Sunday, December 29, 2013

Peewee Chinooks defeat Lethbridge Raiders

Peewee Chinooks vs Lethbridge Raiders
C. Davis photos and videos
Chris Davis, Sports

Pincher Creek's Peewee Chinooks hosted the Lethbridge 2 Raiders for a hastily arranged last home game of 2013 for the Chinooks at the Memorial Community Centre Arena on Saturday afternoon, December 28.

The last time these two teams met they played to a 3-3 tie.  This time out the Chinooks came out on top by a decisive score of 6-3.  making the victory all the sweeter for the Chinooks, the Raiders are currently on top of the Spud League Peewee 'B' standings and the Chinooks were ranked 7th, going into this game.

Talking about another recent game I said the Peewee Chinooks were firing on all cylinders.  In this game, they went from a V6 to a V8.  Hemi.

Temporary mascot - Murphy the Bichon Border Collie with Dax Vance, Rhett Fitzpatrick, and Koltyn Kipling at Peewee Chinooks vs Raiders game

Not only was this the last game of 2013 for the Chinooks, it also marked the halfway point for their 2013-2014 season. This is a team composed of athletes from around the region, essentially two small teams joined together to make one large team.  At the beginning of the season that was a bit of a liability as players and coaches went through the process of getting to know each other, tweaking lines and learning each other's strengths and weaknesses.  The Peewee Chinooks that hit the ice this time out have come through that formative period to emerge as a very cohesive and intelligent unit.

Cupcake Krampe guarding his crease

The Raiders proved to be a very competitive team, and from first whistle to last the play was fast paced, lots of back and forth, lots of energy, great passing plays on both sides, no respite from the action as these two well matched teams poured on their best efforts.

Raiders #31 Kadon Hooper scored the first and only goal of the first period, with only 1:29 remaining, with the assist going to  #18 Trayton Tailfeathers.  The second period proved to be even more quickly paced than the first was, and turned out to be probably the best period I've seen the Chinooks play yet this season.  Down 0-1 at the beginning of the period, by the end of it they were up 5-2.  Chinooks #15 Trinity Tanner earned a hat trick in the second, first tying it up 1-1 early in the period with a rebound at the 16:16 mark, an assist going to #40 Ethan Grier.

Then Chinooks #13 Thunder Crowshoe scored his first goal of the season in fine style at the 8:46 mark, assisted by #14 Micheal Kleinhans-Kaupp and #8 Sam Jordan.  2-1 Chinooks.

Shortly after that with 8:04 on the clock Trinity Tanner unleashed a beautiful dinger, unassisted, to bring the score to 3-1 Chinooks.

Another Tanner clinic is in session..

Despite being down on the board the Raiders were most definitely not going quietly.  However, plays that were often near misses for the Chinooks a month ago were connecting consistently.  Teamwork, evident on both sides, was particularly working out for the Chinooks.

With 5:21 remaining in the second Raiders #2 Riley Reeves scored after multiple solid attempts.  3-2. Reeves is one slick fast player, and it was often up to the rock solid Chinooks' defence to shut him down.

 The Chinooks answered that one right away with #39 Taylor Smith's first goal of the season at the 4:46 mark, assisted by #20 Nelz Vance. 4-2.

Then Trinity Tanner earned her hat trick with another unassisted goal, a virtual replica of her previous one, at the 4:32 mark.  5-2 Chinooks, which is where it stayed until the end of the period.

The Chinooks looked a trifle ragged in parts of the third period, but the fast pace of play between these two great teams continued unabated.  The Raiders scored just a minute 5 seconds into the period, this one a goal by Trayton Tailfeathers with an assist going to Riley Reeves.  5-3.

The final goal of the game was a reversal of the Chinooks first goal of the game.  This time Ethan Grier scored a quick backhanded goal with the assist going to Trinity Tanner.  At the final buzzer it was 6-3 Chinooks.

This was a clean game, with the Chinooks logging only 4 two-minute penalties, compared to two for the Raiders.

Thanks once again to Jaime McMullen for keeping an unofficial SOG record.  Chinooks goalie #1 Wes Krampe faced 36 shots, letting 3 in, for a 92% save record.  Raiders goalie #1 Skyler Braun faced 40 shots, letting in 6 for a highly respectable 85%.

Peewee Chinooks Head Coach Brandon Yellow Wings was obviously pleased with the team's performance.  "They really hustled,' he enthused.  "That first period, I thought they laid back on their heels a bit, but everything came together.  We had a good talk with them in between periods, and they came out blazing."

"They're really passing, back-checking.  Because we have a lot of weak players, we want to focus on our defensive play.  Our offence is always there, lots of shots.   We're starting to get our players in front of the net, getting their sticks on the ice, and being aware of where the puck is for rebounds."

"Our D-men , we're really stressing to them to stay in between the player and the net, so they're right in their face, and we're cutting them off before they're getting to the blue line. Our back-checking is one of the main reasons (the team succeeded). Our forwards are really getting back there, and not letting it into our zone."

"They're starting to click, and we're starting to get our lines really solid now.  They're starting to mold as a team, and that's what we wanted, nobody really standing out."

"Another thing this game, we really stressed to them not to get down on themselves when we get penalties, or if we get goals scored on us.  Keep that momentum going, keep positive."

"I'm proud of them, they did pretty good.  A good way to bring in the New Year."

The Peewee Chinooks are scheduled to host Cardston at the MCC arena on Saturday, January 4, 2014, starting at 2:30 pm.  After that they have 5 away games scheduled, taking them into February before they are back on home ice.

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