“It was very encouraging. As coaches, we took an alternate approach to the importance of our D-zone coverage during the week in our team culture. We worked on that extensively during the week and had to leave other things until later in the week and trust guys that they will continue to battle and execute plays,” said Josh Beckett, head coach of the Taber peewee “AA” Golden Suns. “The kids are from all different areas and to get them on the same page at this level is really important to execute as a team. The kids really soaked it in and responded to the challenge.”
The team earned a tie and win starting off with a 5-5 draw against the Wheatland Braves on Saturday at the Taber arena. Dylan Nevil, Kole Fujita, Spencer Dorge, Josh Conley and Ryden Rempel all tallied for the bantam Suns. Dorge, Mason Sande, Blake Kondor, Spencer Mehlen, Kolby James, Tristan Miller and Seth McCulloch all drew assists. Brayden Peters faced 50 shots on net for the Suns to help preserve the win in a shoot-out for both goalies in having to stay sharp with the volume of shots both faced.
“We traded a lot of scoring chances and we hit a few posts. And around our net, they had a lot of chances that we steered clear or got there in time,” said Beckett.
“But we definitely had more strength around our net. We executed our game plan where we were more effective in our D-zone. We had a few instances where kids weren’t in position, but it was a good chance to learn and you saw them adapt later on. It was a good level of competition who had some key players who could pressure us.”
The team proceeded to upend Medicine Hat Venom White on Sunday at home 3-1.
McCulloch, Kondor and DJ Tonin scored for the Suns. Drawing assists were Kalem Haney, Kondor, Sande, Mehlen, Conley and Derrien Tonin. Carl Tetachuk faced 26 shots on net for the win.
“It was a one-goal game for most of the game where their goaltender was very, very strong. It was two teams that were definitely closely matched with the way we were prepared.”
Both goaltenders played very, very well and we protected our goalie as well,” said Beckett. “It was a good 5-on-5 effort which was required.”
Taber peewee “AA” Golden Suns host Lacombe Rockets on Saturday at 3 p.m. at the Taber arena before also hosting Medicine Hat Venom White on Sunday at 1 p.m.
“The improvement is never as immediate as you obviously ever hope, but that is whatever season and whatever level. It’s a process, there is a beginning and an end and we are still in the early stages,” said Beckett. “But, we are encouraged with how the kids are responding and the effort they are putting in both off and on the ice throughout the week.”
BANTAM: Taber bantam “AA” Golden Suns split its pair of games over the SCAHL weekend.
The first was a 4-3 victory over Southwest Rockies at the Taber arena on Saturday.
Logan Wiebe tallied twice to go with an assist in the win as Ace Wenbourne and Chase Gedny notched singles. Gedny also drew an assist along with Hunter Johnson and Brock Palmer. Blaise Unruh faced 33 shots on net in the win.
The team then fell 5-2 to Bow Valley Timberwolves at home on Sunday.
Palmer scored twice with Wiebe drawing two helpers and Kolten Heins one. Scott Tersteeg faced 33 shots.
Taber bantam “AA” Golden Suns host Medicine Hat Venom on Friday at 8:30 p.m. at the Taber arena.
MIDGET: It was close yet so far for the Taber midget “AA” Golden Suns over the weekend in SCAHL play.
The team suffered two losses, but was extremely competitive in both, with the game slipping away in the dying minutes of both games.
“Both games were ones we could have had easily. The bounces didn’t go our way, we hit some posts. we absolutely matched their intensity. The kids came out and worked as hard as they could and a couple of bounces either way and it would have been a different story,” said Jeremey Kenyon, co-coach of the Taber midget “AA” Golden Suns. “We’re just encouraging them to keep up their work ethic and the bounces will eventually go our way where we come away with wins.”
Despite having to kill off numerous penalties against the Cranbrook Ice at the Taber arena on Friday, the team was only edged 4-3. Brayden Chambers tallied twice in the loss with Calvin Swanson getting a goal and an assist. Also drawing assists were Jared Broderson, Ryan Tessemaker and Cody Turner. Dillan Kelly faced 38 shots in the game.
The team was then doubled up 4-2 against the Wheatland Chiefs at the Taber arena on Saturday.
Cole Nakamura and Dylan Heppler both tallied for the Suns. Brock Boutiller drew two assists with Matthew Nadeau also drawing an assist. Dylan Swanson stood on his head keeping his team in the game facing 49 shots.
Taber midget “AA” Golden Suns host Lethbridge Hurricanes on Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Taber arena and also host CNHA Canucks on Sunday at 3:30 p.m.