Ice Garner Playoff Spot
2nd Place East Division Finish For The Icemen
The 2012/13 Capital Junior Hockey League 38 game regular season is now in the history books. Last weekend teams throughout the league finished up their schedules. Some teams made the playoffs others did not. The Wetaskiwin Icemen are in and finished 4 points behind the Sherwood Park Knights to take second place in the Eastern Division. The Spruce Grove Knights out of the West Division are the overall league champions with 60 points. The Knights are next with 55 points and the Icemen third overall with 51 points.
The final two regular season games were on the road for the Icemen. The Icemen handled the Stony Plain Flyers 3-1 on Wednesday. Goalscorers for the Icemen were Leon Cutknife in the first, and Kevin Liner and Zach Littlechild in the third. There were no goals by either team in the second. Sunday’s game against the Edmonton Royals resulted in a 6-5 OT loss for the Icemen. The game had the Icemen up 4-2 after the second was turned around in the third with the Royals scoring a power play goal to tie it up and send it to overtime. Goal scorers for the Icemen were Dawson Kress with 2, Ryley Bennefield, Jordan Howe and Dallas Graham. Royal’s player Cam Bush scored at 1:11 of OT to win it for the Royals and leave the Icemen with a loss to finish off the season. Wetaskiwin goalie Jeremy Balyk started the final two games.
Overall the Icemen have had a pretty good season. Third overall is not a bad finish in a 14 team league. The West Division teams had more points than the East Division. The Stony Plain Flyers are handed the dubious honor of finishing last with two wins and 36 losses. Better luck next year for them. The Icemen finished off with 25 wins, 12 losses and 1 OT loss. The Icemen can also claim second in the league in the penalty category with 1603 minutes. Morinville Jets were first with 1705 minutes. Kevin Liner was the Icemen penalty leader with 189 minutes. The overall league scoring title goes to Zac Carr of the North Edmonton Red Wings with 37 goals and 66 assists for 103 points. Coincidentally the Red Wings had four players in the top seven in league scoring. Wetaskiwin Icemen DJ Bennefield was 15th overall 25 goals and 29 assists for 54 points. Dylan Weaver was the Icemen assist leader with 31. Goalie Chris Sharkey played 24 games and ended up with a 3.77 GAA and Jeremy Balyk in for 14 games finished with a 3.19 GAA.
For the playoffs the first two teams in the East and the West get a bye. This means the Icemen will get to take a break until the quarter finals where they will play the 3rd ranked East Division team to come out of the qualifying round. Quarter finals are five games, semis are 7, and the final series best of five.
For the Icemen this means a bit of a lull before the playoffs start. Hopefully the team can get back to the consistency they had going in November and December. Time to practice up boys. Coaches Rick Gregory and Richard Dupre will have a bit of time to get their team into playoff shape. The Icemen finished third overall and are for real. It is time to leave everything else behind and shoot for the league title. Once the qualifying round ends the Icemen will know their opponent. Stay tuned for further announcements. Congrats to the Icemen for a fine regular season and good luck. Let the playoffs begin.
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