After two games in the Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League (AMBHL) provincial championships, the Fort Saskatchewan Rangers are leading the series against the Lethbridge Golden Hawks.
In Game 1, the Rangers won 3-2 in overtime with Raphael Pelletier scoring the winner while Riley Fiddler-Schultz had two assists. Sebastian Cossa had 35 saves in the victory and may prove to be the deciding factor in this series. Lethbridge’s Kadyn Chabot had two goals.
The Golden Hawks went into the finals 7-1 across three rounds as they swept Airdrie and Red Deer 2-0 in the opening series before besting the Calgary Bisons 3-1 in the Regional Finals. The Bisons, who had the top three scorers in the playoffs, couldn’t get their high-powered offence going against Lethbridge, being held to two or fewer goals in three of four games.
The Golden Hawks continued their strong defensive play in the next game as they have held the Rangers to just 18 shots. But once again, they ran into the white hot Sebastian Cossa.
Game 2 saw a similar low-scoring affair and outcome as the Rangers left as 2-1 victors. Fiddler-Shultz was once again a key playmaker and scored what ended up being the game winning goal in the second period. Lethbridge peppered Sebastian Cossa with 36 shots and Scout Truman was the only one able to beat him, scoring the lone goal. The win gives Fort Saskatchewan home ice advantage to try and sweep the series.
Fort Saskatchewan swept their first two rounds as well, defeating Lloydminster and Grand Prairie before facing off against the St. Albert Sabres. The Sabres were the favourites in the playoffs after leading the league through the regular season with a 31-1-4 mark, but the Rangers were able to top them 3-2 in the best-of-five, capped off by a 7-4 win in Game 5.
Sebastian Cossa has been strong for the Rangers, winning five games while posting the fourth-best save percentage and goals against average in the playoffs. He’ll need to keep it up if Fort Saskatchewan wants to close out the series against Lethbridge.
After dropping the first two at home, Lethbridge will now have to try and battle back in this series on the road. Fort Saskatchewan will host the next two games on March 18 and 19 for a chance to sweep at home.
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