Tin Soldiers and Matchstick Men

Tales from the Timebox: January 10th, 2017

This is where it all starts, Micro-Novice. It’s just like watching little toy tin soldiers; talk about cute.  They go marching around the ice with little tiny steps and fall down get up and head the other way until the buzzer blows for a shift change.
There was absolutely no time to waste for  ‘Wyatt Earp’ Fontaine who scored a natural hat trick; right off the opening face off he picked up the puck three times in the first minute and scored. In Micro-Novice they have a three goal limit so after his first shift he became  the set up man for the rest of the game; assisting on two other goals. Plus playing a few shifts between the posts where he made some really nice saves.
Remington ‘ Steel’ Reynolds scored a hat trick, as well as adding three assists and ringing a couple off the goals posts. Long legged Jaxon ‘ Smitty’ Smith with 2 goals plus some terrific back checking. Theo’ Long Horn’  Loughran and Denys ‘the Menace ‘ Kuba also scoring in this one. Little Thomas Melnyk with two assists, Jackson Rawlake coming up big when it was his turn in net with some huge saves, Davey `Crocket` Cardinal was putting pressure on the fore checking and Jaxon Marcoux doing some really good back checking.
Right after the Micro-Novice game, rookie goalie Raif ‘ Rug Rat’ Evans Anderson played phenomenal in net, sliding from side to side, bouncing up and down and pouncing on the puck like a cat on a rat! The Novice 1 A winning over Mallaig by a fairly huge margin on Saturday morning at home.
Celebrating her birthday, that morning, on Ukrainian Christmas, ‘Hurricane Kayl’ Warawa was ready to put some icing on her cake, scoring a hat trick and adding an assist . Off his leash ‘ Mad Dog” Madden Flamand was really on a tear, he scored a hat trick plus assisting on 5 others. The rookie, called up from the farm team, ‘Wyatt Earp’ Fontaine with two goals and an assist. Sebastien Brousseau with two goals and some awesome back checking.  Boe Johnson with a goal and an assist.  ‘Notorious Nolan’ Ballas with one goal, ‘Without a Trace’ Morgan with three helpers and some goal posts. Even though ‘Stellar Ella’ Ballas wasn’t on the game sheet for a goal or an assist it certainly was not for the lack of effort, she was giving 100 percent effort holding the blue line the whole game playing on defense.
The next morning, Sunday, the 1 B team traveled up to Lac La Biche coming home with another big “W”. Hat tricks and one assist each for Evett ‘Snoopy’ Smereka and Kaysen DeMoissac, two goals for Braylee ‘BJ’ Lesyk.  Charlotte Henderson, Kale Ockerman and Miles Koren  all with one goal each. Brendan Kadutski and Riley ‘Coyote’ Bourne are not on the score sheet, but both contributed on the back end checking the opposition; always the same old story, no glory for the defensemen!
Like it or not, these are exactly the kind of teams you want to play before the provincial round robins start in a few weeks. Nice clean tough teams to see how you can compete, when the going gets tough and to see where you can make some improvements. Playing easier teams is fun, but going to the provincial final is more fun! You must be prepared to meet some tough teams.
The Atom Avalanche faced a Vermilion tier 1 B team on Saturday at home. Our boys played well, but many times during the early part of the game they would lose possession of the puck and were bailed out by goalie ‘Kid Kade’ Fontaine who faced 31 shots in the end. Tied two all after the first period on goals by rushing defenseman Sam ‘Spiderman’ Rogal, assisted by Ryan ‘Ram Rod’ Cameron  and a real nice short handed one all alone by Vaughn ‘the Vulture’ Ockerman. Halfway through the second period ‘King Kong Konnor’ Poitras  would score on the power play assisted by Cash ‘CC’ Capjack to tie the game again; this time at 3 all.
Then with only 17 seconds left in the second period  ‘CC’  finding the back of the mesh after another  nice feed by the  ‘Ram Rod’ ; the Avalanche heading into the dressing room leading by 4 to 3 after 40 minutes.  The third period the Vermilion Tigers came out hungry and scored one to tie the game part way through the third period and then pressuring they scored the winner with only 3 minutes left before the buzzer.  Coach James Capjack calling a time out with 40 seconds left and pulling the goalie for the extra attacker, the Avalanche with some quality chances but failed to score;  the final 5 to 4 for the Tigers.
On the road all weekend, the Midget Avalanche played some teams they haven’t played before this past weekend too;  winning both games. Friday night  7 to 4 over the Bonnyville Pontiacs and Saturday blowing away the Blazers 9 to 3 in the Border City.
Friday night Bowen ‘Bam Bam’ Krider and Kyle ‘Ketchup’ Kjenner with two each. ‘Warrior’ Warren Ference, Angus ‘Micky’ McFarlane and Chase ‘Rink Rat’ Dorey with one each. Nick ‘Sparky’ Anderson, Brody ‘the Big O’ Odgaard, Christian ‘Wheels’ Castle Wasson  and Hayden ‘Hot Wheels’ Ludlage all with the assists.
Another  good team effort in Lloydminster on Saturday everyone on the team was getting in on the action, ‘the Big O’ tipping his cap with a hat trick, ‘Hot Wheels’  wheeling his rig in for a goal and two assist. ‘Sparky’ lighting the lamp with one. ‘Captain Obvious’ Austin Stafford… obviously, he’s a leader even if he didn’t score.  Chad ‘Pick Pocket’ Poitras picking the corner with a perfect one timer into the twine! ‘Rink Ra’  and ‘Wheels’ with some helpers too.
The Bantam Avalanche may still have been in the Christmas holiday mode? After all it was Ukrainian Christmas Eve and Ukrainian Christmas Day.  They were on the road this past weekend, but didn’t fare as well; losing two very close games.
On Friday night in Provost the Bantams losing 4 to 1 even though they out-shot their opponent 29 to 24.  Jaden ‘Jet Stream’ Van Maarion with the only goal assisted by ‘Lightning Liam’ Ludlage.
Saturday’s game was even closer,  2 to 1 the score for the Bisons, shots on goal  24 to 23. The penalties were very even too, our guys with an extra two minutes is all.  Charlie ‘Angel’ Rogal with the only goal, assisted by ‘Lightning Liam’ Ludlage and ‘King Cole’ Bendixen. Sometimes, this will happen around the Christmas time, when everyone gets just a little too much to eat and becomes a bit lazy.  But guess what you guys, the holidays are over!  It’s back to school this week and it’s back to work at practice!!
And now for the K. A. Campbell quote of the week. ‘ Hockey captures the essence of Canadian experience in the New World. In a land so inescapable and in hospitable cold, hockey is the chance of life, and a affirmation that despite the deathly chill of winter, we are alive.’ – Stephen Leacock.