The Airdrie Xtreme are heading to the next round of the Alberta Elite Hockey League (AEHL) playoffs after shutting out the Calgary Royals in two games to sweep the best-of-three, second-round series.
The U15 AAA Xtreme held the Royals to a 3-0 victory on Thursday night at the Ron Ebbesen Arena, and followed up with a 5-0 victory in game two on Friday to secure the sweep and oust the Calgary team from the playoffs.
Airdrie set the tone for the series early in their Thursday night encounter, scoring all three of their goals in the opening three minutes. Captain Riley Boychuk netted the first two in a ferocious start for the hosts, before Isaac Davies made it 3-0 on the power play in just the third minute of the first period.
The hosts settled down on the attack after that, but a strong defensive performance in the remaining 56 minutes of play was enough to secure a shut out for goaltender Steven Wawryk, who registered 22 saves.
The two teams met again at Calgary's Stu Peppard Arena the next night. Airdrie continued where they left off, rocketing to a 5-0 shutout victory over the Royals to claim the series. Finn Bagley scored a hat-trick for the Xtreme while Benett Kelly and Matthew Hilderman also got on the score sheet.
This time, Leif Oaten kept the shutout for Airdrie between the posts, only having to make 14 saves from the Royals' offence.
As a result, the Xtreme will play the Red Deer Rebels in a best-of-three series starting on March 16, with puck-drop set for 5:45 p.m. at the Ron Ebbesen Arena. Game two is in Red Deer on Saturday at 2 p.m. If the series is tied 1-1 after those first outings, the rubber match will be back in Airdrie on Sunday at 1:30 p.m.
The Xtreme are considered the heavy favourites to win the AEHL U15 AAA banner this season, having gone 33-1 in the regular season.