Midgets come off lengthy break with a 4 – 3 win over CNN

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

The Midget 1 Thunder of Slave Lake came off a two-week break to host CNN on Saturday. It was a close game in most respects, with Slave Lake coming out on top by a single goal – 4 – 3.

Where it wasn’t close was in penalty minutes; CNN had a lot more of them and the Thunder scored twice on the powerplay.

CNN had the only goal of the opening period. In the second, Slave Lake struck back with a pair, from Kyle Campbell and Jacob Plouffe – powerplay markers to take a 2 – 1 lead. But CNN answered with two of their own – the second coming in the last minute of play.

Matthew LaFrance tied the game for Slave Lake six minutes into the third, and Owen Pearson got the winner, from Hartman and Wedmid, with 2:31 left.

Getting the win in net for the Thunder was Brady Courtorielle, who stopped 24 of 27 shots. His teammates fired 31 at CNN goalie Cole Carey.

After eight regular season games, the Thunder are solidly in second place in the Tier I standings at six wins and two losses. That’s four points shy of undefeated Barrhead, and three points up on Drayton Valley.

This Saturday and Sunday the Thunder are in Fort McMurray for a pair against the basement-dwelling Fort Mac team.

Slave Lake’s Midget 2 Thunder played in Athabasca Friday night, losing 9 – 4. Slave Lake goal-scorers were Logan Bigstone, Malakie Muskwa (2) and Matthew Cardinal. Jack Albrecht faced 59 shots in the Slave Lake net.

This weekend the Thunder 2 play in Legal and Camrose.

The Bantam 1 Thunder were scheduled to play in Riviere Qui Barre Friday night, but as of Sunday afternoon no result had been posted. Saturday in Winfield the Thunder played the Warburg team and won 7 – 1. Tanner Churchill continued his scoring rampage, getting five of the Slave Lake goals; Carter Warman and Cole de Champlain got the others. Damian Vyse got the win in net, stopping 23 shots.

This weekend the team travels to New Sarepta and Leduc.

On Dec. 8, the Bantam 2 Thunder tied Leduc 1 – 1 in Leduc. Cooper Pukanich got the Slave Lake goal, from Levi Ridley and Quinn Pudlo. Thomas Horsley was solid in the Slave Lake net, stopping 38 shots.

Moving along to the Pee Wee level of hockey, we find the #1 Thunder racking up a couple more wins – one in Fort Saskatchewan and the other in Killam. In the first game, Damian Hill got the hat trick, Kaleb Van Hoek got a pair and Hayden McClure and Kolby Courtorielle also scored in the 7 – 3 victory.

In Sunday’s game against Battle River, the Thunder got outshot, but won 5 – 4. Trailing 4 – 3 after two periods, the Thunder owned the third, with Van Hoek and Courtorielle getting the only goals. Van Hoek, Liam Dierker and McClure had scored earlier. Salah Baalbaki had 31 stops in the win.

The Thunder close out their 2018 schedule this weekend with home games against Camrose and Stony Plain.

At the Atom level, the only result available by press time was the Atom 2 Thunder’s 5 – 4 victory in Westlock on Sunday.

The Thunder got off to a good start with a goal 53 seconds in by Domenic DiFrancesco, from Kesten Skahl and Evander Pawliw. Jessica Ritchie scored later in the period to make it a 2 – 1 game for Slave Lake. Pawliw got his second of the game in the second period.

In the third, Arnold Broadfoot scored twice, including the winner with 2:03 left. In net, Nathan Boucher saw 19 shots in the win.

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