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Four Jasper Hockey League teams will fight it out for a spot in the March 12 Super Sunday “A” Final.
After a decisive four-goal victory against the JFI Bonestars on Thursday night, the Jasper Brewing Co. Barley Kings head into the semi-finals sitting in first place in the JHL playoff standings.
The Barley Kings will face off March 11 at 6:45 p.m. against the fourth-place Royals in a bid for the top bill on Sunday’s schedule. The winner of that tilt will compete against the other team that comes out victorious on Saturday—either The Bonestars or the Coco’s Cafe Outlaws. Puck drop for that much-anticipated matchup is at 8:30 p.m.
The losers of each Saturday contest will play in the “B” Final. Duking it out in the battle of the basement, the 0-4 Beavers face off against the 0-4 Bongs.
UPDATE: The Beavers beat the Bongs Friday, 6-5, in an ultimately meaningless prelude to Sunday’s part deux.
After being dethroned by the Bonestars in 2022, the Barley Kings put up an impressive effort on Thursday night leading up to the season’s biggest battles. Racking up six markers on the strength of forward Travis Chorley’s end-to-end rushes, Kevin Russell’s inexhaustible cardio and Rob Olson’s greasy toe-drags, “the Pub,” as they’re known, outshot by a wide margin the Bonestars—who even with the powerful Jake Delorme galloping up and down the ice, were sorely missing the break-out speed and goal scoring prowess of forward Jack Hilworth. The 21-year-old is expected to return to the lineup.
The Royals, who skinned the Beavers 8-4 in a 9:30 p.m. Tuesday night bout, will rely on the quick feet of their “kid” line—which includes Tanner Carlton, Ty Crozier and Brysen Watters—to put pressure on the seasoned Barley Kings.
The Outlaws, meanwhile, will need to stay hot if they want to mosey on into the A. At the very least they’ll require another solid outing by goalie Cassi Allin and her rushing d-man brother, Sean, to spur a counter-attack against the Bonestars’ heavy firepower.
The Beavers and the Bongs will face each other in back-to-back battles Friday and Sunday. Friday’s game might not mean much to the standings, but the contest will further sow the bitter seeds of these teams’ raucous rivalry.
The short-staffed squads have been leap frogging each other all season long for the title of Least Worst, and it’s anyone’s guess whether Les Castors can fortify the dam via the hard-nosed efforts of defence partners Lauren Ewald and Kyle Guthenberg, or if the Bongs and their face of the franchise, Kevin Lee, can bowl through the Beavers like Cocaine Bear in a Connaught Drive gift shop.
However the storylines unfurl, you can catch all the Super Sunday action at the Jasper Arena on March 12, starting at 3:30 p.m., or tune in like the JHL fans in Mexico do, via amateur announcer Paco Artiaga’s Facebook Live feed.
Bob Covey // email@example.com