Monday, November 19, 2012

Novice Chinooks show remarkable growth in two home games

2012/13 Pincher Creek Novice Chinooks
Chris Davis

Pincher Creek's Novice "B" Chinooks hosted two games at home last weekend, the first on Saturday, November 17 against Warner and the second on Sunday against Taber.  The big leaps in growth the Chinooks have made over the last few weeks was evident in both games.

Novice Chinooks vs Warner 

Saturday morning's game against Warner was a closely contested event.  Both teams seemed quite evenly matched, and the scoreboard reflected that, but not at first.  It took the Chinooks a little while to get their game on.  A minute and 12 seconds into the first period Warner #18 Kace Bellew scored an unassisted goal.  At 14:01 on the clock he did it again.  The Chinooks got it together, and at the 7:05 mark #4 Drew Stuckey scored an unasssisted goal, bringing the score to 2-1 for Warner.   Then with 5:08 left in the period Warner #16 Zane Laakmann scored, assisted by #11 Wyatt Coupe. 3-1.  Less than a minute later Chinooks #6 Riley Potts scored, unassisted.  3-2.  That's where it stood at the end of the first period.

Keeping the momentum going, early in the second Riley Potts scored again, this time assisted by #21 Kieran Randall, tying it up 3-3.  Both teams were skating really well out there, and for Chinooks fans a really big improvement was very noticeable.  Not only did they skate well, but they also seemed to be much more aware of their positions out there, and much more capable of supporting each other.  At the 10:33 mark they pulled ahead 4-3 after Riley Potts earned himself a hat trick, this time helped by both #20 Rhett Fitzpatrick and by Kieran Randall.  Warner bounced back with two goals, one at the 6:55 mark by #17 Griffin McCulloch unassisted and the other almost right after at the 6:06 mark by #12 Deagan Robertson, assisted by #15 Kaleb Routley, bringing the score to 6-4 in Warner's favor.  With only 2 minutes left in the period Kieran Randall scored for the Chinooks, bringing it to 6-5 for Warner.

In the third period both teams seemed to have figured each other out. The goaltending on both ends was dynamic, as was the defence.  Displays of speed an agility were common, and the puck travelled back and forth with a startling regularity.  At the 11:06 mark Warner's #3 Joshua Dumaresque scored, assisted by #8 Justin Montford.  7-5.  That set the Chinooks the task of making up two points, which they attempted with a flurry of activity in the Warner zone.  There were several near misses, but only one made it past the Warner netminder, when Riley Potts scored his 4th goal of the game.  At the final buzzer it was 7-6 for Warner, but the Chinooks sure made them work for it.

Novice Chinooks vs Taber

On Sunday the Novice Chinooks hosted the Taber 2 Oil Kings.  Both teams hit the ice running, but Riley Potts of the Chinooks scored first, assisted by Rhett Fitzpatrick, at the 17:20 mark. The #18 Rylan Mills scored twice in a row, unassisted, for the Oil Kings.  His first breakaway goal came at the 16:41 mark, and he did it again right off the next faceoff, to bring the score to 2-1 for Taber.  Chinooks #16 Colton Kirkman scored his own unassisted goal at the 15:40 mark to tie it up 2-2.  Then at the 12:31 mark Potts scored again, this time assisted by #23 Mayz Vance.  Then Rhett  Fitzpatrick scored, assisted by Potts.  At the 6:59 mark Rylan Mills earned himself a hat trick, assisted by Oil Kings #71 Ashton Lucas.  Mills scored another one 32 seconds later, assisted by #14 Matthew Gensurch, tying the score at 4-4.  At the 5:36 mark Fitzpatrick scored again for the Chinooks, again assisted by Riley Potts.  13 seconds later Kieran Randall scored, with Fitzpatrick getting an assist.  Chinooks #17 Koltyn Kipling made several strong scoring attempts to no avail.  Potts and Fitzpatrick have certainly figured out how to feed each other the puck at the opposing net.   With two minutes left in the period Oil Kings #19 Jaxxon Parke scored an unassisted breakaway goal, bringing the score to 6-5 for the Chinooks.  He did it again with only 51.9 seconds to spare in the period, off the faceoff, tying it 6-6.

Novice level hockey isn't usually this exciting.  This one was turning into a real nailbiter.

Both teams battled to a draw in the second period, until a long shot by Chinooks #28 Cory Dyck made it through the Taber defence and on past the goalie.  7-6.  Potts and Fitzpatrick continued to shine at setting each other up in front of the net.  Great passing plays.  At the 12:50 mark Potts scored, earning his second hat trick of the weekend.  He was assisted by #10 Joab Randall and #21 Kieran Randall on that play.  8-6 for Pincher Creek.

I have to pause here and make mention of the incredible display put on by #23 Mayz Vance.  She only got one assist on the sheet in this game but she was a force to be reckoned with throughout.  Playing defence, she was a key element of the Chinooks success.  She also made the most of every opportunity, and wasn't shy about making her own scoring attempts when the situation called for it.  She made intelligent passing choices and always seemed to know where she should be.

From the midpoint of the game on it was pretty much Pincher Creek's game.  Taber put forward a solid effort, but the Chinooks had found their groove, and they weren't letting it go.  Fitzpatrick scored, earning himself a hat trick, assisted by Potts.  Then Fitzpatrick scored again, assisted by #19 Jaxxon Shenton.  Then Potts scored, assisted by Fitzpatrick.  Then Drew Stuckey scored, and it was 12-6 for the Chinooks.   Chinooks #3 Eric Leblanc was brilliant in the net, moving fast and stopping every puck, shutting Taber out of the second period completely.

Taber played with determination in the third period, doing a better job of holding off the Chinooks offence, and bringing the  play to the Chinooks end more often. At 17:51 Rylan Mills scored again, assisted by Jaxxon Parke.  At the 14:40 mark Parke scored, assisted by #8 Tatum Duncan.  Parke earned himself a hat trick 32 seconds later, this time assisted by #14 Matthew Gensurch.  Those two goals brought the score to 13-9. After that it was Chinooks all the way.  At the 12:20 mark Kolton Kipling finally made good on his several attempts at the net, assisted by Potts.  With 6:21 left Drew Stuckey scored his second of the day, assisted by Fitzpatrick.  Then at the 5:03 mark Cory Dyck got his second of the night after a long run up the side, assisted by #10 Joab Randall.  At the final buzzer the score stood at 15-9.

The Novice Chinooks now have two wins and two losses.  They have two away games scheduled next, the first against Vauxhall on Saturday, November 24 at 10:45 am and the second a rematch against Taber on Saturday, December 1 at 8:45 am.  It will be interesting to see how mcuh they've developed before they bring it back home again on  Saturday, December 15 when they are scheduled to play Raymond at Pincher Creek's MCC arena.

Novice Chinooks vs Warner
C. Davis photos and video

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