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Midget Suns earn needed win

Posted on November 6, 2013 by Taber Times

Taber midget “AA” Golden Suns split its pair of South Central Alberta Hockey League games over the weekend starting off with a 5-3 loss to Airdrie Lightning at the Taber Arena on Friday night.

“For talent level and stuff like that, we didn’t play to our capability on Friday night. We rely on our hard work ethic, and we couldn’t seem to catch any breaks,” said Derek Wiest, co-coach of the Taber midget “AA” Golden Suns.

“We couldn’t seem to get that break that would swing the momentum our way.”

Beyond the one-goal lead the Suns enjoyed seven minutes into the first period, Taber had to play catch up the rest of the way tying the game only to see one-goal deficits return until the Lightning sealed it with an empty netter to clinch the game.

“We had a couple of bad bounces and some undisciplined penalties that hurt us that game. It showed a lack of work that we were used to doing,” said Wiest.

“We gave up some power play goals and when we would tie, we couldn’t swing the momentum and get the next goal so they would always seem to have us in a hole. All game long we were trying to dig ourselves out of a hole.”

Dylan Heppler, Matthew Nadeau and Cole Nakamura all scored against Airdrie with Calvin Swanson and Jared Broderson each getting two assists. Matthew Kaga had a single helper and Dylan Swanson faced 27 shots on net for the Suns.

“Airdrie has some bigger ‘D’ on the back end that are pretty solid. With us we have a lot of speed and skill with our forwards where we rely on our ‘D’ playing a tough game,” said Wiest.

“It does become a grind playing against Airdrie for sure that can swing a game.”

Taber midget “AA” Golden Suns bounced back nicely with a 6-0 blanking of Foothills Bisons on the road on Saturday.

Swanson, Broderson, Heppler, Steven Swartz and Jason Wong all scored for the Suns. Justin Tams and Nakamura each had two assists.

Wong, Travis Stoperski, Heppler, Ryan Tessemaker, Broderson, Nadeau and Swanson each had single assists. Dillan Kelly faced 35 shots on net to earn the shutout for the Suns. It was a critical win for the Suns who are chasing the Bisons right now for third in the south division.

“Being they are in our division, getting that ‘W’ was nice because they are the team we are chasing right now. Getting an early goal from our third line that chipped it in to make it 2-0 at the end of the first period and then our power play really stepping up helped and cashed in on the chances we had,” said Wiest. “Getting that third-line scoring and that power play helped get the (scoring) monkey off a couple of guys’ backs. We played as solid of a 60 minutes of a game as we have all year. They battled hard, and being on the road in their barn, we obviously got some great goaltending too. We played very well defensively. They did a good job of clearing the front of the net and letting our goalie see everything. They outshot us 35-28, but they never really had any great scoring chances, our ‘D’ kept them out wide.”  

Taber midget “AA” Golden Suns hit the road for its next two games starting off with a Saturday game against Bow Valley Timberwolves and then a Sunday game against NWCAA Bruins in Calgary.

Taber midget “AA” Golden Suns at 3-8 have been struggling to find wins in this young SCAHL season so far, but a closer look finds seven of those eight loses being two goals or less with some empty netters sprinkled for a competitive club.

“We started the season 0-6 where it was a one-goal game being tied going into the third period where we would lose a lot of games in the last two minutes. We took strides moving forward and you could see wins were coming as soon as we started to get some bounces. The kids were working hard,” said Wiest. “Now it’s just a matter of getting a win and building off of that. We have to make sure we are getting that consistency and I’ve had a lot of people come up and say our record doesn’t show the kind of team we are. We have a very good team and once we start learning how to win a little more with that consistency, our season is really going to turn around for us.”

PEEWEE: Taber peewee “AA” Golden Suns (4-5-1) suffered a 10-3 loss at the hands of Wheatland Braves (5-7-1) on the road on Saturday.

Dylan Nevil, Seth McCulloch and Kolby James scored for the Suns who got assists from Kalem Haney, and D.J. Tonin.

Brayden Peters and Carl Tetachuk faced a combined 46 shots on net in the loss.

Taber peewee “AA” Golden Suns are on the road on Friday against Lethbridge Hurricanes Red  before hitting the road once again on Saturday against Bow Valley Timberwolves.

BANTAM: After a weekend away from SCAHL action, Taber bantam “AA” Golden Suns return to competition with a road game today against Lethbridge Hurricanes. The team then returns home to the Taber arena for a game against Badlands Longhorns on Friday at 8:30 p.m. at the Taber arena and another game on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. against Airdrie Lightning.

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