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Alberta Division Semifinals Preview

Tonight, the Alberta Division semifinals get going with a pair of Game 1 matchups. We break down both series for you below.

#1 Brooks Bandits vs. #4 Okotoks Oilers


Brooks won all six BCHL meetings between the teams, with one win coming in overtime.

Top Performers:

Brooks – F Parker Lalonde (27 points), F Hunter Wallace (23 points), F Mirko Buttazzoni (22 points), G Johnny Hicks (.919 save percentage)

Okotoks – F Dean Spak (21 points), F Sam Huck (20 points), F Jack Silverberg (20 points), D Rylan Brown (13 points)


Brooks comes in as the top seed in the division and with a convincing edge in the season series, so they are undoubtedly the favourites in this matchup. They rely on a balanced attack of high-end scorers as three of the top-six point producers in Alberta are on their roster. Defenceman Ethan Beyer is also a big part of their attack and finished third in points among blueliners in the division. Brooks also has a pair of reliable goaltenders in Johnny Hicks and Sam Scopa. Hicks led the Alberta Division in both save percentage and goals-against average during the regular season, while Scopa owned the third-best GAA and fifth-highest save rate.

Okotoks is the underdog, but will try to ride the momentum they built during the wildcard series when they swept the Spruce Grove Saints in three games of their best-of-five matchup. A few Oilers are already off to hot starts to the postseason, like Jagger Tapper who had six points in the three wildcard games, and team captain Dean Spak who had five, including the game-winning goal in the third period of their series clincher last Saturday. Okotoks also has several players that recently made the Alberta Division year-end all-star teams, like Sam Huck, Jack Silverberg and Brett Wilson, who will be relied upon to spark the offence.

#2 Sherwood Park Crusaders vs. #3 Blackfalds Bulldogs


Sherwood Park won three of the five BCHL matchups between the teams.

Top Performers:

Sherwood Park – F Noah Wills (30 points), F Hunter Price (25 points), D Connor Gengle (18 points), G Erick Roest (.909 save percentage)

Blackfalds – F Brendan Ross (23 points), F Dakota MacIntosh (21 points), F Jayden Joly (17 points), F Alexander Dimitriadis (17 points)


Based on the regular-season head-to-head between the two teams, this seems to be a fairly even matchup on paper. The Crusaders did finish well ahead of the Bulldogs in the standings, but they will have their hands full with Blackfalds.

Sherwood Park has the Alberta Division leading scorer on their roster in Noah Wills, as well as the division’s top-scoring defenceman in Connor Gengle, but their offensive prowess goes much deeper than just those two players. Hunter Price finished third in points, Ryan Zaremba was the top-scoring rookie and Cade Christenson was second in points among defencemen. On top of the high-powered offence, they also have Erick Roest backing them up in the crease. Roest’s .909 save percentage was second in the division and he was recently named a First-Team All-Star.

The Bulldogs will rely on 20-year-old forward Brendan Ross to continue providing the offence, as he has done all year long. A First-Team All-Star himself, Ross tied for fourth in scoring in the Alberta Division with 23 points and his 14 goals were second most among his peers. He’s not the only one that can be counted on though, as Dakota MacIntosh finished just two points back of Ross and tied for sixth in goals with 10 on the year. Blackfalds also has Second-Team All-Star Tanner Willick on the blueliner and goaltender Wilson Maxfield who finished top-five in both save percentage and goals-against average in the regular season.