After knocking off the Three Hills Thrashers in straight games in their first-round best-of-three, the Airdrie Techmation Thunder couldn't keep the momentum rolling in the first game of the North Division semi-final with the Sylvan Lake Wranglers.

The Wranglers, who finished first in the North with a 33-3-2 record for 68 points, 42 more than Airdrie, opened up a 1 - 0 lead after 20 minutes before blowing the game open with four more in the second to lead 5 - 0 and then cruised to a 6 - 1 victory last night (February 24) at the NexSource Centre in Sylvan Lake.  

The win puts the Wranglers up one game to none in the best-of-five series.  Game two is set for Tuesday night (February 27) at 7:45 pm in Airdrie's Ron Ebbesen Arena.  The third game is back in Sylvan Lake on Thursday.

The game was not as one-sided as the final score would indicate as the high-powered Sylvan Lake offense didn't have a huge advantage in shots during the game, only taking 38 at Airdrie goalie Austin White.  However, sixteen of those shots came in the four-goal second period.  The Thunder had 27 shots on goal for the night.  After the Wranglers capped off their scoring for the night with a sixth goal in the third, about the only thing to be determined was if Sylvan Lake netminder Kaden Toussaint could preserve his shutout.  The Thunder's Damon Pennoyer made sure he didn't with a goal with just over two and a half minutes left to play.

Airdrie advanced to face Sylvan Lake by sweeping Three Hills in the opening round.  On Wednesday, February 1st the Thunder got first-period goals from Logan and Damon Pennoyer and then depended on Austin White to do the rest between the pipes in a 2 - 0 victory.  The Airdrie defense again came through during the second game, winning another tight one by a 2 - 1 score.  All the goals came in the second period with Airdrie getting markers from Tyson Sandhu and Jaxon Black.  White once again picked up the win between the pipes by facing 35 shots while only letting one past him.  

The other three HJHL semi-finals also got underway last night.  In the other North matchup, the Rocky Rams beat the Mountainview Colts 5 - 1 in Didsbury.  In what would have to be called an upset in the South Division playoffs, the High River Brewing Co. Flyers got the jump on the Carstar Okotoks Bisons with a 4 - 1 victory while the Medicine Hat Cubs prevailed 5 - 4 in overtime to take a one-game lead over the Coaldale Copperheads.   

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