It’s still not clear (or wasn’t at press time), where Slave Lake’s Midget boys’ hockey team will end up playing this season. But indications are pretty good that it won’t be toiling in a bottom tier of the Northern Alberta Interlock League. In four pre-season (also known as ‘tiering’) games up to Oct. 14, the Thunder were undefeated, having walloped Athabasca and Wabasca, and nipped Redwater and Whitecourt.
Not that there isn’t room for improvement. For example, the game in Whitecourt on Oct. 14 saw the Thunder dominate on the shot clock (42 – 19), but manage just a 5 – 4 win.
“It is early,” says head coach Richard Chemago. “Everyone is getting used to new teammates; some players are still learning what is expected of them, some players are getting use to new coaches and we still need some conditioning. We have lots of room to get better.”
Having said that, Chemago likes what he sees in his squad, which has several first-year Midgets on it from last year’s successful Bantam team. He sees a ‘never give up’ attitude on the bench that is encouraging, he says.
“My hope is that we get tiered into a division that gives us stiff competition as much as possible.”
That should happen this week, with regular season games commencing on the weekend.
The Bantam A team, meanwhile, won two, tied one and lost one of its pre-season games.