Better be good, cause here comes Santa Clause

Tales from the Timebox: December 19th, 2017

Here comes Santa bringing his sled full of goodies!! Santa came 10 days early this year for the Elk Point Minor Hockey Association. Huge news on Friday coming down from Hockey Alberta in Red Deer. We’ve been selected to host the Bantam D Provincials on March 15 to 18th. Hats off to last year’s provincial committee for doing such a great job that we have been considered so soon to do another. The work shall begin early in the new year, setting up sub committees and getting everything spruced up. We have a very good start from last year on the building and don’t need a lot do to it; plus we know what to expect as far as the programs, concession, time box, banquet, etc. And the good news is our Bantam Avalanche team is very competitive this year and could be going to provincials; regardless if they hosted or not.
This past weekend the Bantams played in the Marwayne tournament. Winning their first game Friday night 4 to 0 over Cold Lake, then Saturday morning they defeated Sherwood Park 10 to 5. Some of the injuries and short bench took its toll and the boys suffered their very first loss of the season against Strathcona 7 to 1. With one of their top D Men Jace ‘the Stafford Streak’ out with a broken wrist, they started the weekend with 9 skaters but started to lose a few more. ‘Lightning Liam’ Ludlage, ‘Danny Boy’ Cardinal and ‘King Cole’ Bendixen were still playing, but were starting to get all banged up.
In the final game against Lloydminster with one Avalanche player serving a one game suspension, and only 7 skaters in the line up the boys lost this one as well 7 to 4. Not a huge deal, they were only really exhibition games anyway and I know these guys will be ready when the time comes. T
he Christmas break is coming and will give these guys a break to heal up. So far this year, in the Tier I league play, they are still undefeated and that’s quite a feat for a few good men. Perhaps they may be able to bring up a few peewee aged players for the provincial tournament?  But as you may know, there’s no body contact in peewee hockey anymore, so who knows if this would be a very good idea or if their parents and coaches would even consider it.
The Midget Avalanche had one heck of a good weekend winning both Friday night by one goal at home and again Saturday night by one goal on the road.  Friday night at home was the best midget game I have seen, since last year provincial finals. The Avalanche hosted the top team in the Tier I league, the Cold Lake Freeze. Our boys came out a little rusty, after not playing at all last weekend and only two games in the last month, but by the midway point of the first period after some heavy duty body checks the boys started to respond. Tied III all after the first period on goals by Hayden ‘Hot Wheels’ Ludlage, Chase ‘Rink Rat’ Dorey and the ‘Big O’ Brody Odgaard. Talented Nick ‘Sparky’ Anderson assisting on all three of them, the ‘Big O’ helping out on the first two.
No scoring in the second period but some outstanding goaltending in both ends, our guys putting pressure on the big Cold Lake tender, but he was coming up huge for them. Not as many shots on Spencer ‘Fortress’ Hardcastle, but he was making quality saves at the right time. Tied 4 all half way through the third period on a goal all alone by team captain ‘Awesome Alex’ Hunter, who would also score the winner at the 11.32 mark when the high flying D Man ‘Hot Wheels’ spotted him at the blue line and would feed him a two line pass sending him in all alone. Sniper ‘Awesome Alex’ knows how to find the top shelf.
  Now all the boys had to do was shut them down for the next 10 minutes, and they did so with the help of the rugged defencemen, ‘Warrior Warren’ Ference, Cyle ‘Grinder’ Graus and Hank ‘the Tank’ Rogal and some terrific back checking by forwards Wolke ‘Wolfman’ Cueva and Chad ‘Pickpocket’ Poitras.
Saturday the boys loaded up their bags and headed north to Lac La Biche to take on another one of the top teams in the league, the Clippers. Different team but the same scenario.  Four all the score at the end of the second, goals by ‘Rink Rat’ , ‘Wolfman’ the ‘Big O’ and ‘Pick Pocket’. Two assists for ‘Sparky’, two for the ‘Rink Rat’,  ‘Warrior Warren’ and Abe Neufeld with one each. The third period things really started to opened up again, two goals by the ‘Big O’; both of them assisted by ‘Sparky’.  The Clippers would respond making it six all. Time running down, 7 minutes left  when the team captain ‘Awesome Alex’, who at this point was held off the score sheet would do it once again, scoring the winner all on own.  Now to shut them down. Same script as the night before only this time it was Colton ‘Colt 45’ Van Maarion between the pipes shutting the door and chucking away the key on the Clippers. No doubt in my mind that the Tier I is where the midget Avalanche belong. What do they say, “what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger”. Now the Avalanche have to really work for the wins and in the long run, makes us a stronger team.
Two teams from the same town and two different results for the novice Avalanche, who played Bonnyville # 2 on Saturday at home winning 6 to 4. ‘Without a Trace’ Morgan with two goals and two assists, Remington ‘Steel’ Reynolds finding the mesh with two, Brenden ‘Buzz Saw’ Kadutski and ‘Notorious Nolan’ Ballas with one each. On Sunday, the novice team traveled up to Bonnyville short 5 players due to other commitments, but even still did not do too badly against the Bonnyville # 4 team;  who have been cleaning up on everyone in the league this year. The final score 7 to 4 in favor of Bonnyville. Two goals for ‘Wyatt Earp’ Fontaine, Miles ‘the Millionaire’ Koren with one, Kale ‘the Hawk’ Ockerman with a goal and two helpers.
No sleeping in on Saturday morning for this bunch, but at least this is more fun than getting up for school. The Micro novice hitting the ice at 9 bells on Saturday morning against St. Paul winning this one 10 to 5. Hat tricks for Ryder ‘Rhino’ Malo and ‘Jesse James’ Penner, two goals each for Jaxon ‘Magic’ Marcoux and ‘Billy Bob’ Ballas.
Home sweet home. The Atom Avalanche played two home games this weekend and still had some great confidence going after their big tournament win last weekend. Facing a strong team from Lloydmister on Saturday they never weakened or threw in the towel when the going got tough, losing this one  8 to 4 . Branden ‘ Pinball’ Pinette, Timmy’ the Freight Train’ Cardinal, ‘Cyclone Cole’ Pierce and Kaysen ‘Dynamite’  deMossiac all scoring. ‘Cyclone Cole’ and ‘Dynamite’ setting up the first two.
Sunday turned into a real barn burner against Boyle that kept everyone on the edge of their seats. Tied two all on goals by Anna ‘the Banana’ Henderson, which by the way was her first of the year and ‘Stellar Ella’ Ballas. No scoring after that the clock would tick down in the third period, until a dramatic finish with .35 seconds on the clock,  ‘ Cyclone Cole ‘ Pierce with a gallant effort would bury the winner sending the crowd into a frizzy. Hard working Evett ‘Snoopy ‘ Smereka and ‘Dynamite’ with two assists each, ‘Pinball’ and ‘Cyclone Cole’ with one each.
The peewee # 4 team is doing really well after getting re-tiered. Saturday they lost a close one to Wainwright 2 to 0 . ‘Wild Wyatt’ Pavoll named the Inspirational Player of the game. On Sunday they won 4 to 3 up in Plamondon. ‘ Top Gunner’ Crawford hitting he target with two, including the winner. Kaleb ‘Formula One’ Flamand and ‘Wild Wyatt’  Pavoll adding one each. Brady ‘Bionic Man’ Hymanyk, ‘Bazooka Joey’ Cardinal and Seth ‘Motor Man’ Morton with the assists. Kaleb and Seth named the Inspiration Players of the game.
The peewee # 1 team lost in Lloydminster on Saturday and to Meadow Lake on Sunday at home. I watched some of the game on Sunday and was very impressed with the aggressive forechecking of our guys. They sure have improved a lot this year and would have no problem winning in tier # 2, but are a little over their heads in Tier I.  I still maintain come provincial time this team will shine!
A big happy birthday going out today to a hockey mom Lisa Warawa, who has a aggressive player on that same peewee Tier I team,  Rylee ‘the Rocket’ . All three of her girls the ‘Rocket’, ‘Hurricane Kayl’  and ‘Whirlwind Avery’ are pretty  girls. But don’t let their looks deceive you, they know how to skate and  play right along with the boys,
And how about the former Storm goalie Heaven ‘the Brick-house’ Colbourne? She recently signed with the Lakeland Female Midget Jaguars and played fantastic against Wainwright facing 28 shots this past Saturday coming up with some huge saves in their 8 to 2 win.
And now for the K.A. Campbell quote of the week, ‘ Yeah, I’m cocky and I am arrogant. But that doesn’t mean I’m not a nice person’ – Jeremy Roenick
And finally remember to be good…..because Santa is watching. P.S. Hey big guy.. can you bring the Leafs the cup… and get the Oilers into the playoffs….and I’m not joking this year!