Twelve months ago the Grande Peace Athletic Club Golden Arrow Storm were licking their wounds after a 5-26-2 win-loss-tie season in fifth, and last place, in the Charger North Division of the Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League.
What a difference a year makes!
Tuesday they host the Leduc Oil Kings in the first game of a best-of-three division quarterfinal in a series they are favored to win.
The improvement has been impressive!
They finished in second place in the Charger North at 33-16-10, just four points out of first in the division and with 27 points more than they did a year ago.
Tuesday's series-opener goes at 5 p.m. in the Crosslink County Sportsplex in Clairmont. Game 2 is Wednesday in Leduc and Game 3, if needed, goes Friday back in Clairmont at 5 p.m.
The first-place Lloydminster Bobcats and the fourth-place PAC Saints are playing in the other division quarter-final.
Both the Higson Dental Storm and Dreger Racing Team Storm of the Edmonton Rural Bantam AA Hockey League are in playoff action this week in a Black Division playoff tournament in Clairmont.
Higson finished up the regular season at 15-13-4 in second place in the Black Division while DRT were fifth at 3-28-1.
All five Black Division teams are involved in the tournament.
Higson plays the Peace River Sabres Thursday at 11:30 p.m.; Fort McMurray Oil Barons at 10 a.m. and Dreger Racing Team at 7:20 p.m. on Friday and Whitecourt Wolverines at 10 a.m. on Saturday.
Dreger racing team starts against the tournament against the Wolverines at 11 a.m. and Fort McMurray at 5 p.m. on Thursday and Peace River at 10:15 a.m. before meeting Higson on Friday.
Winner of the tournament takes on the White Division champions in the next round.
The Ernie's Sports Experts Storm of the Alberta Midget Hockey League will find out Tuesday who they play in their first playoff round.
They'll get the team with the best record remaining from one of two Dodge Division playoff series after getting a first-round bye thanks to a second place regular season finish.
Fort Saskatchewan and Sherwood Park are tied 2-2 as are Lloydminster and Edmonton CAC with the fifth games in both series going Tuesday.
Ernie's finished with a 17-13-2 record and 36 points while division champion St. Albert Raiders had 58 points.
The Peaceland Directional Drilling Storm are the only GPAC with regular season action remaining.
They take on the PAC Saints in Clairmont at 10 a.m. March 1 to wrap their Northern Alberta Midget AA Hockey League regular season.
They sit in third in the Miltech Group Division with 14-15-2 record and can't move up or down before the playoffs start.
On the weekend they played two, losing 6-2 to the Sherwood Park Oilers on Saturday and 6-4 to the Beaumont Braves on Sunday.
Tyler Buchberger and Jayden Gordey scored and Tyler Burwash made 45 saves in the first game. On Sunday Buchberger, Gordey, Denon Bamber and Tuff Dreger scored while Owen Taylor made 37 saves.
The Boston Pizza Storm of the Alberta Minor Midget Hockey League wrapped up their season with a couple of losses - Saturday 3-2 to the Sherwood Pak Squires and 5-0 Sunday to the St. Albert Flyers.
Levi Pratt and Joel West scored and Connor Stojan made 25 saves in the first game and on Sunday Ethan Barron had 24 stops.
BP finished in 12th place in the North Division with a 4-26-7 record.
The Access Dental Storm finished up their season-long exhibition road trip with a 1-18-2 record.