MEDICINE HAT, AB – For the Medicine Hat Sun Devils, missing playoffs last year marked a low point for the organization.
With many players from that team returning this summer redemption has been on their minds, and now they’ll gave a chance to exercise some demons in the post season.
The Sun Devils have been practicing at the Kinplex to get ready for their first playoff series in two years, and will have home floor advantage for the opening round.
Finishing fourth place in the RMLL South Division with an 11-7 record, the Sun Devils will battle the Calgary Axemen in the first round with a spot in the semi-finals up for grabs.
Medicine Hat was one of the hottest teams in the province over the second half of the season, winning seven of their final eight games.
Scoring 47 goals over their final two games of the regular season, Sun Devils head coach Chris Loran said his team is ready for the rigours of playoff action.
“Hopefully, it means that we’re falling into place,” said Loran. “Everybody is doing their part, playing their roles, the offence is clicking, defence is clicking. So I think all in all, our total game package is ready for playoffs.”
Medicine Hat played the Axemen twice during the regular season, losing their season opener 11-6 on April 14, before defeating Calgary 17-12 at home on May 6.
Assistant captain Aidan McLean said the Axemen pressed hard in both games and his team will need to be on their ‘A’ game.
“Division rivals, we went 1-1 with them this season,” said McLean. “They got some really strong players. I think we’ve matured a lot since we played them in the first game when they beat us, so I think it will be a good series.”
Aside from a handful of rookies, the entirety of this year’s Sun Devils roster saw their season last summer come to an end in late June.
Loran said his players are hungry to redeem themselves after an early exit in 2017.
“Hopefully, it means that we’re falling into place,” he said. “Everybody is doing their part, playing their roles, the offence is clicking, defence is clicking. So I think all in all, our total game package is ready for playoffs.”
Medicine Hat will play host for the entire best-of-three series, which will get underway at the Kinplex on July 7 for Game 1 between the Sun Devils and Axemen.
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