Tales from the Timebox: October 27th, 2020
I find myself reminiscing of my childhood, thinking of the winters we spent on the pond and wondering, what would the kids and parents do if we couldn’t do minor hockey this winter? Maybe play outside on the pond like when we were kids.
Was it because we loved sports so much, the crisp fresh air in our lungs, the smell of the ice, or was it because we didn’t have devices? I’m not sure, but I bet the kids would be out there if not for minor hockey.
This past weekend the A. G. Ross Arena in Elk Point home of the Avalanche opened the doors to U18 and U15 games.
Social distancing is in place in the stands, but certainly not on the ice in the game. Good old rock ’em sock ’em hockey at its best.
The Kitscoty Pitbulls and Avalanche have a lot of history. Just ask head U18 Coach Marty Bendixen if he remembers the battles between the Elk Point Thunder and the KItscoty Pitbulls when he played minor hockey here in the 90’s. How could he forget?
In 1995, the Bantam (U15) Lightning took out the Pitbulls in Zone 2 round robin and then went on to win the provincial title. A year later, the Elk Point and Kitscoty teams avoided each other.
Pitbulls moved up to Midget (U18) A provincials and won the zone and went on to the provincial finals. The Thunder winners of zone 2 went to play in the Midget C provincials in Vauxhall losing in the semi-finals. Then again in 1997 when Elk Point hosted the Midget finals, Kitscoty coming in second in the zone defeated the Thunder in the semi-final game and went on to win the silver medal.
So, it was quite fitting that Saturday’s game would end in a tie. Talented third-year veteran, ‘Lightning Liam’ Ludlage opened the scoring halfway through the first frame. He scored shorthanded on a nice long bomb pass from Mathew Quinney.
But the Pitbulls answered right back with one of their own only ten seconds later, on the power play. The game was tied at one-all after the first period.
The second period was all Avalanche, outshooting the Pitbulls 19-6 and scoring four unanswered goals. Hailing from the Vermilion area, a new player to our system, but obviously a good one, Kalen Kaziechko score his first tally of two for the day assisted by ‘King Cole’ Bendixen and Lightning Liam.
Rookie ‘Mick Jager’ Fontaine showing he still has his moves, with his speed and slick stickhandling skills getting the next one, assisted by rugged defenseman Charlie ‘ Chuckles’ Rogal.
Then Lightning Liam lighting the lamp once again with his second of the game assisted by King Cole. Then saddling up his horse Dallas ‘Cowboy’ Bristow rifled a bullet into the target. Cowboy’s goal assisted by puck-moving dman Cea Jay ‘Quick Draw’ Quinney.
After forty minutes it looked like the Avalanche had this one in the bag and would be sending the Pitbulls back home with their tales between their legs. But, seems like the Avalanche forgot one important thing. A hockey game is a full sixty minutes.
They decided to take the third period off and coast the rest of the way. But the Pitbulls still had some bite left in their game. They came on hard in the third period outshooting the Avalanche 17-6 .
Veteran goalie ‘Sexy Slater’ Hardcastle was getting bombarded with shots. The Pitbulls gained the momentum scoring five goals in the third period. The Avalanche’s Kalen Kaziechko with his second of the game assisted by the Cowboy in the third period. The game now tied at 6-all with seven minutes remaining, would remain a tie.
On Sunday, in the return trip to Kitscoty to play the second of the two-game series the final result was the same. A tied game at 4-all. Short a few players, the Avalanche were running only three dmen.
Rookie goalie, the tall skinny Vanden ‘Super Mario’ Moroziuk was between the pipes in this one and stood his ground. Cowboy scoring the first assisted by Mick Jager and Lightning Liam. Rookie speedster Wyatt ‘Wild Thing’ Pavoll and Kalen Kaziechko both scored one unassisted.
The Avalanche were trailing by one when Lightning Liam tied the game halfway through the third period, his assisted by Mathew Quinney.
The game would remain tied. A tied game is like kissing your sister. Somehow I don’t see that happening with these two teams.
After the U18 game on Saturday, the U15 team hit the ice for the first time this year playing against the Kitscoty Knights. Our U15 team has 10 first-year players in the lineup, playing in their first game of body contact.
Most of them seemed a little timid at first, but as the game wore on they started to butt heads a little bit in the second period and then a whole lot more in the third before the game was over.
The Avalanche, even though they had 46 shots on goal, didn’t seem to be able to bury their chances and found themselves down four-zip after the second period. Not prepared to throw in the towel, the Avalanche managed to score two goals in the third to make it a very respectable game.
The Avalanche goalie, Alex Patterson, actually came to us from Kitscoty when they had too many goalies for their two teams, and we didn’t have one. Patterson was peppered pretty good with 45 shots and left out to dry a few times by the Avalanche’s defense, but he stood his ground and looked really good in his debut.
‘Kid Kade’ Fontaine with the first Avalanche goal assisted by the hard-nosed defense woman Spencer ‘Goldie Locks’ Malachowski.
Goldie Locks was not intimated by the boys. In fact, Goldie Locks turned into Goldie Rocks a few times in the corner with the boys. And one time I saw her giving one of them some wicked lumber when the stripes was looking the other way.
‘Bo Diddley’ Fontaine after spending four minutes in the sin bin, hit the ice scoring the second Avalanche goal with only a few seconds left on the clock before the final buzzer. Assisted by ‘Kid Kade’ and the big power forward Timmy ‘the Train’ Cardinal.
Some bad news after the game the team finding out that rookie ‘Top Gunner’ Crawford broke his arm during the game. The promising sniper will be out for at least six weeks.
On Sunday, the U15 travelled to play in Kitscoty for their second game in the two-game series. This one ending in an 8-all tie.
Two second-year vets ‘King Kong’ Konnor Poitras and Kid Kade both answering the bell with a hat trick each. First-year heavy-hitting power forwards Kaleb ‘Formula One’ Flamand and Seth ‘Motorman’ Morton with one goal each. Solid dman Sammy ‘Spiderman’ Rogal with a couple of helpers and King Kong also gets a helper.
And a big happy 15th birthday going out today to our grandson in Bonnyville Phoenix Colbourne.
K.A. quote of the week. “Win together today and we`ll walk together forever.” – Fred Shero