A pair of local hockey clubs are still hunting for a league title.
The Bashaw Stars bantam and atom teams are moving forward in their respective league playoffs — the atoms earning a quarterfinal bye courtesy of their great play during the season, while the bantams made it past Smoky Lake in their quarterfinal match up.
The bantam squad squeezed past their opponent 5-3 on the road March 4, before laying down an 18-1 pounding on home ice March 6, which was rescheduled from earlier in the weekend due to wintry highway conditions.
The opening contest of the two-game, total-goal series saw Smoky Lake jump out to a 3-0 lead early, using home ice to their advantage. However, the Stars found their skating legs in the third to come up with three goals in a span of one minute one second courtesy of Ethan Taylor, Cole Fankhanel and Lukas Sandin. Graeson Boake then put Bashaw ahead with two minutes remaining, followed by a Ryan Catterall goal with just 35 seconds left on the clock.
It was all Bashaw in the return engagement, tickling the twine only 10 seconds into the game and never looking back. Clifford Cardinal scored five times on the night, with hat tricks coming from Sandin and Catterall. Brock Dawbin, Ryan Klevgaard and Fankhanel each had a pair of goals with Avery Nelson having the other goal.
The best-of-three semifinal series took place last weekend against Battle River (results unavailable at press time). The other semi-final featured Vegreville taking on Ponoka.
Meanwhile, the atoms faced off with New Sarepta over the weekend (results unavailable at press time).
As for the peewee Stars, the chance for a league title fell by the wayside in an opening round loss to the strong New Sarepta squad.
The Stars managed a 2-2 draw March 1 in the first game of the two game, total goal series, but couldn’t find their stride in the next one March 4 and lost 13-2.
In the opening game in Bashaw, Morgyn Fuller got a second period powerplay marker, while Tanner Copland scored in the third in what was a very tightly played contest, where Stars goalie Curt Dyberg stopped 32 shots to keep the club in it.
Unfortunately, three goals in a five minute span early in the first frame in the return match put Bashaw behind a huge eight ball that the Stars couldn’t move. Ty Heisler’s late first period marker and Fuller’s powerplay goal in the first minute of the third were positives in the contest.
The loss put the Stars into the consolation side where the team faced a club from Fort Saskatchewan last weekend (results unavailable at press time).