Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Atom Chinooks host home tournament

First place - Cranbrook Royals
Second place - Lethbridge Lightning
Third place - Host team Pincher Creek Chinooks

Josh Davis
Photos and video - J. Davis, Eric LeBlanc

On the weekend of Friday November 27 – Sunday November 28 the Pincher Creek Minor Hockey Association hosted their 2015-2016 Atoms Hockey Tournament. These tournament games gave competing teams an opportunity to face-off against unusual opponents. The Tournament was structured in a Round Robin format, with each team guaranteed four games. Two points were awarded for each win, and one point was awarded to each team in the event of a draw. Games each consisted of three 25 minute periods, with the clock left running. Raffle tables were available in the MCC Arena lobby throughout the tournament.

Game 1 - Chinooks vs Lightning

The Pincher Creek Chinooks were off to a good start in the tournament, decisively winning their opening game against the Lethbridge Lightning 12-5. #12 Jaydon Draper scored five goals throughout the game, and made a single assist. #4 Drew Stuckey scored four goals throughout the game, making two assists. #14 Travis Bastien, #16 Aiden Potts, #11 Jaxon Shenton, and #10 Joah Randall scored one goal each, with Bastien making a single assist. #24 Mayz Vance made two assists throughout the game, and #2 Lane Conley made one. The Chinooks spent twelve minutes in the penalty box; the Lightning suffered no penalties throughout the game.

Game 2 - Royals vs Kings

The second game of Friday evening saw the Cranbrook Royals facing off against the Airdrie Kings. The Royals came out clearly ahead in this game of thrones, winning by a landslide. The Royals earned a lead early in the game, and followed it up with a long string of goals. Meanwhile their defense proved unbreakable, and the Kings were scoreless.

Game 3 - Chinooks vs Bombers

The Chinooks were in just as good form the next morning, when they played the Okotoks Bombers, winning 8-1. The Chinooks kept control of the puck throughout the first period, scoring three goals, including #12 Jaydon Draper's powerplay goal scored right before the buzzer. They scored a single goal in the second period, and four more in the third. The Bombers snuck one into the net during a powerplay in the third period, but it wasn't nearly enough. #4 Drew Stuckey scored five goals in the game. Draper scored two goals, and made two assists. #2 Lane Conley scored a single goal in the game. #3 Eric Radvak and #13 Varian Caldwell each earned an assist.

Game 4 - Royals vs Panthers

Next the Medicine Hat Panthers played the Cranbrook Royals. The Royals were already looking like  the team to beat in this tournament, winning by another landslide. The Royals showed excellent skating and stick handling, and they made consistent passing plays, scoring goal after goal in their game against the Panthers. The Royals largely kept the game on Panthers' ice, and when they couldn't their goalies proved more than capable of stopping the shots.

Game 5 - Lightning vs Bombers

Following this the Lethbridge Lightning played the Okotoks Bombers, earning a wide-margin victory. Both teams traded evenly in the first half of the first period, with the Bombers gaining a 2-1 lead early on. However, they were stalled out at two points, while the Lightning continued to score points, ending the first period 5-2. Given the tournament's format, the likelihood that finalists would be determined by points scored made this wide margin victory an important win for the Lightning.

Game 6 - Kings vs Panthers

The sixth game of the tournament saw the Airdrie Kings play the Medicine Hat Panthers. The Kings gained a solid 4-0 lead in the first period, using their skating to their advantage and taking many shots on net. The Kings scored four more goals in the second period to the Panthers one. though both teams faced only three penalties each throughout the game, there were a couple of minor injuries as the game increased in intensity. The kings then scored a whopping six goals in the final period, winning the game by a wide margin.

Game 7 - Chinooks vs Royals

The Pincher Creek Chinooks' third game of the tournament was against the Cranbrook Royals. The Chinooks fared better than any other team in the tournament against the Royals, but the Royals once again won by a wide margin. Early in the first period the Chinooks were looking close, 3-5. But in the end the Royals were too tough for them. #4 Drew Stuckey scored two goals in this game, with #10 Joah Randall, #16, Aiden Potts, and #12 Jaydon Draper scoring one each. Draper also made one assist, as did #3 Eric Radvak, #11 Jaxon Shenton, and #14 Travis Bastien.

Game 8 - Lightning vs Panthers

The final game of Saturday evening saw the Lethbridge Lightening play against Medicine Hat, for a shot at the finals. The Lightening won, 10-1, earning themselves a spot in the finals based on goals scored.

Game 9 - Panthers vs Bombers

In the final games of the qualifying round, the Medicine Hat Panthers faced-off against the Okotoks Bombers. Regardless of who won, they would play again in the next game, so this game was low stakes. The Okotoks Bombers won 7-5.

Game 10 - Panthers vs Bombers

The Medicine Hat Panthers then played a rematch against the Okotoks Bombers in the closest game of the tournament. the Bombers scored the first goal of the game five minutes into it. They kept their lead throughout the first period, but the Panthers scored their own goal nearing the end of the first period, tying the game up. In the second period the Bombers scored three goals to the Panthers one. The Panthers scored a single goal in the third period, but were unable to close the gap. The Bombers won 4-3.

Game 11 - Chinooks vs Kings for third place

The Airdrie Kings scored the first goal of their game against the Pincher Creek Chinooks six minutes in. #16 Aiden Potts took control of the puck shortly thereafter, but his shot was stopped by Kings goalie #1 Konnor Du Gas. The Kings scored another goal shorthanded with 13:05 on the clock. Potts scored two goals for the Chinooks this period, one made with just five seconds left in the first period. #12 Jaydon Draper scored a single goal between them. The Chinooks had turned the game around, taking the lead.

In the second period the Chinooks consolidated their lead, keeping pressure on Du Gas and keeping control of the puck. The Chinooks scored six goals in the period; three by Potts two by #4 Drew Stuckey, and one impressive goal by #2 Lane Conley. scored on a power play from the blue line. The Kings scored three goals in this period.

The Chinooks were playing aggressively, and took twice the penalties of the Kings. Du Gas was in good form, but was overwhelmed by the sheer number of shots made at him. The Chinooks scored two goals this period, one by Draper, and one by Stuckey.

Chinooks Head Coach Sean Stuckey was happy with the way his team performed in the tournament. "We had five other teams that we've never seen before, so we were just hoping for close games. We had some pretty good games, they were all pretty competitive, so we're happy with it." Coach Stuckey said that he could tell his team was a little tired on Sunday, "but they played well." Coach Stuckey said his team showed determination and didn't give up. "They had a tough game yesterday (Saturday), and they got down five nothing in the first three or four minutes. We were proud of them, because a couple of minutes after that they pulled into five three." Coach Stuckey said that although they ended up losing badly, playing a team from a higher tier is good practice for the tougher teams in their own bracket.

Game 12 - Lightning vs Royals for first place

The Lethbridge Lightening played in the final round against Cranbrook's Royals. The Royals won another wide margin win, taking home first prize.

Chinooks at the tournament:

#2 Lane Conley - 2 goals, 3 assists
#3 Eric Radvak - 2 assists
#4 Drew Stuckey - 14 goals, 4 assists
#9 Maddix Dyck
#10 Joah Randall - 2 goals, 1 assist
#11 Jaxon Shenton - 1 goal, 3 assists
#12 Jaydon Draper - 10 goals, 7 assists
#13 Varian Caldwell - 1 assist
#14 Travis Bastien Jr - 4 assists
#15 Christian Potts - 1 assist
#16 Aiden Potts - 6 goals, 1 assist
#23 Josie Waterchief - 1 assist
#24 Mayz Vance - 2 assists
#26 Zackary Hann - numerous saves

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