On the Backstretch

Tales from the Timebox: January 15th, 2019

January the 15th. Here we are  in the middle of January already!  Hockey season seems like it has just begun, but it is half over already. The league playoffs and the provincial playdowns to see who goes to the big show are still to come. This year, the Avalanche are hosting the Atom Provincial Finals in Elk Point.

Micro-Novice Avalanche

This past Saturday was one of the busier days we have had all winter starting off with the micro-novice team.
The micro-novice had a great game against Mallaig on Saturday and our stands were full of fans. Lennox ‘All Out’ St. Arnault and Hudson ‘the Road Hammer’ Krankowski with two goals each. ‘Tornado’ Aarbo, Zander ‘Zorro’ Goertzen , ‘Mount Everett’ Hahn and Stetson ‘Shack’ Reynolds all with the assists. Jayden ‘Spectatular’ Sakowsky , and ‘General Lee’ Barstad doing an outstanding job of keeping the puck out when it was their turn between the pipes. ‘Jumbo Jay’ Large was heavy on the fore check forcing turnovers.

Atom Avalanche

The Provincial Final hosts, the Atom Avalanche had a tough one up in Cold Lake on Saturday losing 3-2 . Madden ‘Mad Dog’ Flamand scoring both of the goals in Cold Lake, one all alone and one assist by Braylee ‘Little Willy’ Lesyk. Cold Lake seems to be the team that is tough for us to beat in the Tier III league but playing them can only make us better in the long run as we prepare for Provincials.
Back here at home on Sunday, they had a much easier game with St. Paul winning this one 10-2. ‘Mad Dog’ with a hat trick and an assist.  ‘Little Willy’ with two goals and an assist, Kale ‘the Hawk’ Ockerman with two goals and two assists. Brendan ‘Buzz Saw’ Kadutski, Kaysen ‘Dynamite’ DeMossiac, and Evett ‘Snoop Dog’ Smereka with one goal each. Three assists for ‘Hurricane Kayl’ Warawa, two assists for ‘Boe Dog’ St. George and an assist for Raif ‘Rug Rat’ Evans Anderson.
These games are great  for the kids that a not normally goal scorers, giving them a chance to get on the score sheet. But  not really that much fun for the team losing or the team heading to provincials knowing they will be facing much tougher competition when they get there. But everyone has been on both sides of these games and the league is still trying to get it right by tiering.

Peewee Avalanche

Billed as the game of the week, everyone involved was looking forward to this game. One week ago the Peewee Avalanche and Bonnyville Pontiacs game ended in a one all tie. The two games before Christmas between these teams were very close matches too.  Both of the goalies of these teams are two of the best in the league. The teams are very evenly matched as far a skaters go too.
On Saturday here at home, the game was another barn burner. The Avalanche and Pontiacs tied at two all after 40 minutes,  goals by Vaughn ‘the Vulture’ Ockerman and ‘Bo Diddley’ Fontaine.
Starting the third period, the Avalanche took advantage of a power play ‘Top Gunner’ Crawford scoring assisted by the Vulture and Sam the ‘Spiderman’ Rogal. Gaining some momentum Brayden ‘Pinball’ Pinette would score another half way through the third period assisted by  Top Gunner. Late in the third period ‘Top Gunner’ putting the final nail in the coffin adding his second goal of the game, this one assisted by the hard nosed defense women Spencer ‘Goldie Locks’ Malchowski and the Vulture. The Avalanche  winning 5-2.
On Sunday, they traveled over to Onion Lake playing the top team, in the tier three league,  losing this one 3-2. We, by the way are second place in the league. Seth ‘Motorman’ Morton and Kaleb ‘Formula One’ Flamand scoring.

Midget Avalanche

The Midget Avalanche lost a close 6-5 game at home Saturday against Cold Lake. The Ice are at the bottom of the tier two league. This just goes to prove that any team can beat another on any given day and you should never come to the rink assuming you are going to get an easy two points.
At one point in this game the Avalanche were down 5-2 but rallied back, scoring two short handed goals late in the game to come within a goal of tying the game. Too little too late as the saying goes. Chase ‘Rink Rat’ Dorey with two goals including one short handed. ‘Danny Boy ‘ Cardinal, Jaden ‘Jet Stream’ Van Maarion and team captain Nick ‘Sparky’ Anderson with the other three. Sparky’s was the other one scored short handed very late in the game.
‘King Cole’ Bendixen with three  assists, ‘Lightning Liam ‘ Ludlage adding two assists . The unsung hero’s on defense, ‘Jace’ the Stafford Streak’ , Evan ‘Batman’ Ockerman and Charlie ‘Chuckle’ Rogal with one assist each. These are the  guys who actually win the game for you and never get enough credit for the incredible job they do week in and week out . Often it never shows up on the score sheet the number of times they block shots in the defensive end , or pinch holding the blueline in the offensive zone.
On Sunday the Midgets won big time over Bonnyville 14 to 2. Four goals each for Sparky and Jet Stream, King Cole with a couple, Hayden ‘Hot Wheels’ Ludlage, Rink Rat , Batman and Dallas ‘the Cowboy’ Bristow with one each. Slick set up man, Lightning Liam, with eight assists, Tyler Jaminson and ‘Chuckles’ with one each.  Danny Boy with an assist and a hat trick of penalties heading over to the penalty box to visit his mother Margaret three consecutive times. I wonder how that conversation went?

Out of Town Players

In out of town action, former Avalanche all star ‘Mick Jager’ Fontaine playing for the St. Paul Bantam team went undefeated in Calmar this past weekend winning the Cobra Cup. Mick Jager scored seven goals and assisted on ten in four games. Unsung hero, defenseman Landon the ‘Magnificent’ Malchowski is also part of the team scored his first goal of the year.
Bode ‘The Badger’ Bassett
And just guess where I was all weekend? Camrose product Bode ‘the Badger’ Bassett played in Bonnyville on the weekend in their novice tournament winning two out of four games going to the B final . Badger plays a lot like his father did. Mucking it up in the corners, but always  coming out with the puck. Making his grandfather smile ear to ear watching it happen.
And a big happy birthday going out today to Debbie Hahn the hockey Gramma to ‘Mount Everett’ Hahn.
And now for the K. A. Campbell quote of the week “The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.” – Vince Lombardi