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Friday , 20 May 2022
Lakeland Panthers U15AA celebrate after winning the "White" division tournament. Image: Renee Smith.

Lakeland Panthers U15AA heading to Provincials; AA teams compete in season-end tourneys

The Lakeland Panthers U15AA squad are rural champions and have punched their tickets to Provincials.

Squared up against the TRAC Wolverines from Whitecourt in a best-of-three series, the Panthers had the benefit of home ice advantage.

At the Cold Lake Energy Center on Friday night, Lakeland took Game 1 by a 4-2 score, and then followed it up at the RJ Lalonde Arena the next afternoon.

With the chance to clinch, the Panthers seized the opportunity and defeated the Wolverines 4-1.

Now, Lakeland will wait until March 24-27 for Provincials in Beaumont. 

U13AA team in showdown with Fort McMurray

The Lakeland Panthers U13AA team hosted their Rural “Black” Division tournament looking for a birth into Provincials themselves.

In the round-robin play beginning last Thursday, the Panthers trounced the competition with 12-3, 14-3, and 10-2 victories over the Lloydminster Blazers, Peace River Colts, and TRAC Wolverines, respectively.

Then late Saturday, it was another major victory against Grande Prairie 13-1. In the semi-finals on Sunday they shutout the competition 4-0 to set up a final against Fort McMurray.

It was a close championship game, but in the end Fort McMurray was able to hang onto a one goal lead and win 4-3.

“The boys had a valiant effort throughout the game against the first place Fort Mac group,” said coach Darcy Skarsen. “We are all extremely proud of the effort throughout the weekend and how much every player progressed over the season. We truly became a hockey family this season and enjoyed every minute of it. I’m really looking forward to where these boys will be at in the next few years, they all have a very bright hockey future.”

U18AA Panthers make semifinals

The Lakeland Panthers U18AA competed in their divisional playoff tournament as well over the weekend.

Travelling to the Strathcona Olympiette Centre to take on the Warriors, the Panthers started strong with a 4-1 victory.

In the second game against Beaumont, the Panthers suffered a 4-1 setting up a pivotal matchup against the Wainwright Polar Kings to decide their season.

In the end, the Panthers lost 6-1 in the game.

Overall, the U18 group went 15-14-3 throughout the regular season and finished second in their division.

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.