The battles for the Sask West Hockey League and Sask Valley Hockey League championships start this weekend with quarterfinal matchups ready to go.
The Wilkie Outlaws and Kindersley Sr. Klippers have earned a bye to the league semifinals as the top seeds heading into the league’s quarterfinals.
The final games of the regular season were played last weekend, and the only changes in the standings were at the very top. The Sr. Klippers ended a four-game losing streak by beating the Outlaws 7-5 on Feb. 1 in Kindersley.
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Kindersley moved one point ahead of Wilkie thanks to the win, but the Outlaws still had a game to play. The Outlaws hosted the Biggar Nationals on Feb. 2 in Wilkie and the Outlaws won big by a score of 11-0 to finish the regular season in first place. Kindersley would have finished in first if Biggar won in regulation or overtime.
In other games on Feb. 1, the Luseland Mallards came as close to winning a game as they have all season in a 6-5 loss to the Nationals in Biggar and the Macklin Mohawks beat the Unity Miners 8-7 on the road in Unity. In the only other game on Feb. 2, the Miners beat the Mallards 12-4 in Luseland.
The Outlaws (16-2-2) finished the season with 34 points while the Sr. Klippers (16-3-1) had 33 points. The Mohawks (11-6-3) were third with 25 points followed by the Nationals (10-9-1) with 21 points, the Miners (7-13) with 14 points and the Mallards (0-20).
Macklin plays Luseland in one quarterfinal match up. In an odd twist, the first game of the series is scheduled to be played in Luseland and the remaining games in the series are to be played in Macklin. The series starts in Luseland tomorrow at 8 p.m. with the second game scheduled for Feb. 10 in Macklin at 6 p.m. and the third game, if necessary, is scheduled to be played on Feb. 16 in Macklin at 8 p.m.
Biggar plays Unity in the other quarterfinal series, and the Nationals have also chosen to play the second and third games of the series on home ice. The first game is scheduled to be played in Unity tomorrow at 8 p.m. with the second game scheduled for Feb. 13 in Biggar at 8 p.m. and the third game, if necessary, will be played on Feb. 17 and the time is yet to be announced, according to the SWHL site.
The matchups are set for the league’s quarterfinals and the Kyle Elks have opted to face off against the seventh seed as teams hit the ice this weekend.
In the SVHL, playoff match ups are not wholly determined by regular season position. The top three teams pick their opponents in order of their seed, and they pick from the four other playoff teams. The fourth place team gets the opponent no other team chose.
The Elks had a dominant regular season finishing with a record of 17-1 for 34 points. The Delisle Bruins (15-3) finished the season in second with 30 points. The Eston Ramblers (12-6) finished in third and the Outlook Ice Hawks (10-8) earned the fourth seed heading into the playoffs.
Kyle plays the Lucky Lake Lakers (9-9) in the quarterfinals while Delisle plays the Central Butte Flyers (6-11-0-1), Eston plays the Beechy Bombers (9-9) and Outlook plays the Kenaston Blizzards (8-10). The Loreburn 19ers (4-12-0-2) and Elrose Aces (0-18) will not see a league playoff game this season.
There were six games played last week to wrap up the regular season. The Flyers beat the Aces 13-8 on Jan. 30 in Central Butte. The Aces finished with a home-and-home series with Eston and the Aces lost 8-4 to the Ramblers on Feb. 1 in Elrose.
In other games on Feb. 1, the Bombers beat the Lakers 7-4 in Beechy and it took overtime for the Ice Hawks to beat the 19ers by a score of 7-6 in Loreburn. In two games on Feb. 2, the Lakers doubled up the Flyers 4-2 in Central Butte and the Ramblers beat the Aces 10-4 in Eston.
Five games are scheduled for the next week. Kenaston is in Outlook and Kyle is in Lucky Lake for games tonight at 8 p.m., and Beechy is in Eston for a game tomorrow starting at 8 p.m. Central Butte is in Delisle for a game on Feb. 10 at 6:30 p.m., and Eston is in Beechy for a game on Feb. 11 at 8 p.m.