Copperheads clinch top spot in South Division following weekend sweep

By Aaron Mahoney (@Mahones93 on Twitter)
February 12, 2018 - 12:01pm

COALDALE - The Coaldale Copperheads picked a great time to get hot.

Thanks to a three-game sweep over the weekend, they clinched the top spot in the Southern Division of the Heritage Junior Hockey League with a record of 24-10-2.

They finished with an identical record as the Okotoks Bisons, but secured first thanks to a tie-breaker.

The Copperheads began the weekend with a 7-4 victory over the High River Flyers on Friday, Feb. 9.

Levi Anderson had a goal and three assists to lead the way offensively, while Tyler Anderson, Riese Nevil, and Ty Abbott all had three points.

Abbott also had the goal that stood up as the game winner.

Starting goaltender Nolan Berner got the hook after two periods of play, allowing four goals on 18 shots, and backup Andrew Suriano was perfect in relief sparking the Copperheads.

The Copperheads were back on home ice in the Snake Pit at the Coaldale Sportsplex for Saturday night's 8-1 shellacking of the Strathmore Wheatland Kings.

Chase Williamson and Turner Sharp each had three-point nights for the Copperheads, while Andrew Suriano had another strong night, making 24 saves on 25 shots against.

Coaldale finished the weekend, and the regular season, in style on Sunday afternoon as they shutout the Strathmore Wheatland Kings 2-0 to secure their first-place finish.

Goaltender Andrew Suriano was solid once again, turning away all 23 shots on net. Riese Nevil had the game winner, while Tyler Anderson also added a goal.

Suriano, who finished the season 13-7 with a 2.84 GAA and a 0.904SV%, now enters the postseason on quite a run.

He allowed only 10 goals in winning seven straight games down the stretch.

Jayden Smith and Tyler Anderson tied for the team lead in points, with 35, but Smith lead the Copperheads in goals with 15.

The playoffs begin with the best-of-three quarter-finals on Wednesday.

The Cochrane Generals battle the Medicine Hat Cubs and the High River Flyers take on the Strathmore Wheatland Kings in the South.

With their first-place finish in the Southern Division, the Copperheads have earned a bye to the second round, as have the Bisons.

In the North, the Blackfalds Wranglers face the Ponoka Stampeders and the Mountainview Colts square off against the Stettler Lightning.

The Northern Division first-round byes will go to the Red Deer Vipers and Airdrie Thunder.

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