Midget 1 Thunder
Regular season play for Slave Lake’s minor hockey teams wrapped up on the Family Day weekend. League playoffs are now underway. Slave Lake’s Midget 1 Thunder beat Drayton Valley 4 – 3 in Game 1 on Feb. 22 in Drayton. Game 2 is this Friday, Mar. 1 at 6:00 p.m. in Slave Lake.
The Thunder finished off the regular season with three straight wins. In a rare weekday game (Feb. 12) they won 6 – 4 in Wetaskiwin. On Sunday, Feb. 17 they beat Fort Saskatchewan 7 – 0. And on Family Day, Feb. 18, they beat Devon 4 – 2.
“The boys did us proud,” says head coach Richard Chemago. He adds it was “a coin toss” as to which way the game was going to go. Defenceman William Chemago stood out, with a couple of goals, but the penalty killing of Matthew LaFrance and Kyle Campbell also deserves mention, the coach says.
In between all that league play, the Thunder had time to finish off a two-game, total-goal provincial playdown series vs. High Prairie. They lost the game 7 – 6, but won the series 8 -7. They’ll now play Grande Prairie for a spot in the provincial championship tournament in Strathmore at the end of next month. The first game of that two-game series was a 9 – 3 loss on Saturday in GP. Game 2 will be this Saturday, March 2 at 8:00 p.m.
The Midget 2 Thunder finished off its regular season with a pair of 3 – 3 ties. George Derksen, Lou Davis-Giroux and Danen Timmann scored for Slave Lake in the Feb. 16 tie against Hinton. Jack Albrecht made 29 stops in net. Then on Feb. 17, the Thunder tied Whitecourt 3 – 3. Slave Lake got all three of its goals in the second period, from Lynele Chalifoux, Joshua Beaver and Malakie Muskwa.
As for the playoff picture, the Thunder played Barrhead last Tuesday, winning 5 – 2. Slave Lake got off to a great start, scoring the game’s first four goals. Game 2 was in Barrhead on Friday. Barrhead won 2 – 1, but Slave Lake wins on goal differential.
The Bantam 1 Thunder had a busy Saturday on Feb. 16. In the morning they played La Crete in a provincial playdown game, losing 7 – 4. In the afternoon they finished off their regular season with a 7 – 6 win.
“The boys were tired and had a bad start to the game, but came back and won,” says head coach Jerod Hartman. “We clinched second place with that win.”
Cole de Champlain scored a hat trick; Noah Plouffe got a couple and Ethan Baril and Nathan Hartman also scored.
The next day the team travelled to La Crete for the second game of that series, losing 9 – 5.
That puts an end to their provincial aspirations, but league playoffs are underway. They began on Feb. 23 against Wabasca, winning 13 – 2.
The Bantam 2 Thunder ended their regular season with losses to Hinton and Whitecourt. The league playoff picture was not clear by press time. On the provincial side, the effort ended after one game in a lopsided loss to Spirit River.
Pee Wee 1
The Pee Wee 1 Thunder finished off the regular season with a 5 – 2 win over Leduc on Feb. 17. The winning goal came midway through the first period, courtesy of Kaleb Van Hoek. Slave Lake outshot Leduc 44 – 28, with over half those shots coming in the third period. Slave Lake won their Tier I division with a record of 19 – 3 – 0, 18 points clear of Drayton Valley. They got a bye in the first round of league playoffs and will face Stony Plain, starting this Saturday in Stony Plain. Game 2 is at home on Sunday at 2:45 p.m.
In provincial play, the Pee Wees division is a pilot project this year, with league champions advancing to the finals in Slave Lake on the last weekend of March.
Pee Wee 2
The Thunder lost to Onoway and Wabasca on the last two days of the season. The playoff picture was unclear by press time.
Atom 1 Thunder
The Atoms finished off the season with a 6 – 4 win over Mayerthorpe on Feb. 16. Tied at three after two periods, the Thunder pulled away with three straight in the third, by Hudsyn Pearson, Colby Campbell and Cayden Tanghe. Grady Beauchamp stopped 29 shots in the win.
The Thunder’s playoff run started this past Saturday against Stony Plain. They put up a good fight, but lost 11 – 10 on total goals over two games.
In Provincial playdowns, Slave Lake advanced to Round 2 with an 11 – 1 win over Loon River. They lost to High Prairie in Round 2.
Atom 2 Thunder
This team ended its regular season losing 8 – 5 in Fox Creek, despite out-shooting the hosts. Slave Lake played Westlock in the first round, starting on Feb. 23. They won both games on the weekend – 8 – 3 and 4 – 3 and advance to the next round. In provincial playdowns the Thunder also advanced to Round 2 after a 12 – 2 victory over Loon River. Then they lost out to LaCrete in the next round.
The Female Thunder got off on the right foot in their first-round playoff series against Chetwynd. They won 5 – 1 and took their four-goal advantage to the B.C. town this past Saturday to see if they could finish it off. They were successful, and advance to play Dawson Creek, here, Sunday at 12:30 p.m.
Goal-scorers in the first game were Emma Henstridge, Madison Cardinal, Kennedy Hartman and Hayden Dierker (2).