Crack of Dawn

The Elk Point Novice Avalanche play their first game of the season against the Bonnyville Novice Pontiacs. Theo Loughran in net making a big save

Tales from the Timebox: October 30th, 2018

As crazy as this sounds, playing out of town at 8:00 am on a Sunday morning is not all that bad. You can still make it to church afterwards at least, or go out for brunch.  It also gives you a real good excuse to get the kids to bed early Saturday night.
The Novice Avalanche played in Bonnyville for their first game of the year on Sunday at 8:00 am. This was a fast-paced game, half ice and no face-offs after the goals are scored.
This year Hockey Alberta has mandated a four-on-four player, half ice format for the novice level of hockey. Each association has a year to convert to it. Some associations are still playing full ice this year, but the theory is half ice will make it easier for each and every player to get involved touching the puck. Plus, in the bigger centres it makes it easier to accommodate the teams for practice and games. Lots of us don’t like changes to the game, and only time will tell how well this works out, but it certainly did work well at the micro-novice level last year.
Not quite as early as the novice,  our Atom team was on the road Saturday morning to Mallaig for an 11:00 am start.  Coming out strong, even though they had been out-shot fairly badly, they took an early 3-0 lead into the third period.
The first goal, scored by Brendon ‘Buzz Saw’ Kadutski, was assisted by ‘Without a Trace’ Morgan and Evett ‘Snoopy’ Smereka. Madden ‘Mad Dog’ Flamand with the next two goals. The first one also assisted by Without a Trace and Braylee ‘Little Willy’ Lesyk. On his second goal doing it all on his own, swooping down the wing, then cutting into the net, he fired one upstairs.
Goalie ‘Good Time Charlie’ Lesyk was really good in this game, in fact we should call him ‘Goodyear Charlie’! He stopped enough rubber to make a few tires.
The third period the Monarchs really turned on the heat and scored three quick ones, to tie the game. End-to-end action for the last ten minutes and the game would remain deadlocked at three. If you asked me, I think the Avalanche were very lucky just to get the point.
On Sunday morning at home, the Atoms hosted Frog Lake in another barn burner, the final score in this one 7 to 6 for the Avalanche. Mad Dog with a hat trick and an assist, Snoopy with two goals, Without a Trace’and Buzz Saw with one each. Kale ‘the Hawk’ Ockerman, ‘Hurricane Kayl’ Warawa and Raif ‘Rug Rat’ Evans-Anderson all getting assists. On the blueline ‘Notorious Nolan’ Ballas and Boe ‘Dog’ St. George doing a terrific job of pinching and keeping the puck in their zone. Rhyley Kozicky and Kaysen ‘Dynamite’ DeMossiac putting pressure on going strong on the forecheck.
The Peewee Avalanche played an easy one-sided game in Saddle Lake Saturday night, winning by double digits, but it was just the opposite  when the Bonnyville Pontiacs came calling on Sunday morning. No score in this one right up until six minutes were left in the second period. The Pontiacs would score on the power play to make it 1-0.
The Pontiacs have a huge defense and it was very tough for our guys to penetrate it, and when they managed to do so, they also had a very good goalie; our guys just couldn’t get anything past him. The opportunity finally came, with one minute left in the third period. The Avalanche going on the power play the coaches would call time out, pull the goalie and go it.  Most coaching staff would have done the same, especially since you are already on the power play and the face off was in the opposition end of the rink with 50 seconds left. But this time it backfired for the Avalanche, the Pontiacs scoring into the empty net to make it a 2-0 final in favor of the Pontiacs.
A strong game for Ryan ‘Ram Rod’ Cameron who worked his butt off in both ends of the rink, forechecking and backchecking like crazy.  Defenseman ‘Cyclone Cole’ Pierce came to play as well, playing tough on the blue line he was shut down the Pontiacs attacking forwards.
The Midget Avalanche had a tougher weekend then the past weekend, but still came up with two big wins.  Playing the Kitscoty/ Marwayne team on Friday night winning the game 4-1. Lots of penalties in this one.  Midget boys often have problems controlling their emotions and you do need a full roster to ice a team through the season with all the injuries and suspensions.
Hayden ‘Hotwheels’ Ludlage with two goals, Jaden ‘Jetstream’ Van Maarion and ‘King Cole’ Bendixen with one each. ‘Lightning Liam’ Ludlage with a couple of helpers, Nick ‘Sparky’ Anderson with one assist. Colton ‘Colt 45’ Van Maarion getting the goaltending assignment had to be sharp in this one the Avalanche often playing short handed.
On Sunday, the Midgets hosted Vermilion getting another win this time 7 to 2. Celebrating his 17th. birthday ‘ Hotwheels’ the birthday boy with two goals and an assist, ‘Sparky’ with two goals and  an assist, ‘Lightning’ with two goals as well. New to the team this year Tyler Jamieson adding a single. Tyler hasn’t played for the last two years so its nice to see him back in the line up.  Chase ‘Rink Rat’ Dorey with two assists, Hank ‘The Tank’ Rogal, Dallas ‘Cowboy’ Bristow, Charlie ‘Chuckles’ Rogal, and ‘Danny Boy’ Cardinal also with assists.  Between the pipes ‘Sexy Slader’ Hardcastle doing a fine job guarding the castle.
And now for the K. A. Campbell quote of the week: “There is no such thing as painless goaltending.  If they could get enough padding to assure against every type of bruise, you’d have to be swung onto position with a small derrick “. Don Cherry