Josh Davis - Pincher Creek's Novice Chinooks hockey team hosted a tournament on the weekend of February 5-7. The tournament featured a fun round robin structure, with 8 teams in attendance, after one team could only make it to two of their three scheduled games. There were two divisions present, Tier 3 teams and Tier 5 teams, The Chinooks fared well in all of their games. The Chinooks #16 Walker Anderson scored seven goals in his first game Friday night, making for over 94 points in 25 games this year.
"They played well. There was a lot of learning for them this weekend," said Chinooks Head Coach Cory Anderson. "We ended up being really strong for our division, but we had to learn a lot about teamwork, about passing, and about sportsmanship." Coach Anderson was pleased with his team's performance. "The boys did really well. We actually had a lot of boys get their first goals of their playing careers, and of the season, as a result of it. Overall I'm really proud of how they played."
Coach Anderson called passing his team's greatest strength on the ice. "They really passed the puck and moved it really well this week. They've grown by leaps and bounds over the year, its really impressive to see." He said that they still have to work on shooting techniques. "We have a lot of kids that can shoot the puck really well, but there's others who get in front of the net, and get those chances on rebound, and don't take them. They have to shoot faster." Coach Anderson plans to drill his team in quick shots and one-timers going forward into the season. Coach Anderson wanted to thank all of the teams for coming down and taking part in their Novice Tournament.
The Chinooks started off their tournament with a game against the Lethbridge Bullets. They were in good form Friday night, earning an early lead and defending it all the way throughout the game. The Chinooks were a scoring machine, earning a wide margin win.
Game 2: Southwest vs Pilots
Southwest Hockey played against the Okotoks Pilots bright and early Saturday morning. Okotoks* won this game 8-5.
Game 3: Bow Valley vs Lake Bonavista
Next, Bow Valley played Lake Bonavista. Bow Valley gained an early lead, and earned a wide margin win.
For game four, the Chinooks and Springbank took to the ice. Since Springbank was a tier three team, and the team they were supposed to play against couldn't make it, the two teams played intersquad instead, with six of the Chinooks playing for Springbank, and six of the Springbank players player for the Chinooks. The teams even traded coaches. The "Springbank" team won this close game 5-4.
"I think the kids and the fans all really loved it," said Coach Anderson of the fun intersquad exercise.
The Lethbridge Bullets earned their first win of the tournament in this game by a wide margin.
The Chinooks scored the first goal of the their game against the Okotoks pilots about six minutes in. The Pilots were playing good hockey, finding many opportunities to take shots. However, Chinooks goaltender #29 Kaydence North Peigan* was making the saves, and the Chinooks defended their lead, winning the game.
Game 7: Lake Bonavista vs Springbank
Springbank earned a win in their first tournament outing as a complete team, defeated Lake Bonavista by a wide margin.
Game 8: Trails West vs Bow Valley
Trails West and Bow Valley tied their close match-up 8-8.
Game 9: Bullets vs Pilots
In the first game of Sunday. the Lethbridge Bullets earned their second win of the tournament. They scored 7 goals to the Okotoks Pilots 3.
Game 10: Lake Bonavista vs Trails West
Trails West won a wide margin win in the following game.
Game 11: Bow Valley vs Springbank
In the close match up between Bow Valley and Springbank, Bow Valley won 6-4.
The Chinooks scored the first goal of their game against Southwest Hockey, and defended that lead well into the second period. Southwest scored two goals midway through the second, but the Chinooks hadn't given up, quickly turning the tide, with the score 5-2 at the end of the second. Both teams scored two more goals in the third, with the Chinooks winning 7-4.