Slave Lake’s Midget 1 Thunder faced Barrhead on Friday – the only team they’d lost to in the pre-season. This time Barrhead’s win was emphatic, shutting out the Thunder 5 – 0.
Chase Nehring faced 35 shots in the Slave Lake net, stopping 85 per cent of them. His teammates managed 20 shots on goal.
Based on their pre-season performance, the Thunder were placed in the top tier of the Northern Alberta Interlock League, along with Barrhead, Drayton Valley and Fort McMurray. It’ll be tough going, but head coach Richard Chemago has said he prefers stiff competition, because it forces his players to raise their game. They’ll have a chance to do that this coming Saturday, when Fort McMurray is in town for a 5:00 p.m. start. Sunday Drayton Valley visits for a 5:15 p.m. puck-drop.
“Bad second period,” Chemago tells The Leader, on the loss to Barrhead. “We didn’t play with as much fire as we usually do.”
The Bantam 1 Thunder, meanwhile, tied Athabasca 5 – 5 in a Saturday evening game at the Multi Rec Centre in Slave Lake. The Thunder were on their heels early, but came back with three third-period goals to earn the single point.
Athabasca led 3 – 1 after one period and 5 – 2 after two. Slave Lake’s goal-scorers were Tanner Churchill with two, Cole de Champlain, Ethan Baril and Christian Giroux.
Jackson Morissette and Damien Vyse shared goaltending duties for the Thunder, who out-shot Athabasca 48 – 14.
Wabasca is in town Saturday for a game, starting at 7:15 p.m.
The Midget 2 Thunder played Edson on Saturday, losing 8 – 1. Slave Lake actually out-shot Edson, but Danen Timmann was the only one to beat the hot Edson goalie.
The Atom 1 Thunder played in Stony Plain on Saturday, edging out the home team by a 3 – 2 score.
After a scoreless first, Slave Lake went ahead in the second on goals by Adrian Mercer (from Jonas Lillo and Owen Griffith) and Jayce Beaulac (from Hudsyn Pearson).
Stony Plain struck back with a pair in the third to tie it; then, with 1:25 left on the clock, Grayson Conrad scored the winner, from Cayden Tanghe.
Shots on goal were 20 – 14 for Slave Lake. Harlee Houle got the win in net for the Thunder.
The Atoms play in Wabasca on Sunday.
Slave Lake’s Bantam 2 team played Swan Hills on Saturday, losing 6 – 1. Getting the only goal for the Thunder was Joshua Dumaresque, assisted by Colbie Payne.
In other local minor hockey news, the Pee Wee 2 Thunder finished its pre-season with a 2 – 2 record. They beat Devon 3 – 1 and CNN 5 – 1, and lost 1 – 0 to Athabasca and 3 – 1 to Westlock.
The Atom 2 Thunder walloped Mayerthorpe on Saturday (in Mayerthorpe) by a 9 – 1 score. The ice must have been tilted, because the Thunder poured 44 shots on goal, while their opponent only forced Nathan Boucher to make seven saves. He made six.
Slave Lake’s goal-scorers were Arnold Broadfoot (2), Evander Pawliw (2), Rhett Broadhead, Dawson Taylor, Chase Blanchette, Dane Awenose and Jayden Dunlop.
Pee Wee 2 Thunder – B side champions.
Pee Wee 1 Thunder – winners on the A side of the tournament.
Slave Lake Pee Wee 2 Thunder in action against the New Sarepta Eagles.