Monday, October 19, 2015

Midget Huskies begin first CAHL season with two wins

Midget Huskies (in white) vs Lethbridge White 3
Chris Davis

The Crowsnest/Pincher Midget Huskies played their first two games as members of the Central Alberta Hockey League (CAHL) last weekend.   On Friday evening they played their home and season opener at the Coleman rink, defeating Lethbridge White 3 by a score of 7-3.  The next day they traveled to Taber, where they romped to a 14-1 win.  These are tiering-round games, so the competition should (cross fingers) become a little more evenly matched once tiering is completed.

The home opener at the Coleman rink was dominated by the Huskies in all but the final period.

Jesson Luco scoring for the Huskies in the first period against Lethbridge White 3 (in red)

The first goal of the game and of the Huskies season was an unassisted effort by Levi Anderson at the 14:03 mark of the first period.  Anderson also earned two assists in the first period and scored another unassisted goal in the second.  After two games he's currently the team's leader on ice and in points, with a total of 4 goals and 4 assists.  Anderson's first goal was answered by Lethbridge's Nathaniel Danserau on a power play, assisted by Luka Ferguson and Josh Onofrychuk. The Huskies kept the puck in the Lethbridge end for most of period, playing well defensively and offensively.  The Huskies scored three more goals in the first,  one from team Captain Craig Marshall, and one each from Midget Sam Gerrand (short handed and unassisted) and Colin Lincez (assisted by Anderson).  4-1 to end the first.

The second period was all about the Huskies, with goals from Lincez (unassisted), Levi Anderson (unassisted), and Kieran Douglas (with assists from Lincez and Jesson Luco). 7-1 Huskies to end the second.

That was it for the Huskies, who reverted to a "just enough" style of play, according to Head Coach Goodreau.  Lethbridge managed two unanswered goals, scored by Connor Crighton and Stefan Zrim, with assists going to Taylor Viney, Jack Martin, and Cameron Andres.  Final score 7-3 for the Thunderous Huskies.

Huskies goalie Jeremy Kretz faced 31 shots over the course of all three periods.  Lethbridge White 3 had two goalies, Brennan Clemens and Carson Adams, who face a total of 45 shots, letting in 7.

The biggest challenge for the Huskies in this game came from their own bench, in the form of far too many penalty minutes for far too little reason.  Kieran Douglas risked having a penalty box seat named after him, when the team needs a strong player like him on the ice instead.

I didn't see the away game against Taber the next day, but judging by the sheet it wasn't a fair match, the Huskies dominating throughout, particularly in the second period.  I'm going to guess they played pass-the-puck in the third, something that became a bit wearing on the team and fans last season.  Here's to some stiffer competition!

Huskies goalie Jeremy Kretz
The Huskies have a strong and seasoned 15 player bench this season, with Head Coach Kent Goodreau and Assistant Coach Lyle Douglas returning to the team that dominated the Spud League (and I do mean dominated) last season.  Former Midget powerhouse Blair Goodreau helps fill out the cast as Assistant Coach, and Rod Kretz is the team's Manager.  It's good to see Blair moving into another leadership role with the team.  This is a team composed of the best former younger-level rivals, the Crowsnest Thunder and the Pincher Huskies, and as we saw last season, they've made the most of it, understanding each other's strengths and weaknesses at a level that seemed almost telepathic by the end of last season.  Jeremy Kretz is again the lone Huskies goaltender.  As is inevitable, some players retired from Midget hockey at the end of last season, and some Bantams have moved up.

There's no Midget level hockey in the Spud this season.  Now they Huskies are in a 5-tier league with 54 teams total, including some familiar rivals and lots of unknowns.

The Huskies are scheduled to bring it to their other home rink, Pincher Creek's MCC Arena, next Saturday October 24, beginning at 6:00 pm.

Papa Ratzi pesters Huskies fans at Coleman rink
Related links:
CAHL website
Pincher Creek Hockey schedules
Midget Huskies CAHL schedule

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