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Hockey is back

Wednesday, 19 October 2022. Posted in Shootin' the Breeze

Hockey is back
The Crowsnest Pass Thunder U13s welcomed the Cardston Thunder to the Crowsnest Pass Sports Complex for their first game of the season on Oct. 16.     Photo by Lauren Kirkman


Hockey is back

By Jenaya Launstein
Community Reporter



In Canada, we have five seasons — summer, fall, winter, spring and hockey. The latter of the aforementioned seasons is arguably the best.

What is unique about hockey season is that it is actually Canada’s longest season (with winter a close second), usually running from late September to the end of June in the case of the NHL and from October to April in small towns such as Pincher Creek and Crowsnest Pass.

Now, taking a look at your calendar, you will notice we are somehow already more than halfway through October, which can only mean one thing: hockey is back.

Since the beginning of this month, the Crowsnest Pass Thunder, Pincher Creek Huskies and Pincher Creek Chinooks have been hard at work participating in team practices. This past weekend, however, saw these teams play their first games of the preseason.

Crowsnest Pass U13 Thunder

The U13 team welcomed the Cardston Thunder to the Crowsnest Pass Sports Complex for a late afternoon game on Oct. 16.

Unfortunately, the home team Thunder were defeated by the visiting Thunder by a score of 5-1.

Cardston took the lead early in the game, scoring two goals in the first period. Crowsnest Pass brought the game to within one after Gavin Samuel scored off a pass from Sam Graham, but Cardston answered back and took a 3-1 lead heading into the second intermission.

Try as they might, the Thunder couldn't manage to get any more pucks past the Cardston goalie in the third period and had to admit defeat after the visiting team found the back of the net twice in the final frame.

Cardston outshot Crowsnest Pass 45-37.

Crowsnest Pass goalie Owen Kirkman faced 45 shots and finished the game with a .889 save percentage.

The Thunder play again this Saturday and Sunday when they host the Pincher Creek Chinooks and Vulcan Hawks. Puck drop is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday against the Chinooks and 2 p.m. Sunday against the Hawks.

Pincher Creek U18 Huskies

The Huskies played two home games over the weekend, coming out on top in both.

Game 1 was against the Lethbridge White team, with the Huskies claiming an impressive 12-1 victory.

Pincher Creek was in control of the game from the start, scoring less than two minutes in and going on to find the back of the net three more times in the first period.

The goals were scored by Maddix Dyck, Landon Sokoloski, Travis Bastien and Jaydon Draper. Registering assists were Lane Conley, Jaydon Draper, Emery Willms, Maddix Dyck and Walker Anderson.

The Huskies didn't let their foot off the gas in the second period, scoring another three goals, these ones coming from Damian Beswick and Landon Sokoloski. Helpers went to Adam Farraj, Travis Bastien and Drew Stuckey.

It wasn't until Damian Beswick scored two more goals and Emery Willms one in the third period that Lethbridge found the back of the net to bring the score to 10-1. Emery assisted on one of Damian's goals and Grayden Willms picked up the helper on Emery's goal.

Lane Conley and Jaydon Draper capped off the scoring for the Huskies, with assists going to Walker Anderson and Jaydon Draper.

Despite the lopsided score, Lethbridge outshot Pincher Creek by a wide margin of 49-18.

Goaltending duties were split between Darcy Wemp and Axel Safranka. Darcy made 27 saves on 28 shots and posted a .964 save percentage, while Axel stopped all 21 shots faced.

On Sunday, the Huskies welcomed the Fort Macleod Mavericks to the MCC Arena and claimed an 8-3 victory.

Though the Mavericks struck first early in the opening period, the Huskies quickly answered with three goals of their own. Scoring were Jaydon Draper, assisted by Brayden Anctil; Maddix Dyck, assisted by Travis Bastien and Avery Stewart-Krooshoop; and Brayden Anctil, assisted by Maddix Dyck.

The second period was all Huskies, as they added another three goals to take a 6-1 lead heading into the locker room. Nathan Mitchell, Walker Anderson and Jaydon Draper were Pincher Creek's goal scorers, with assists going to Adam Farraj, Travis Bastien, Jaydon Draper, Nathan Mitchell and Quinn Douglas.

In the final frame, both the Huskies and the Mavericks scored two goals each, bringing the final score to 8-3. Travis Bastien and Landon Sokoloski were the ones who found the back of the net, with helpers going to Eric Radvak, Maddix Dyck and Brayden Anctil.

Between the pipes were again Darcy Wemp and Axel Safranka. Darcy made seven saves on nine shots for a .778 save percentage and Axel made six saves on seven shots to post a .857 save percentage.

The Huskies are back in action with two road games this weekend, playing the Vulcan Hawks at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and the Taber Oil Kings at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Pincher Creek U15 Huskies

Also playing two home games over the weekend were the U15 team, who came out on top in both.

On Saturday, the Huskies welcomed the Coaldale Cobras to town and bested them by a score of 13-3.

It was an action-packed first period, with Pincher Creek finding the back of the net five times and Coaldale three times.

Potting goals for the Huskies were Branden Anctil, Tristan Grant, Hunter Little Bear and Carter McGlynn. Assists went to Hunter Little Bear, Tanner Fox, Hunter McMullen, Aiden Wells and Branden Anctil.

In the second period, Pincher Creek shut down all hope of the Cobras completing a comeback, as they got the puck past the goalie five times for a 10-3 lead going into the locker room.

Hunter Little Bear scored a hat trick in the middle frame, bringing his goal total to four for the game. Also scoring were John Jr MacGregor and Keegan Yellowhorn. Assists on the goals went to Ciera Wemp, Caine Jorgensen, Pearson Sokoloski, John Jr MacGregor and Branden Anctil.

Another hat trick for the Huskies was logged in the final frame by, you guessed it, Hunter Little Bear, who finished the game with an impressive seven goals. Picking up assists on Hunter's goals were Caine Jorgensen, Branden Anctil, Ciera Wemp and Carter McGlynn.

Pincher Creek outshot Coaldale 45-19.

Koda Weasel Moccasin was in net for the Huskies, stopping 16 of 19 shots for a save percentage of .842.


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The Huskies try to set up a play in the offensive zone during their Oct. 15 matchup against the Cobras.     Photo courtesy of Pincher Creek Hockey Association


The following day, Pincher Creek beat the visiting Indus Hurricanes by a score of 9-5.

It was a nail-biter of a first period, as both teams found the back of the net twice. Branden Anctil scored the first goal of the game, assisted by Hunter Little Bear, and Hunter scored the last goal of the period, assisted by Branden.

With the game tied 2-2, the stage was set for an exciting second period. It was the Hurricanes who took the lead just three minutes in, but Hunter Little Bear and Branden Anctil answered back in the last half of the frame to take a 4-3 lead.

With just over a minute left in the second period, Indus tied the game, but just 28 seconds later, Hunter Little Bear snuck one by the Hurricanes goalie to ensure Pincher Creek would head to the dressing room with the lead.

Assists in the second period went to John Jr MacGregor, Tristan Grant and Keegan Yellowhorn.

Midway through the final frame, the Hurricanes tied the game 5-5. The Huskies didn't like this and went on to score four unanswered goals in the final five minutes to claim a well-earned victory.

Hunter Little Bear, Branden Anctil and Keegan Yellowhorn were the goal scorers, with helpers going to Maddox Prout, John Jr MacGregor and Tanner Fox.

Hunter Little Bear finished the night with five goals and Branden Anctil scored his first hat trick of the season.
Pincher Creek outshot Indus 44-20.

Backstopping the Huskies to victory was again Koda Weasel Moccasin, who made 15 saves and posted a .750 save percentage.

Pincher Creek will hit the ice again this weekend against the Lethbridge Red team on Saturday at the Logan Boulet Ice Center at 12:30 p.m., and then they will host the Chestermere Lakers on Sunday at 10:30 a.m.

Pincher Creek U13 Chinooks

The Chinooks welcomed the Coaldale Cobras to the MCC Arena this past Saturday and defeated their guests 6-1.
The majority of the scoring was in the first period, with Pincher Creek potting four goals and Coaldale one.

Daelen Breeze scored a hat trick in the opening frame, with Joel Moller rounding out the scoring. Picking up assists were Xxavier Prairie Chicken, Damon Tedi Weasel Moccasin, Ava Hunsperger, Graison Shade, Hudson Plain Eagle and Kian Harrigan.

Midway through the second period, Hudson Plain Eagle added another goal for the Chinooks, assisted by Ava Hunsperger, to bring the score to 5-1.

With just under five minutes left in the game, Maxwell Olson scored his first goal of the season, with the helpers going to Joel Moller and Xxavier Prairie Chicken.

Pincher Creek outshot Coaldale 44-19.

Sharing goaltending duties for the Chinooks were Brody Allen, who stopped all 10 shots faced, and Kayson Ouellette, who made eight saves for a .889 save percentage.

The Chinooks have two games scheduled for this weekend. The first will be an away game against the Crowsnest Pass Thunder on Saturday at 10 a.m., and the second is a home game against the Cardston Thunder on Sunday at 8 a.m.

Pincher Creek U11 Chinooks

This year, Pincher Creek has two U11 teams. One is currently in Tier 5 and the other in Tier 3.

The Tier 5 team played two games over the weekend and unfortunately lost both.

Game 1 was against the Coaldale Cobras, where the Chinooks accepted a 5-2 defeat.

Both Chinooks goals came from Braver Anderson in the second period, with Carter Conley assisting.

The Cobras outshot the Chinooks 41-14.

Between the pipes for Pincher Creek was Axel Anderson, who made 36 saves for a .878 save percentage.

The second game was against Taber, who defeated Pincher Creek 19-0 and outshot them 44-1.

Chinooks goalie Rycken Armsworthy made 25 saves against the tough team and posted a .568 save percentage.

The next U11 Tier 5 games have not yet been announced.


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Pincher Creek Tier 3 U11 Chinooks players shake hands with Coaldale Cobras players after an exciting match at the MCC Arena.     Photo courtesy of Pincher Creek Hockey Association


The Tier 3 Chinooks also played two games over the weekend, losing one and tying the other.

The first game was a tough 22-2 loss against Lethbridge. Pincher Creek both opened and closed the scoring, with the two lone goals coming from Nash Lunn and Colter Whitford. Both goals were unassisted.

Lethbridge outshot Pincher Creek 47-15.

Chinooks goalie Daxon McKenzie made 25 saves for a .532 save percentage.

The second game was against the Coaldale Cobras and ended tied 7-7.

Each team scored once in the first period, with the Chinooks goal going to Colter Whitford.

In the middle frame, the Cobras added four more goals and the Chinooks only one, coming from Sam Stensrud.

The score was now 5-2 for Coaldale heading into the intermission.

The third period was jam-packed with action, as the Chinooks fought back and were able to find the back of the net five times, while the Cobras added two goals.

Pincher Creek's third-period goal scorers were Colter Whitford, Sam Stensrud, Ryleigh White Cow and Mikhail Kuftinoff. Picking up assists were Graham Aubin and Sam Stensrud.

The Cobras outshot the Chinooks 31-23.

Pincher Creek goaltender Daxon McKenzie stopped 24 of 31 shots and posted a .774 save percentage.

The next U11 Tier 3 games have not yet been announced.