Park for games three and four. The Crusaders will celebrate their trademark green on St. Patrick’s Day when they bring the series home to the Sherwood Park Arena.
Spruce Grove Saints (1) vs. Sherwood Park Crusaders (4)
Game 1 March 14, 2013 @ Spruce Grove 7:00 PM
Game 2 March 15, 2013 @ Spruce Grove 7:00 PM
Game 3 March 17, 2013 @ Sherwood Park 7:00 PM
Game 4 March 18, 2013 @ Sherwood Park 7:00 PM
Game 5 March 20, 2013 @ Spruce Grove 7:00 PM*
Game 6 March 22, 2013 @ Sherwood Park 7:00 PM*
Game 7 March 24, 2013 @ Spruce Grove 7:00 PM*
* if necessary
Bonnyville will hold home ice advantage against the Whitecourt Wolverines. In their inaugural AJHL season, the Wolverines posted a record of 31-21-8 and finished the regular season in 4th place in the North Division with 70 points. The Pontiacs were 3rd in the North with 73 points and a record of 32-19-9. The Wolverines won the regular season series 4-2, with both teams capturing a shoot out win.
Whitecourt eliminated the Fort McMurray Oil Barons in Game Five of Round One in the 2013 AJHL Gas Drive Playoffs. The Pontiacs advanced after defeating the Drayton Valley Thunder in the opening round.
Bonnyville Pontiacs (2) vs. Whitecourt Wolverines (3)
Game 1 March 14, 2013 @ Bonnyville 7:00 PM
Game 2 March 15, 2013 @ Bonnyville 7:00 PM
Game 3 March 18, 2013 @ Whitecourt 7:30 PM
Game 4 March 19, 2013 @ Whitecourt 7:30 PM
Game 5 March 22, 2013 @ Bonnyville 7:00 PM*
Game 6 March 24, 2013 @ Whitecourt 7:30 PM*
Game 7 March 26, 2013 @ Bonnyville 7:00 PM*
* if necessary
Round Two: Division Semi-Finals
The first place team in each division at the completion of the regular season will receive a bye to Round Two of the AJHL Playoffs. The first place team in each division will play the lowest place team remaining in their division and the next highest placed team will play the other team in a best-of-seven series.
The highest ranked seed is awarded home ice advantage in the 2013 AJHL Gas Drive Playoffs.
Round Three: League Semi-Finals
The remaining two teams in each division will playoff for the title of Division Champion and advance to the 2013 AJHL Gas Drive Cup Final.
Round Four - AJHL Gas Drive Cup: League Final
The North Division Champion and the South Division Champion will compete in the League Final for the 2013 AJHL Gas Drive Cup.
The 2013 AJHL Playoff Schedule, Playoff Bracket, and head to head stats for each series are available on the AJHL website. Watch each game of the 2013 AJHL Gas Drive Playoffs LIVE on AJHL Web TV at www.AJHL.ca. (Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)