Friday, January 29, 2016

Peewee Chinooks defeat the Thunder and advance to next round of playdowns

Toni Lucas - Pincher Creek's Peewee Chinooks hosted the Crowsnest Pass Thunder at the MCC Arena on Tuesday, January 26. It was an important game, the deciding game in a best of two playdown. In the first game the Thunder won 5-4, meaning the Chinooks had to win this game by at least two points to advance in playdowns. Each of these teams were eager to earn the right to test their skills at the provincials level.

The Chinooks scored first, halfway through the first period, with a goal by Logan Deley assisted by Caleb Evans and Cade Ames.  That was the only goal of the period.  In the first two minutes of the second period Chinook Cory Dyck scored unassisted, which was followed by another Logan Deley goal, assisted Alexandre Comeau and Cade Ames.  We were now at 22 minutes into the game and the Thunder had yet to make it to the scoreboard.  Chinook Cade Ames put another away with the help of Logan Deley and Caleb Evans for the last goal of the period, making it 4-0 Chinooks going into the third.

The third period was a total turnaround as the Thunder went on a successful offensive.  Austin Whelan made the first Thunder goal of the game, assisted by Carter Gudmundson.  With 11:26 on the clock Thunder Tucker Gietz scored with Cole Tkachuk assisting.  Through the whole game the goalies were getting a real workout, as each teams goalie was stopping shot after shot.  The Chinooks were seeing their lead erode and were not able to get past the Thunder defense.  With 1:42 on the clock the Thunder again roared as Cole Wemp scored unassisted, now 4-3 Chinooks, eradicating the two point lead needed by the Chinooks to move on in playdowns. Pressure on, both teams were sharp on the ice, each giving no quarter until the buzzer rang, sending them into a ten minute overtime to determine the playdown winner.

Both goalies were hammered at and showed their mettle.  It took until 2:15 left on the overtime clock before Chinooks Caleb Evans slipped one past the Thunder goalie, assisted by Cade Ames and Logan Deley.  The hometown crowd was enthusiastic in their approval.

After the game Chinooks Head Coach Kane Evans said "We started out strong and had our usual third period troubles.  We couldn't get the puck out of our own end.  It cost us, that is where they scored their three goals.  We had a few turnovers in our end which cost us, we were lucky to even get it to overtime, actually.  The overtime was intense.  The first game was held last Thursday, in the Crowsnest Pass, and they won 5-4, so we had to win by two points, to win the round." Evans believes the Chinooks will face Magrath in the next round of playdowns, which determines who goes to Provincials. "Magrath beat us our one time in league, so it will be close.  It will be like this.  Our league is fairly competitive with all the teams, to it'll be another  game like this.  That's what it gets down to now, and the excitement level is up there."

Evans had good words for both of the goalies, Chinooks' Coltyn Kipling and Thunder's Cooper Snider. "Coltyn made some saves when we needed them, and he (Snider) was the same for them.  He came up big when they needed him, especially in the overtime.  We had a few chances when it could have ended early, and he stood on his head. That's how we are with them, it's usually pretty back and forth, and there's barely any whistles, and it's pretty clean, and fast moving.  I'm proud of our team.  Winning in overtime takes a lot of heart, they left it all on the ice.  They played their best, when they needed to. They worked hard to earn making it to the next round."    Next the Chinooks travel to Kalispell, Montana for a tournament on the weekend, then to Magrath the following weekend , followed by a league game against the Crowsnest Pass on that Sunday, February 7.

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