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Monday, February 13, 2012

AMBHL Playoff Matchups Set

The division best of 3 semi finals will begin this Tuesday and wrap up by Sunday.  Here below is a small preview of each of the series.

SSAC Southgate Lions - St. Albert Sabres

SSAC  26-4-3  199GF  98GA
St. Albert  18-8-7  120GF  99GA

Entering the series, St. Albert are struggling down the stretch with a record of 1-4-1 in their past six games.  SSAC on the other hand is 6-0-0 and have scored 42 while allowed just 11 in that span.

Head to Head:  2-2-1 (23-14 SSAC)

Top 5 Scorers Series
1.   Giorgio Estephan  43-57-100  SSAC
2.   Tyler Benson  34-50-84  SSAC (98born)
3.   Quinn Greenly  29-29-58  SSAC
4.   Josh Hayward  27-24-51  SSAC
5.   Matteo Gennaro  23-21-44  St. Albert
5.   D- David Quennville 16-28-44  SSAC (98 born)

Top 3 Defenceman Series
1.   D- David Quennville  16-28-44  SSAC (98 born)
2.   D- Josh Mahura 10-15-25  St. Albert (98 born)
3.   D- Devon Brooks  4-19-23  SSAC

Top Goalies
1.   G - Stuart Skinner  15-2-1  2.59  .910% (98 born)
2.   G-  Patrick Dea  12-6-3  2.96  .920%

Sherwood Park - Edmonton CAC
Sherwood Park  24-6-3  147-80
Edmonton CAC  21-9-3  172-116
- Edmonton CAC was perhaps the hottest team down the stretch in the entire AMBHL going 8-1-1 in their past 10 games.  If Sherwood Park hopes to win this series, they will have to stop the top two lines of CAC and limit their chances.  CAC has 5forward with over 50 points.  Sherwood Park was pretty stead all season long, led by an oustanding defence core which feature as many as 3 players who have a shot at being selected in the top 2-3 rounds of the WHL Bantam Draft on May 3.  If there is a team who can slow down CAC and their scoring prowess, it is Sherwood Park.

Head to Head: 2-2-0  (15-14 Sherwood Park)

Top 5 Scorers
1.  Brayden Burke  23-40-63  CAC
2.  Andrew Marshall  23-34-57  CAC
3.  Derek Brown  18-33-51  CAC
4.  Dylan Stewart  33-17-50  CAC
5.  Sam Steel  26-24-50  Sherwood Park (98 born)

Top 3 Defenceman
1.  Justin Greer  6-28-34  CAC
2.  Cam Reagan  12-15-27  Sherwood Park
3.  Brendan Guhle  9-15-24  Sherwood Park

Top Goalies
Zachary Klassen  13-4-2  2.26  .923% Sherwood Park
Tyler Kwiatkowski  11-5-3  3.03  .891%  CAC

Lloydminster Heat - Spruce Grove PAC
Lloydminster Heat  23-7-3  164-84
Spruce Grove  8-24-1  98-153

-Lloydminster was far and away the division winners with an 11 point advantage over 2nd place Leduc.  However, they did stumble down the stretch going just 3-5-0.  They will be led by Andrew Koep, who topped 40 goals this season and a strong team defence led by 98 born Kale Clague.  Spruce Grove had a difficult season and squeeked in to the playoffs due to the fact Fort Sask. and Grand Prairie won just 5 and 4 games respectively.  They are led by Conner Lukan who scored at a consistent pace all season long.

Head to Head: Lloydminster Wins  3-0-0  (16-8)

Top 5 Scorers
1.   Andrew Koep  41-20-61  Lloydminster
2.   Shawn Weber  14-30-44  Lloydminster
3.   Conner Lukan  27-16-43  Spruce Grove
4.   Zach Fischer  17-25-42  Lloydminster
5.   D- Kale Clague  11-23-34  Lloydminster (98 born)

Top  3 Defenceman
1.  D- Kale Clague  11-23-34  Lloydminster
2.  D- James Hilsendager  5-15-20  Lloydminster
3.  D- Nathan Bizeau  2-16-18  Spruce Grove

Top Goalies
1.  Nelson Heisler  12-2-1  2.27  .888%  Lloydminster-
2.  Nicholas Schneider  8-15-1  3.88  .897%  Spruce Grove

Leduc - Camrose Vikings
Leduc  16-11-6  140-124
Camrose  15-12-6  120-121
-  This series features a pair of teams who have had very average seasons and finished just 2 points within each other.  The difference in the series could be that Leduc has just a bit more depth up front but Camrose may have the size advantage.  Both defence cores are pretty similar.  Camrose have 7 players who stand over 6'0 so they will need to crash and bang and wear down Leduc to pull out a series win.

Head to Head: 1-0-2 Leduc  (13-11)

Top 5 Scorers
1.  Matt Fonteyne  29-22-51  Leduc
2.  Curtis Miske  19-26-45  Camrose
3.  Justin Young  21-23-44  Leduc
4.  Tristan Starzynski  22-20-42  Leduc
5.  Andrew Harrison  16-19-35  Camrose

Top 3 Defencman
1.  Gordon Ballhorn  4-21-25  Leduc
2.  Austin Pickford  6-15-21  Leduc
3.  Logan Riexinger  5-13-18  Camrose

1.  Brandon Kegler  7-5-4  3.25  .910% Leduc
2.  Travis Child  7-8-4  3.46  .910%  Camrose

Calgary Royals - Calgary Northstar Sabres
Calgary Royals  26-3-4  132-58
Calgary Northstar Sabres  10-18-5  118-136

- The Royals have had one of the better season in AMBHL history.  The 58 goals allowed is tops in the history of the league and the 1.78 GAA is 2nd best in AMBHL history.    The Royals will hope to have star G- Zach Sawchenko back from injury and will look to use their structured team play and not overlook the Northstar Sabres.  The Sabres will look to captain Jordan Xavier and a pair of 98 born forwards in Parker Aucoin and Brayden Dunn to score enough.  They will need strong play in net from Phillips and Patterson.  The Sabres can hang their hat on a recent 2-1 win over Calgary just a week or so ago.

Head to Head:  2-1-1 Royals (17-11)

Top 5 Scorers
1.  Jordan Xavier  28-19-47  Northstar Sabres
2.  Parker Aucoin  15-22-37  Northstar Sabres (98 born)
3.  Shane Allen  15-19-34  Royals
4.  Cameron Anklewich  12-21-33  Royals
5.  Tyler Rohl  14-16-30  Royals

Top 3 Defenceman
1.  Auston Strand  5-15-20  Northstar Sabres
2.  Savi Scalise  6-13-19  Royals
3.  Craig Ofner  2-15-17  Royals

1.  Zach Sawchenko  14-1-0  1.47  .944%  Royals
2.  Jeremy Phillips  4-10-1  3.88  .876  Northstar Sabres

Calgary Bisons - Calgary Bronks
Calgary Bisons  19-10-4  164-112
Calgary Bronks  18-9-6  135-97

- You can't get much more even than this series.  Both teams finished tied in the standings with 42 points.  However, the similarities end there for the two teams.  The Bisons rely on a run and gun style of game led by Merkley and Shmyr, while the Bronks play with structure and a crash and bang style.  For the Bronks, Elynuik will need to play Merkley hard all series long and limit his chances and Rassell along with whitby will need to continue to score.  The Bisons have played much better defence as of late and will need that to continue along with Merkley and Shmyr scoring at their usual clip.

Top 5 Scorers
1.  Nick Merkley  41-32-73  Calgary Bisons
2.  Braylon Shmyr  38-31-69  Calgary Bisons
3.  Mark Rassell  31-24-55  Calgary Bronks
4.  Zac Whitby  26-24-50  Calgary Bronks
5.  Hudson Elynuik  18-24-42  Calgary Bronks

Top 3 Defenceman
1.  Brad Forrest  7-18-25  Calgary Bisons
2.  Shane Bear  1-22-23  Calgary Bronks
3.  Mitchell Brennan  3-19-22  Calgary Bronks

1.  Riley  Morris  10-5-5  2.66  .914%  Bronks
2.  Logan Thompson  9-5-2  3.23  .903%  Bisons

Medicine Hat - Red Deer White
Medicine Hat  16-10-7  147-130
Red Deer White  11-17-5  98-121

-The Red Deer White squad will enter the playoffs as the second lowest scoring team with just under 3.0 GPG scored.  While the young Medicine Hat team scores about 4.5 GPG.  Red Deer will look to keep the game at a slow pace and get D- Jesse Freeborn out against the Hallas-White-Taupert line as much as possible.  Brody Dirk has the ability in goal to steal some games for Red Deer.  Red Deer is stumbling in to the playoffs with just 2 wins in their past 8 games.

Head to Head:  2-0-1 Medicine Hat (15-12)

Top 5 Scorers
1.  Jaeger White  28-23-51  Medicine Hat (98 born)
2.  Jordan Taupert  19-26-45  Medicine Hat (98 born)
3.  Mitch Hallas  20-23-43  Medicine Hat (98 born)
4.  Chase Olsen  21-14-35  Red Deer White
5.  Andrew Perry  10-20-30  Red Deer White

Top 3 Defenceman
1.  Chayden Lauber  6-14-20  Medicine Hat
2.  Jesse Freeborn  4-11-15  Red Deer White
3.  Cody Verge  4-8-12  Medicine Hat

1.  Brody Dirk  4-10-3  3.40  .911%  Red Deer
2.  Xavier Burghardt  9-5-5  3.69  .887%  Medicine Hat

Airdrie - Lethbridge
Airdrie  13-13-7  108-109
Lethbridge  12-17-4  107-133

- This is a series featuring two very low scoring teams but the difference could be that Airdrie has a bit more depth defensively and up front to counter that.  Lethbridge features the highest goal getter in the series with Austyn Moser and his 18 goals.  The leading point getter has just 37.  Airdrie enters the playoffs hot with just 1 loss in their past 8 games, going 4-1-3.  Lethbridge comes in hot as well having won 4 of the past 5.

Top 5 Scorers
1.  Chase Bell  13-24-37  Lethbridge
2.  Ryan Barrow  11-23-34  Airdrie
3.  Chad Harrison  13-18-31  Airdrie
4.  Austyn Moser  18-12-30  Lethbridge
5.  Laramie Kostelansky  13-13-26  Lethbridge

Top 3 Defencman
1.  Carson Beers  5-18-23  Lethbridge
2.  Tristan Thompson  8-8-16  Airdrie
3.  Kyler Newman  2-12-14  Lethbridge

1.  Kurtis Chapman  3-4-2  3.06  .908%
2.  Robert Brewin  7-11-1  3.73  .899%

Top Defenceman 
Kale Clague - Lloydminster Heat
Tristan Thompson - Airdrie Xtreme

Top Forward
Giorgio Estephan - Edmonton SSAC
Nick Merkly - Calgary Bisons

Top Goaltender
Travis Child - Camrose Vikings
Zach Sawchenko - Calgary Royals

Top Rookie
Tyler Benson - Edmonton SSAC
Jaeger White - Medicine Hat

First Team Allstar North
F-  Giorgio Estephan -SSAC
F-  Andrew Koep - Lloydminster
F-  Dylan Stewart - CAC
D-  Justin Greer - CAC
D-  Kale Clague - Lloydminster
G-  Travis Child - Camrose

Second Team Allstar North
F- Brayden Burke - CAC
F- Andrew Marshall - CAC
F- Curtis Miske - Camrose
D- Aaron Kellogg - Fort Saskatchewan
D- Brendan Guhle - Sherwood Park
G- Zachary Klassen - Sherwood Park

First Team Allstar South
F- Nick Merkley - Calgary Bisons
F- Braylon Shmyr - Calgary Bisons
F- Mark Rassell - Calgary Bronks
D- Tristan Thompson - Aidrie Xtreme
D- Jesse Freeborn - Red Deer White
G- Zach Sawchenko - Calgary Royals

Second Team Allstar South
F-  Zac Whitby - Calgary Bronks
F-  Jordan Xavier - Calgary Northstar Sabres
F-  Mason McCarty - Okotoks Oilers
D-  Savi Scalise - Calgary Royals
D-  Shane Bear - Calgary Bronks
G-  Riley Morris - Calgary Bronks

First Team AMBHL All Rookie 
F-  Jaeger White - Medicine Hat Hounds
F-  Tyler Benson - Edmonton SSAC
F-  Sam Steel - Sherwood Park
D-  David Quennville - SSAC
D-  Josh Mahura - St. Albert
G-  Stuart Skinner - SSAC


Anonymous said...

All star teams look good, how were they selected?

Anonymous said...


SSAC in 2
CAC in 3
Heat in 2
Leduc in 2
Royals in 2
Bisons in2
Hat in 2
Extreme in 2

Anonymous said...

Cgy Royals fan here. How did Morrissey (12-2-4 with 2.00 GAA) not get 2nd all-star team over Morris (10-5-5 with 2.66 GAA). Both good goalies, but numbers speak for themselves. Agree with rest of picks and thanks for all the work on the posts, heard work you do! Go Royals!

Anonymous said...

I think you are good on your predictions But give me the Bronks over Bisons in 3 and Lethbridge in 3

Anonymous said...

If Kellogg is the 3rd best D man in Alberta, I am thinking he would be better than any Sask. d men that you have in your rankings. I have seen them all play.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to congratulate Giorgio Estephan for reaching the very diffucult task of scoring 100pts in the ambhl in the 22 years of achived stats on the ambhl website from 1991 til this season there have only been 10 players able to reach this milestone.Giorgio is in great company with names here. A list of the hundred point club in the ambhl

Ty Rattie 2008 33gp 131pts
Joshua Lazowski 2006 34gp 118pts
Colton Scevior 2004 37gp 108pts
Burke Galimore 2006 34gp 108pts
Jason Swyripa 2008 33gp 107pts
Ian Macdonald 2001 40gp 107pts(ssac
Jared Aulin 1998 36gp 103pts
Brayden Point 2011 33gp 102pts
Tyler Swyston 2003 36gp 101pts
Tyler Wong 2011 33gp 101pts
Giorgio Estephan 2012 32gp 100 pts

Congrats you are in good company!

Colton scevior 2004

Anonymous said...

If you are ranking "any" D man below Aaron Kellogg in Western Canada you are very mistaken. He played on a team that only scored 67 goals in 33 games, if you use your formula from last year he counted towards 30% of his entire teams scoring. Everyone will see come draft time....

Anonymous said...

The All Stars look good and well deserved. A lot of other players could have been picked too. The real future players/stars will shine in the playoffs and Alberta Cup when the best players will play each other. That's what scouts want to see i.e. who can elevate their game vs. the best players. It might be the same guys but we might see some other ones too.

Anonymous said...

The hype on the Royals goalies is blown out of proportion. The hype should be the great team D-Fence and structure of the team.

Anonymous said...

Good point 1:03. Lets see that point chart for defence again. Kellogg may be the fastest skater in the AMBHL. I have never seen anyone take off and blow by players like that.

Anonymous said...

In the South, look the Royals to get by Northstars in 2, games will be tight but should be done in 2. Surprise will be the Bronks in 3, should be a great series. Med Hat will breeze through Red Deer without much of a problem in 2. Lethbridge and Airdrie should go 3 games, and could see Lethbridge pulling it out.

Anonymous said...

How can you say Rassell is a 1st team over Whitby ? Rassell plays from the blue line in thats it . Whitby is an all round player

Anonymous said...

I agree. Morrissey should be ahead of Morris. Royals are a great structured team with great goaltending! They have the most depth by far in the whole league! Best coaching in the league as well. I hope they go all the way to westerns.

Anonymous said...

Royals fan...not surprised by the comment since you guys expect EVERYTHING to go your way...and you are right, the stats are what they are. But let's be clear, both of your 'tenders GAA are way lower due to the team concept and players they have in front of them. Very rarely did either Royals player "steal" a game in the many that I watched. Morris on the other hand achieved a much better result given the system and group of d-men that he had to backstop. And while it doesn't matter here, it should be noted that both played on the same spring team last year and there was no question who was number one on that team.

Anonymous said...

Morris and Sawchenko are no doubt the best 2 goalies in the South. People should stop worrying about being picked an all star or not. WEHP does a good job of putting a list together but it doesn't mean that this list will be the same in 3 months. Many of those kids are improving fast. Even if the draft doesn't mean everything it will be interesting to see if those stars will be drafted prior to other kids in their respective positions and geography. We're all judging differently so the WHL teams will confirm soon how they see it.

Anonymous said...

Med hat vs cgy royals south final ? Lloyd vs Ssac north final ?

Anonymous said...

I agree with 1:44, Medicine Hat will sweep both divisional series quite handily, I think the Bronks may put up a good fight against the Royals in the Challenger Division final. Royals will represent the South.

Up north, can't see SSAC not getting out of their division. Could be tight, but they should be the divisional rep. Lloyd will get out of their division quite easily. North Final will be close, but see SSAC pulling it out.

Anonymous said...

Haven't watched much North action, but generally have to agree with the South predictions so far for the quarters.

Medicine Hat will easily have their way with Red Deer White, 2 and out.

Lethbridge has been coming on strong as of late, and see them knocking off Airdrie in 3.

Bisons will have a tight series with Bronks, but see them pulling it out in 3.

Royals will get through Northstars in 2 tight games.

Anonymous said...

White hallas and taupert up front will be to much to handle for any south team. But Ssac can defend those guys.

Anonymous said...

Airdrie beat lethbridge 7-3 and medicine hat 9-2 and have been on a role for the last few games, but you never know.

Anonymous said...

8:21, I partially agree with you. That line of White-Hallas-Taupert will run all over RD White, Airdrie may be able to handle them a bit better tho. But, when they get to the Conference Final, the Royals will be able to control them...

Anonymous said...

@ 8:21 - Med Hat's year is next year, they will be a very dangerous team. Med Hat will probably play the Royals in the South Final, which will end up being 3-0 or 3-1 if Med Hat is lucky they'll squeeze one out. The South Final will end up being the easiest series for whichever team comes out of the Calgary division.
I have SSAC coming out of the Edmonton Division, but who knows as this is the toughest division of all, and I could see Lloyd being upset by the winner of the Leduc/Camrose series. Lloyd's goaltending is weak to put it best, and will eventually end up being their downfall, whether it's in the divisional or north final series.