Bantam Raiders sweep to semis
Hockey: Rocky Mountain sends Calgary packing in two games
Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 08:33 pm
The perennial favourite for the provincial banner is leaving little room for doubt.
The back-to-back provincial champion Rocky Mountain Raiders are optimistic good things will come in threes after dispatching the Calgary Outlaws in a two-game sweep to advance to the Bantam AAA South finals.
“We put a lot of pressure on ourselves with the record that we had,” said Raiders head coach Jordan Fenton, whose team finished with a remarkable 20-1-3 mark in the regular season. “We do expect to win, but we expect to work hard for it in those games.”
The Raiders put a stamp on their semifinal berth with their series clinching 7-1 win on Saturday at Calgary’s Justice Joseph Kryczka Arena. Cochrane sniper Taylor Sawka paced the Raiders with her three-goal, five-point performance while linemate Breanne Trotter of Okotoks chipped in with a pair of tallies in a three-point effort. Dynamite blueliner Jane Jacobs of Carseland picked up a goal and an assist.
At the other end of the ice, Rocky Mountain’s Kate Lloyd was busy turning aside 38 shots.
“We wanted to end their season and just really wanted to shut them down, get lots of opportunities for ourselves and put lots of pucks on net,” said Raiders winger Kennedy Brown, from Okotoks. “This was an important game for us to keep us going through to the next series so we have lots of momentum.
“Knowing what we can do and the way we could be playing.”
The Raiders took the series opener by a 4-1 count on Friday in Cochrane. Jacobs scored a pair with Sawka and Trotter each finding the back of the net. Amanda Zeglen stopped 27 of 28 shots to pick up the win.
“We just had to pull together and play our game,” said Trotter, an alternate captain with the Raiders.
Rocky Mountain was a cut above in the regular season, too, outscoring opponents by a 121-34 margin and suffering just the one defeat. However, the Raiders aren’t letting complacency enter their play.
“When you’ve only lost won game you start hoping, but in hockey you can never start expecting you’re going to win,” Brown said. “It’s playoffs, it’s a whole different season and everybody gets better in the playoffs.”
The Raiders went undefeated en route to the provincial banner last season, their second championship in as many years in the province’s top Bantam girls circuit.
“Our goal is to win every game we play,” Fenton said. “To put a game together in which the players execute and they play a good team game where everybody puts a solid effort in and the results should take care of themselves.”
Next up for the Raiders is a second-round date with the Calgary Rangers or Red Deer Chiefs with a spot in the league finals on the line.
For full schedule information log on to ambfhl.com