Midgets beat Drayton Valley, lose to Grande Prairie

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

Slave Lake’s Midget 1 Thunder put on a good show Friday night, beating Drayton Valley 8 – 5 to move on to the league final against Barrhead. In provincial playdowns against Grande Prairie Saturday night they lost 4 – 3. Add that to a 9 – 3 loss in the first game of the two-game, total-goal series, and it’s the end of that road.

The road to a league championship goes through Barrhead, the strongest team by far in Tier I this year. The only blemish on an otherwise perfect record was a tie against Slave Lake on Jan. 12. The series likely starts this weekend, but had not been posted by press time.

The Thunder had beaten Drayton Valley 4 – 3 in Drayton in the first game of their best-of-three semi-final. Back home on March 1, a big second period for the home team made the difference. Leading 2 – 1 after the first period, the Thunder scored five times in six minutes in the second to make it 7 – 2. Jacob Plouffe and Nicholas Carpenter each got hat tricks. Brady Courtorielle saw 35 shots in the Slave Lake net.

“Super proud of the boys on Friday night,” says head coach Richard Chemago. “They kept their heads and really battled.”

Battling in this case meant smaller guys going into the corners and fighting for the puck against their larger opponents. On Saturday, with two players hurt, it was even tougher. Chemago says the difference in the series with GP was one bad period – something you can’t afford to give up in a two-game, total-goal series.

“I know we can play with these guys,” he says. “I know we can beat them.”

Bantam
The Bantam 1 Thunder didn’t do as well against Tofield in the first game of the second round of league playoffs. They lost 6 – 3 on Saturday at home. Game 2 was in Tofield on Sunday.

Pee Wee
The Pee Wee 1 team walloped Stony Plain in Game 1 of their league playoff series on Saturday. Sunday in Slave Lake the score was 9 – 1. They outshot Stony Plain 59 – 16. Who they play next was not on the schedule by press time.

Doing a large part of the damage in Sunday’s game was Kaleb Van Hoek, who scored three times. Liam Dierker and Hayden McClure got a pair apiece. Damian Hill and Kolby Courtorielle also scored.

The Pee Wee 2 Thunder lost 3 – 2 to Mayerthorpe on Saturday and on Sunday tied 4 – 4 – losing the series by one goal.

Atom
The Atom 1 Thunder lost 5 – 4 to Thorsby on Saturday. Game 2 is in Thorsby this coming Saturday.

Cayden Tanghe scored twice in the loss for Slave Lake. Colby Campbell and Adrian Mercer got the others. Jerzie Green faced 29 shots in the Slave Lake net.

Female Thunder
The female Midget/Bantam Thunder started their league final series against Dawson Creek on Sunday.

Thunder goalie Kimberly Courtorielle had confidently predicted a win and she was right; the Thunder prevailed 5 – 0, with Courtorielle getting the shut-out. Scoring details were not available by press time.

Game 2 is this Saturday in Dawson Creek. The Thunder will try to maintain or increase that five-goal advantage.

Dawson won the regular season series 2 – 1.

The Bantam 2 Thunder battling it out against Hinton in a league playoff game on Saturday. Hinton won 3 – 2. On Sunday, the Thunder hosted Calmar, losing by a 5 – 2 score.
Jacob Plouffe of the Slave Lake Midget 1 Thunder fires a shot at the Drayton Valley net in Friday’s league playoff game. Plouffe scored three goals, but this wasn’t one of them.

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