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Fort Saskatchewan claims AMBHL final in Close Game 5 Thriller

By Neil Hilts on March 23, 2017

The Fort Saskatchewan Rangers won their best-of-five series 3-2 over the defending champion Lethbridge Val Matteoti Golden Hawks. The final game was a 2-1 win for the Rangers in enemy territory. (Courtesy of Fort Saskatchewan Rangers)

It came down to one goal in the best-of-five series, but the Fort Saskatchewan Rangers claimed their first Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League (AMBHL) championship with a win over the defending champion Lethbridge Val Matteoti Golden Hawks.

Noah Boyko’s breakaway goal in the third period was the game winner as the Rangers bested the Golden Hawks 2-1 at Lethbridge’s home rink. In fact, each game was won by the opposition on the other team’s ice. Sebastian Cossa, the No. 1 goalie prospect for the upcoming WHL Bantam Draft, made 36 saves in the victory. 

In Game 1, Fort Saskatchewan won 3-2 thanks to an overtime winner by Raphael Pelletier. Rangers F Riley Fiddler-Schultz had two assists, while Cossa had 35 saves in the win. Lethbridge’s Kadyn Chabot did all he could, potting two, and Brayden Peters had a strong game turning aside 42 shots.

Fiddler-Schultz and Chabot both continued from their strong start, with the former scoring the winning goal and the latter picking up a helper. Cossa had another 35-save effort in his team’s 2-1 win, putting the Rangers up 2-0.

Heading to Fort Saskatchewan for Games 3 and 4 meant Lethbridge had to step it up as they were on the verge of elimination. Ridly Greig (two goals, two assists) and Zack Stringer (hat trick, one assist) were the top offensive performers in a massive 7-2 win, shifting the series’ momentum.

Needing another victory to force a Game 5, Lethbridge was able to nab a second road win. Fort Saskatchewan brought a better effort, but the Golden Hawks claimed the win in OT as Greig buried the winner. Peters made an impressive 37 saves in the victory.

Lethbridge’s Stringer led playoff scoring with 19 points, while teammates Greig and Scout Truman hit 18, as did Rangers F Boyko. Fort Saskatchewan’s Pelletier led the postseason in goals with 11 and Cossa had the most wins at eight. The top goalie was Lethbridge’s Peters, who posted a 5-2 record with a .938 save percentage and 2.00 GAA.

Next up, Fort Saskatchewan heads east to play in the Western Canada Bantam Championship in Warman and Martensville, Sask. from March 30 - Apr. 2.

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By Neil Hilts| March 23, 2017
Categories:  Minor Hockey
Keywords:  AB Minor Hockey

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