When it mattered most, Red Deer was able to dominate their Alberta Female Hockey League (AFHL) Midget Elite opposition en route to the inaugural Provincial Championship.
Just a few points out of first in the regular season, there appeared to be a big spark in the Red Deer Chiefs as they bested the Peace Country Storm, the regular season champions, 4-1 in the finals.
The Chiefs scored twice in the first and once in each of the next two frames, proving to be more than enough to hold off Peace Country. Juliana Gulayets had the final two goals in the contest, while Jayda Thompson turned aside 17 of 18 shots in the victory. Avery Lajeunesse, who finished third in regular season scoring, assisted on both of Gulayets’ goals.
Red Deer managed a tie in the first game of Provincials, finishing even at twos with Calgary Fire Red. However, the Chiefs went on a roll Friday and didn’t look back, beating Edmonton 3-1 and Peace Country 3-0 before defeating the tournament host Sherwood Park Fury 4-0 to book a spot into the finals.
The Storm finished 2016-17 with an sparkling 23-2-1 record, same as the Chiefs (but Peace Country had more regulation wins), however they looked like a different team against Red Deer, losing in both round robin play and the finals.
Peace Country opened the weekend with narrow 4-3 victory over Edmonton, then trounced Sherwood Park 6-0 to build momentum. Just one game on Friday saw Peace Country fall to Red Deer, but they rallied Saturday for a 3-0 win over Calgary Fire Red.
Calgary and Sherwood Park faced off in the bronze medal game and the home Fury took a 2-0 lead into the third. The Fire scored early into the last period, then with just under seven minutes left, forcing overtime for third place. Defender Kaela Johnson, who assisted on the tying goal, added the winner halfway through overtime to give Calgary the hardware.
With the season now wrapped up, many of these players finished their hockey careers, while others have more seasons to look forward to in what was a successful first year for the AFHL.
The Midget AAA Division, which was decided the week earlier, saw the St. Albert Slash come out victorious. They’ll now play the BC Champion, the Greater Vancouver Comets, in the Pacific Regional Championship, a best-of-three. Greater Vancouver was 29-1 during the regular season, while St. Albert was 27-1-2, setting up a clash of titans.Back to Top
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