Semifinals get underway on Friday, beginning at 3:30 p.m.
WEYBURN, Sask. – Five days of exciting preliminary-round hockey are now in the books, and four teams are moving on to play in Friday’s semifinal, with their eyes on the ultimate prize – bringing home the gold at the 2016 Esso Cup.
The Rocky Mountain Raiders earned top spot in the standings, earning 10 points in five days of preliminary-round – notching their final point in Thursday’s shootout loss against the host Weyburn Gold Wings. The Brantford Ice Cats matched the Raiders’ round-robin record, but finished second in the standings based on the head-to-head tie-breaker; the Ice Cats dropped their Esso Cup opener 2-1 to the Raiders last Sunday.
The Raiders will face the Express du Richelieu in semifinal action Friday evening at 7 p.m., while the Saskatoon Stars, who finished third in preliminary-round standings, meet the Brantford Ice Cats in the 3:30 p.m. semifinal.
“This has been an outstanding first five days at the Esso Cup, and on behalf of our host committee and volunteers, I want to congratulate all six teams on their preliminary-round play and the sportsmanship they’ve shown at this event,” said Dale Renz, co-chair of the 2016 Esso Cup host committee. “The support from the fans and community has been tremendous, and we’re looking forward to four more exciting games before this year’s Esso Cup champions are crowned.”
Preliminary-round standings and game stats are available at HockeyCanada.ca/EssoCup. Both semifinals and the bronze-medal game are available via webstream. Saturday’s gold-medal game will be played at Crescent Point Place on Saturday at 3:30 p.m., and televised on TSN and RDS – check local listings for details.