Fort Macleod Mavericks have the chance Friday, March 21 to win the Central Alberta Tier 5 Midget Hockey League banner.
The Mavericks beat Chestermere Lakers 4-1 Sunday in the first game of the best-of-three championship series.
The second game is 8 p.m. Friday at the Fort Macleod and District Sports Centre.
Mavericks 4 Lakers 1
The Mavericks faced the daunting task Sunday of opening the championship series at Chestermere after playing the night before at Medicine Hat.
The teams skated through a scoreless first period but the Mavericks wasted little time opening the scoring in the middle frame.
Eligh Big Bull got things started just 1:36 into the second period, with Cale Three Persons assisting on the goal.
Five minutes later Big Bull scored again, this time with Fort Macleod enjoying a man advantage. Wilfred North Peigan Jr. assisted.
Just under nine minutes into the third period Big Bull completed a natural hat trick to put Fort Macleod in front 3-0. Kelly Halcrow assisted on the goal.
Chestermere snapped Cole Nathe’s shutout bid 12 minutes into the third period, but that was as close as the Lakers would come.
Andrew Shade closed out the scoring with just over a minute left to make the final 4-1. North Peigan drew the lone assist.
Mavericks 7 Venom 4
The Mavericks stormed into Medicine Hat on Saturday night and stole a 7-4 win in the deciding game of their best-of-three semifinal series with the Venom.
The Mavericks had opened the semifinal series March 8 with a 7-4 win in Medicine Hat, but the Venom struck for a 5-3 win the following day in Fort Macleod.
That set the stage for a winner-takes-all showdown Saturday night back at Medicine Hat.
The game was a tight battle in the first period and it wasn’t until the 15-minute mark that Kelly Halcrow struck for the first goal. Colten Holtz and Hunter Curran assisted.
Just 31 seconds later Jacoby Provost scored, assisted by Eligh Big Bull, and Fort Macleod took a 2-0 lead into the break.
The Venom opened the second period scoring just 1:34 after the puck was dropped and tied the game with a powerplay goal a minute later.
The Mavericks shook off that momentary setback and regained the lead four minutes later on a goal by Andrew Shade, assisted by Tyrus White Cow and Wilfred North Peigan Jr.
The play went back-and-forth for the next 10 minutes with no results, until Eric Maskowitz set up North Peigan for a goal to give the Mavericks a 4-2 lead.
Medicine Hat scored just 19 seconds later and the Mavericks took a 4-3 lead into the break.
The Venom tied the game less than six minutes into the third period.
Halcrow scored less than a minute later, assisted by Big Bull, and Fort Macleod was back in front 5-4.
With 3 1/2 minutes to play Halcrow got his third of the game, assisted by Curran and Maskowitz.
Thirty-one seconds later Halcrow set up North Peigan for his second of the game, and Fort Macleod secured a 7-4 win in the game and a 2-1 decision in the series.
Cole Nathe backstopped Fort Macleod to the win, making 41 saves. The Mavericks directed 47 shots at the Medicine Hat goal.