Monday, March 2, 2015

Atom Chinooks defeat Vauxhall in playoffs, advance to face Picture Butte

Atom Chinooks vs Vauxhall Sabres - Chinook Cory Dyck with the puck
T. Lucas photos/video
Toni Lucas

Pincher Creek's Atom Chinooks faced Vauxhall's Sabres twice in Spud League playoffs, and won both games. The Chinooks now advance to the second round of Spud League playoffs to face Picture Butte, with a home game scheduled for Saturday March 7 to start at 1:00 pm.

The Chinooks' first victory over the Sabres was achieved at a home game on February 28. The Chinooks won 3-1, with Vauxhall's sole goal coming from Cody Wickenheiser, unassisted, with only 50 seconds left in the game. Scoring for the Chinooks were Drew Stuckey, Cory Dyck, and Shenoa Jessen. Kieran Randall earned two assists, and other assists went to Stuckey and Rhett Fitzpatrick.

After their home win Chinooks Coach Sean Stuckey said "They skated hard to day, and we have been working on dumping the puck, and they were starting to do that today. We've had a few issues the last few games where we haven't been dumping the puck, and we asked them to do that. They were starting to get the hang of it, so we're happy about that." 

Chinooks celebrate their home win
"This is a league playoff game. We finished tied for second in the league overall, and placed in third for the playoffs. We ended up playing the 6th place team, which is Vauxhall. This is the first round of playoffs. We play Vauxhall again tomorrow. So if we win by more than one, we move on to the next round. We're up by two now. If we move on we'd play Picture Butte. If we move on from that round we'd have one more (home game) against the team in the final. We might be down to only two more home games, I guess."

Overall it's been a good season, according to Coach Stuckey. ""For me, it's a fun group of kids. They all listen, they all try hard. Every second year this group gets together and they seem to click, so it's fun."

Chinooks Assistant Coach Jay Potts said "They've been listening well, something we've been emphasizing". Skills have also been a focus. "A lot of skills, that's what we try to do during practice. We try to pick it apart during games, and then emphasize it during practice. A lot of coaching, too." Coach Potts also thanked Assistant Coaches Trevor Kipling and James Elliott for their efforts this season. Coach Stuckey added "We have people coming out like James who have no kids on the team but want to help, and have tons of hockey experience. Having guys like him come out and help us out is huge."

On Sunday March 1 the Atom Chinooks travelled to Vauxhall for the second playoff game, earning a 9-1 win and securing their spot in round two of the Spud League playoffs.

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