Monday, January 6, 2014

Peewee Chinooks come from behind to defeat Cardston Thunder

Peewee Chinooks vs Cardston
T. Lucas photos and videos
Toni Lucas

Pincher Creek's Peewee Chinooks hosted the Cardston Thunder at the MCC Arena on Saturday, January 4. The Chinooks came from behind to ultimately take the win. It was a great game to watch with two teams that have what it takes giving their best.

In the first period, the Chinooks were not pulling together as a team as well as they can. Players were sending the puck to teammates that were not holding their positions, and the puck was often quickly commandeered by two players that stood out on the Thunder team, # 10 Easton Weasel Head and #7 Graedon Woodward.  Weasel Head scored twice, once unassisted and once assisted by Woodward.  Woodward scored once, assisted by Weasel Head. As the score rose for the Thunder, an attitude of defeat seemed to settle in on some of the Chinook players.  Chinooks #40 Ethan Grier dispelled some of that despair when he scored with only 43.8 seconds left in the period.  Chinooks Captain #15 Trinity Tanner picked up an assist on that play. The period ended 1 - 3 for the Thunder.

In the second period the Chinooks came out with a new attitude and more focus. At the 16:11 mark #2 Easton Fitzpatrick scored unassisted.  With 12:09 remaining in the period Trinity Tanner tied it up 3-3, assisted by #19 Calim Yellow Face and #5 Brandi Yellow Wings. With 6:26 remaining #25 Kyrell English scored, assisted by #13 Thunder Crowshoe.  The strong Chinooks' defensive effort shut out any goal attempts by Thunder this period, and it was 4-3 going into the third.

The third period was an exciting ride. Although the game was pretty clean for the first two periods, during this period the penalties started to rack up for both teams. In the last 10 minutes of the game both goalies got hammered by shots while the opposing team did their best to make those shots count. The Thunder scored two more goals this period, both of them from Graedon Woodward, but the Chinooks dug in hard and scored a whopping 6 goals to win the game 9-5.

Ethan Grier scored two of those third period goals for the Chinooks and earned himself a hat trick. Taylor Smith scored what turned out to be the game winning goal unassisted.  #19 Calim Yelow Face scored assisted by Brandi Yellow Wings.  #8 Sam Jordan scored, assisted by #4 Beyonce Crowshoe, her second assist of the period.   #13 Thunder Crowshoe also earned an assist on Grier's first goal of the period.

Peewee Chinooks Head Coach Brandon Yellow Wings was proud of his team. "It was a good game. We came out a little flat footed the first period, but we got them in the box in between periods, and told them they've got to put more pressure on those two strong skaters and stop them before they get into our zone, because you let them in and it's a madhouse around our goalie.  Had a good talk with them, calmed them down, and after that they took care of business."

Yellow Wings acknowledged the work done by goalie Wes Krampe throughout the game. "We're used to that from him. He's a good goalie. He's confident. Every once in a while he gets down on himself, and you've just got to talk to him and he's right back in there. He's a really good goalie. He's held us in a lot of games against these stronger teams."

"Second period we started playing our positions and really backing checking and taking those two players out. As soon as we took them out of the game, the whole thing turned," explained Yellow Wings about Thunder players #7 and # 10.

"We tell them to get on them right away, as soon as they start up the ice with the puck. Forwards, back check and get on them right away, and D-men be aggressive on them, take them off the puck.  Everybody's got to get back. We're really working our back checking, because we had so many penalties at the beginning of the season we really had to work with our back checking and our D-men being aggressive and taking them out of the play before they even get any shots or anything."

"We've had a lot of penalties during the season, our d-men are really solid," said Yellow Wings about some of the penalties that happened during the game. This included a 10 minute misconduct for one Chinook player that shot the puck after the whistle. "We've really worked on our defence, because we have quite a few weaker skaters, so with our d-men, they are the main ones getting the penalties. We want then to protect their goalie, and the refs are on the game, they call everything. It's just part of the game. We don't tolerate any checking from behind, or hitting, but they protect their goalie."

"First period, they were in our zone most of the time. Second and third period, it was pretty even. Third period, we really dominated," said Yellow Wings. The Chinooks had at least two members missing because they are still on holidays, and centre Michael Kleinhans-Kaupp broke his hand over the holidays and may be out for 4 weeks or longer.

On the injured list: Michael Kleinhans-Kaupp
The Chinooks are looking at some travel time as the next 4 or five are away. Coach Yellow Wings said that the team will be playing at the Enmax on January 26. "The kids are looking forward to it."

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