March 18, 2018
Final: NAX 6-2 vs Rink
After finishing the regular season in 6th place with a 23-11-2 record, Northern Alberta Extreme are now league Champions, after posting a 6-2 win (2 EN) vs #2 ranked Rink Academy in the final game on Sunday.
Along the way, NAX also downed #1 BWC and #3 Delta. They were outshot in all three games (130-93), but outscored the top teams, 15-8 (3 EN).
NAX were backstopped by Jaden Little in all five games, posting a .920 save percentage. NAX forwards Kyle Crnkovic 7G-5A and Connor McClennon 4G-7A, led the division in scoring.
In the game Sunday, NAX opened the scoring with a goal about six minutes into the second period, on an unassisted marker from Daniel Baker.
Nakodan Greyeyes quickly tied it up for Rink, but NAX answered just two minutes later on a power play goal from Luke Prokop, and then finished the period out with another power play marker, with 46 seconds left, on a goal by Connor McLennon; 3-1 after two.
NAX then opened a 4-1 lead, on a goal from Carter Spenst with 12:19 left in the third period.
Rink’s Anthony Kehrer eventually closed it to 4-2 with 5:37 left.
Rink pulled the goalie twice for the extra attacker to no avail – NAX scored two empty netters, to finish it 6-2.
Shots were 49-30 for Rink, including a 26-10 flurry in the third.
Jaden Little stopped 47 of 49 for NAX. Issac Poutler stopped 26 for Rink.
Road to the final:
6-5 OTL, 6-4 EN W, 6-1 W, 3-2 W, 6-2 W
The road to the final was no cake walk for NAX. In addition to downing #2 Rink in the final, they defeated #1 BWC in the round robin, and #3 Delta in the semi.
NAX dropped their opener 6-5 in OT vs #7 Shawnigan Lake. The teams had battled to 1-1, 3-3, and 5-5 end of period ties, before going into OT. Shots finished 38-34 for NAX.
In game two, NAX turned it around, facing off against #1 seed BWC, who had been shocked in their opener, losing 5-4 in a shootout against the #12 seed, Pursuit.
In the BWC game, NAX jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, then fell behind 4-3 with seconds remaining in the second, after BWC had rallied. But with just 0.3 left on the clock, NAX evened it up to end the period, 4-4.
NAX then scored late in third to go up on BWC 5-4 and then added an empty netter to finish it 6-4. BWC outshot them 35-31.
In their final round robin game Friday morning, NAX easily handled Pursuit, winning 6-1. Shots were 42-24 NAX.
They now awaited the outcome of the final round robin game in their pool, BWC vs undefeated Shawnigan Lake. A Shawnigan win or tie, would have given the Islanders the top spot, and a trip to the semis.
Fortunately for NAX, BWC, who had already been eliminated, finished with a 3-0 win over Shawnigan. This gave NAX the top spot in the pool, with 5 points, Shawnigan finished with 4 points; BWC with 3; and Pursuit with 2.
NAX were now matched up vs #3 seeded Delta in the semis.
Delta had advanced on a tie-breaker, after winning their first two games, 4-3 vs Pacific Coast, and 5-4 OT vs OHA Red, and losing 4-3 in a shootout vs OHA Edmonton.
Semi-Final – 3-2 W
In the semi, Delta opened the scoring with the only goal in the first. NAX got two in the second to take a 2-1 lead into the third.
Delta then tied it up about five minutes into the third. Again, as in their game vs BWC, NAX bounced back with a late goal, scoring with 4:35 left to take the win, 3-2.
Shots finished 46-32, Jaden Little, stopping 44.
Pool A – Regular season
Pool B – Regular Season
Pool C- Regular Season
CSSHL Midget Prep, Final regular season standings
March 4, 2018