Saskatoon Blazers face Regina Pat Canadians in SMAAAHL rematch final, SJHL playoffs begin

Tyson Hillbig (21) and the Kindersley Klippers are headed to the SJHL playoffs along with the Melville Millionaires, shown here during the SJHL Showcase in Warman. PHOTO BY MICHELLE BERG /Saskatoon StarPhoenix.

Darren Zary, Saskatoon StarPhoenix

The Saskatoon Blazers will face the Regina Pat Canadians in a rematch of the Saskatchewan Male AAA Hockey League final.

The best-of-series begins Friday night in Saskatoon. Game time is 7 p.m. at SaskTel Centre.

Game 2 goes Sunday afternoon at Co-operators Centre in Regina. Game time is 3:30 p.m.

Game 3 is slated for March 26 at SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon. That game starts at 7 p.m.

A fourth game, if necessary, would be played back in Regina at Co-operators Centre with a 7:45 p.m. start on March 28.

If needed, a deciding fifth game is scheduled for March 30 at 7:30 p.m. at Merlis Belsher Place.

The Blazers and Pat Canadians, who met in last year’s final with Saskatoon prevailing, finished one-two in the regular season. Saskatoon had a 34-7-3 record and 71 points. Regina was next with a 32-11-1 record and 65 points.


The puck drops for the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League playoffs on Friday.

The No. 1 Flin Flon Bombers will host the No. 8-seeded Kindersley Klippers in one of four best-of-seven league quarterfinal series. Elsewhere, No. 2 Melfort Mustangs are at home Friday against the No. 7 Estevan Bruins and the No. 3 seed Humboldt Broncos will welcome the No. 6 Weyburn Red Wings. The No. 4 seeded Battlefords North Stars are at home Friday against the Melville Millionaires.

The North Stars feature league MVP and top forward Kian Bell, who recorded 37 goals and 57 assists for 94 points in only 41 games this season.

Humboldt Broncos forward and NCAA Division One commit to St. Lawrence University Spencer Bell is the SJHL’s player of the year. Bell, a native of Warman, led the SJHL with 47 goals to go along with 41 assists for 88 points in 55 games.

Flin Flon’s Noah Hule, a Lindenwood NCAA Division One commit, is the SJHL defenceman of the year. His 68 points are the most by a SJHL defenceman since Josh McDougall during the 2017-18 season.

Bombers teammate Harmon Laser-Hume took SJHL goalie of the year honours with a 28-6-1-1 record, 2.20 goals-against average, .930 save-percentage and three shutouts.

The winner of the rookie of the year is North Stars D-man Carson Olsen. The University of Massachusetts at Lowell NCAA Division I commit, a 2006-born native of Warman, finished the season with 30 points and an impressive plus-23 rating.

Saskatoon native and Aces zone product Mason Bueckert is the SJHL’s most sportsmanlike player of the year. The La Ronge Ice Wolves forward had 20 goals and 62 points while taking only two penalties all season— one minor and one 10-minute misconduct.

Long-time Bombers head coach and GM Mike Reagan is the SJHL coach of the year year guiding his team to a club-high 44-9-2-1 record and its third Sherwood Division Title in the last four years and the No. 1 seed in the playoffs.