The top two teams in the Interior Hockey League will meet in the best-of-three final series starting tonight (7:00) at Wesbild Centre.
The first-place Teale Utility Canucks made sure the defending playoff champion R.E. Postill & Sons Orphans didn’t reach the final again, gonging the Orphans 10-3 in Sunday night’s semifinal at Priest Valley Arena.
The Canucks eliminated the third-place Westwood Cabinets Flyers 8-5 Saturday night at PV and will battle the second-place Re/Max Rangers in the finals.
Jason Elders, a 40-year-old who can still fly, and won the IHL scoring title with 84 snipes, pulled hat tricks in both Canuck victories.
Elders, who compiled 168 goals in five seasons with the ECHL Mobile Mysticks, scored three times in the first period as the 26-3-0-1 Canucks built up a 7-1 lead on the Orphans.
Tyler Quiring, a former Red Deer Rebel who had 50 goals on the year, pocketed 2+3 for the Canucks, while Rob Killingbeck earned 2+2.
Former Sicamous Eagle Mike Burke, with 1+3, and Troy Killingbeck and ex-Trail Smoke Eater Darcy Quiring, each with 1+2, completed the Canuck offence.
Reid Church added two assists in support of Steve Clarke (23 saves).
Joe Dolling, Chris Bradford and Jamie Johansson answered for the Cinderella Orphans, who finished the regular season at 13-15-0-2. Jason Silzer made 22 stops. The Canucks took four of five penalties.
The Canucks held a 4-2 lead over Westwood Cabinets (20-7-0-3) Saturday at the break.
Darcy Quiring supplied 3+1 and defenceman Neil Jones collected 1+2 for the Teale Utility crew. Church also scored once, while Tyler Quiring produced four helpers and Troy Killingbeck chipped in with three.
Manish Bhatt provided 1+2 for the Flyers, who also got goals from Rich Hoglund, 59-goal man Logan Massie, Glayne Goin and former Beaver Valley Nitehawk Jordan Holmes.
Clarke made 25 saves, while Rocky Spinks took the loss, recording 19 stops. Both teams took two minor penalties.
Game 2 in the championship series goes tonight at Nor-Val Sports Centre (9:30) in Armstrong with a third game, if required, scheduled for Sunday night at Wesbild (8:00).