Stars on Ice

Tales from the Timebox: March 13th, 2018

Some kids play all of their minor hockey and never get the opportunity to play in a Provincial final. Elk Point has three teams in Provincials.
The big show starts this Thursday at noon. The Bantam D Provincial finals. Held right here in Elk Point. Eight teams are coming. Seven from across the province plus your host the Elk Point Avalanche. The bantams are legit contenders for sure, they finished first winning the Provincial Zone 2 banner over Redwater.
In league play they made it past the first round of playoffs in two games. Then this past week, they played their final two games in the North East League against Bonnyville, losing the first one in over time and the second one by a couple of goals, taking  second place in the Tier one  of the league.
Injuries have plagued this team from the start of the season. Down to only seven bantam skaters and one peewee player in their final game, but the nothing can break them. This team has a huge heart and soul and talent galore. The coaches have done a wonderful job this year of teaching them to never give up even when it looked like there was no light at the end of the tunnel. They would always find a way to come through in the end. Head coach Marty Bendixen, his assistants Tyson Stafford and Greg Van Maarion have all played in some very important games and provincial tournaments and know what it takes to win.
And lets not forget about the manger behind the scenes Melissa Rogal who’s  work never ends. After the games or practises when everyone goes home to rest , she  re- scheduling games, referees, concession and clock workers, etc. The opening ceremonies are this Thursday at 7.30pm followed by the host teams first game. The Avalanche then play Friday at 2pm and against Saturday morning at 10am. The semi- finals and finals go on Sunday.   Lets go Avalanche!!
The Midget Avalanche have been rolling along too. They will be going to Rimbley in two weeks to play in the Midget C Provincial final after winning the Zone 2 banner a few weeks ago. They are still competing in the playoff winning last Thursday night up in Cold Lake in close series over a team that had given them trouble all season.
The best of three, Thursday night the series tied at one game apiece, they had to come back from a one goal  deficit in the first period. Austin ‘Astro’ Axley tied the game early in the second, assisted by Wolke ‘Wolfman’ Cueva . Then Nick ‘ Sparky’ Anderson lighting the lamp for his first of two to take the lead. Really  tight checking and a great goaltending at both ends of the rink, the Avalanche would finally score another five minutes into the third by Hayden ‘Hot Wheels’ Ludlage, assisted by the ‘Big O’ Brody Odgaard, then add two empty netters  late in the third by team captain’ Awesome Alex’ Hunter and Sparky to put the final nail in the Cold Lake coffin 5 to 2 the final sending them to  the finals against Vermilion the first game played here on Sunday night.
Talk about come back kids. Sunday night the boys were down 5 to 2 after the first 20 minutes and almost pulled this one out of the bag coming back to tie it up 6 all in the third period,  the Tigers would score with only 34 seconds on the clock to make it 7 to 6 and take the first game of the three game series. ‘ Astro ‘ leading the charge with two goals and two assists, team captain ‘Awesome Alex’ with two goals, his second tying the game half way through the third period, he also had one assist.  ‘ Sparky with two goals. ‘ Rugged D man ‘ Warrior Warren’ Ference with two helpers, ‘the Big O’ , ‘Hotwheels’ and Chad ‘Pickpocket’ Poitras with one assist each.  The second game and third game if necessary will be  in Vermilion. Date and time are still to be determined.
The Peewee Avalanche Tier # 1 team didn’t make it into playoffs this year, but did win the Zone 2 banner and will be going to the Peewee B provincial final in Le Crete the same weekend as the midgets go to Rimbley. Still trying to keep the team skating the team managers Sandi Capjack and Melissa Rogal lined up two games this past weekend,  one against Chavin on Saturday. Chavin had won the Zone 7 for Peewee D and are going to the Provincial D finals, but were no competition for our team who walked all over them 18 to 0. It would seem to me they must come from a much weaker zone, unless they have a secret weapon that wasn’t at that game and was left a home! You wouldn’t think there could be that much difference between B and D, maybe a goal or two? Especially in our Zone 2. I’ve seen a lot of D provincial bound teams over the years  that could compete with some AA teams.
On Sunday at home against Vermilion it was a much closer game. In fact there was no score until the middle of the game when the Avalanche finally broke the seal.  The Avalanche winning this one in the end 6 to 1. ‘Mick Jager’ Fontaine with a hat trick and three assists,  Cash ‘Paycheque’ with a goal and three assists, ‘King Kong Konnor’ Poitras and ‘Kid Kade’ Fontaine with one goal each. Defenseman Nick ‘the Saint’ Penner also with a helper.
The three amigos Rylee’ the Rocket’ Warawa, Ryan ‘Ram Rod’ Cameron and Vaughn ‘the Vulture ‘ Ockerman are not on the score sheet with any points, but they all played terrific in this game and every one I have watched all year and make a difference for sure on this team.
And now for the K. A. Campbell quote of the week ‘ There is one quality that one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants and a burning desire to achieve it. ‘ -Napoleon Hill