Midgets break through vs. Jasper, take over first place

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

Slave Lake’s Midget Thunder boys’ hockey team lost their first game of the season against a strong Jasper team. Since then, the Thunder have lost only once more, but have always trailed Jasper in the standings. Not anymore.
After beating Hinton 4 – 2 on Saturday, the Thunder went into the mountains and doubled up Jasper, 6 – 3. In so doing, they took over first place in their league.
The games were tough going. Head coach Richard Chemago says in Hinton, leading Thunder scorer Domenic Wapahoo got hit in the head and had to leave the game. In Jasper, two of the home team players got knocked out.
Saturday’s game started badly, with Hinton going up 2 – 0.
“However, (we) woke up in the second, concentrating getting shots and pressure to their net and scored three,” says Chemago.
The team “hung on” the rest of the way and got an empty-netter. Goal-scorers for Slave Lake were Nick Carpenter, Logan Bigstone, William Chemago and Matthew Cardinal. Chase Nehring faced 24 shots in the Slave Lake net.
In Jasper the score was back and forth through two, with the Thunder pulling away in the third. It was a test, as Jasper plays a rough style of game, Chemago says.
“Jasper did get a lead, but we concentrated on getting pucks to the net, and good things happened.”
Besides solid goaltending, one thing the team did particularly well, says the coach, is killing penalties. Nehring stopped 43 shots in the victory. Scoring for Slave Lake were Logan Bigstone with two, Ethan Syslak with two, Chemago and Owen Pearson.
Next up for the Thunder is a game against Westlock this Friday night in Slave Lake. A two-game provincial series against Sexsmith starts this weekend.
In other local hockey news, the Slave Lake Pee Wee 1 team had a good weekend, knocking off teams from Devon and Strathcona by scores of 6 – 4 and 7 – 3.
In Devon on Saturday, Slave Lake scored the final four goals of the game for the win. Tanner Churchill got the hat trick, with Reed Churchill, Hayden McClure and Kaleb Vanhoek scoring singles. Damien Vyse saw 48 shots in the Slave Lake net.
The game against Strathcona started slowly, with no scoring in the first period. Slave Lake led 2 – 1 after two and the flood gates opened in the third with seven goals being scored. Kolby Courtorielle and Tanner Churchill each scored twice for Slave Lake. McClure, Reed Churchill and Cohen Foster got the others.
There is a Pee Wee provincial game happening this Wednesday evening in Slave Lake.

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