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Stettler Imperials headed to league finals

Imperials goalie Davin Nattestad is in the butterfly position. (Photos by Kevin Sabo/Stettler Independent)

It was a rocky run to the finish, but the Stettler Imperials busted the Irma Aces in round two of the East Central Senior Hockey League action, punching their ticket to the finals.

Home ice advantage was not a factor in the best-of-five series which kicked off March 1 in Irma.

In game one, Irma downed the Imperials with a final score of 3-2. The series then returned to the Stettler Recreation Centre on March 2, where the Imperials downed the Aces 6-3.

With the series tied, the Imperials again hit the road for Irma for a mid-week game on March 6. Thanks to overtime heroics by Devan Shanks, the Imperials took a 2-1 series lead after downing the Aces 4-3.

The series returned to Stettler on March 8 where the Imperials had the opportunity to finish off the series, but the Aces, fighting for their survival, held them off and defeated the team with a 2-1 score.

With the series tied at two games apiece, the Imperials returned to Irma in a must-win game on March 9.

The Imperials opened the scoring in the first period, however by the time the second period was over the teams were tied at four. A strong offensive push in the third period saw the Imperials gain another four goals, resulting in a final score of 8-5.

With the win, the Stettler Imperials will face off against the first-place Sedgewick Sabres in another best-of-five series.

The series will kick off on March 15 in Sedgewick before returning to Stettler on March 16.

Game three will take place on March 20.

If necessary, game four will take place March 22 in Stettler, and game five will take place March 26 in Sedgewick.

According to the Stettler Imperials Facebook page, the puck drop for all games will be 8:30 p.m., but watch the team’s page for more details.

A pair of Imperials and an Irma Ace player chases the puck behind the Stettler net.
Stettler Imperial Quade Cassidy and Irma Ace Justin Ganie battle for the puck behind the Irma net.
Imperial Alex DeYoung forces Irma Aces Goalie Austin Prior to cover up the puck.
Imperial Lanny Duncan manages another shot on goal. (kevin Sabo/Stettler Independent)
Imperial Brett Muhlbach (black) ties up Irma Ace Tyler Ganie behind the Aces net. (Kevin Sabo/Stettler Independent)
Stettler Imperial Quade Cassidy brings the puck deep into the Irma zone for a shot on goal. (Kevin Sabo/Stettler Independent)
Imperial Devan Shanks maneuvers the puck behind the Irma Aces net with an opposing player on his heels. (Kevin Sabo/Stettler Independent)
Imperials goalie Davin Nattestad comes up with a big save in this shot from Irma Ace Zach MacKay.
Irma Ace Kyler Erickson checks Imperial captain Claye Spady into the boards behind the Imperials net.
The Irma Aces celebrate a goal during the March 8 game in Stettler.

Kevin Sabo

About the Author: Kevin Sabo

I’m Kevin Sabo. I’ve been a resident of the Castor area for the last 12 years and counting, first coming out here in my previous career as an EMT.
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