In a close game versus the Lethbridge Hurricanes Red on Friday night at the Taber Arena, the Suns were unable to squeeze by the opposition, losing by a score of 4-3.
“Our guys came out really competitive and really strong,” said head coach Jason Beckett. “We definitely competed on par with a team that was quite difficult to play against. A lot of the kids just really competed and executed well, and it was just a great overall performance, really.”
In the first period, Kalem Haney scored with an assist from Kole Fujita. Dylan Nevil also scored late in the period for the Golden Suns. Kalem Haney picked up his second goal in the following period, with assists from Mason Sande and Blake Kondor, but the Golden Suns were unable to push past the Hurricanes for the win.
Suns goalie Carl Tetachuk faced 48 shots on net during three periods of play.
The peewee “AA” Golden Suns were more successful on Sunday versus the Badlands Longhorns, besting the opposing team by a score of 7-6.
“We came out not extremely focused, and we were a little concerned, we’ve been struggling lately — that had probably been weighing on the kids’ minds,” said Beckett. “We came out kind of slow, and gained some goals on the first shift of the game, and the kids kind of responded with an effort that was more like what we expect, and that we’ve been moving towards in our last two competitions. It’s been a group that has shown great improvement, and we finally put our best foot forward, it just came a little bit later in the game, and some guys really exploded with some good performances.”
Josh Conley picked up the first goal of the game for the Golden Suns in the first period, with assists coming from Dylan Nevil and Seth McCulloch. Dylan Nevil tallied on assists from Ryden Rempel and Brandon Hauck.
“We’ve had solid goaltending the whole year, even despite our record, our goaltending was once again good this weekend,” said Beckett. “Both kids playing in net contributed to our team and helped us win and compete at our level against other teams. Our defence took a huge step forward, with defensive zone coverage as well as just moving the puck a lot more efficiently. Our forwards are starting to execute a solid system of just how to manage the puck as well as getting it into the offensive zone, and develop a few more shots than normal.”
In the second period, Dylan Nevil scored with assists from Kolby James and Seth McCulloch. Nevil scored again unassisted, while Darian Virostek picked up a goal on an assist from Mason Sande.
In the third period, Kolby James picked up a goal on an assist from Seth McCulloch, while Kalem Haney finished out the score for the Golden Suns with a goal, with two assists going to Josh Conley and Tristan Miller.
Beckett commented he has seen great improvement from the team in recent weeks, which is starting to improve overall.
“It’s a great group of kids. They’re really enthusiastic, and they always come to the rink and put in a solid effort, and always try to get better. They’re eager to compete — they’re a great group of kids because everyone gets along, everyone is encouraging, it’s kind of an interesting dynamic. The kids are all really there for each other, encourage one another, push one another, and all want to get better. It’s really an amazing group of young kids that just love the game of hockey, and really like being a part of a team.”
Individual skill development has been improved, and the player are now starting to come together more effectively as a team effort.
“We’ve just come out of a more individual element of the season, we’re more or less just trying to improve the overall skill of individual players, now it’s trying to incorporate it into working together as small groups — a line of forwards, a set of defence, and develop team systems that try to use those skills that have hopefully been strengthened, as well as adapting and putting more of a structure to the power play and the penalty kill,” said Beckett.
The team’s next game is today versus the Okotoks Oilers at 6:15 p.m. at the Stavely Community Arena.
MIDGET: Taber midget “AA” Golden Suns dropped both of its games over the weekend at the Taber Arena.
The first was a 3-2 loss to the CBHA Rangers. Matthew Kaga scored unassisted in the first period, with a second goal coming from Brayden Chambers on assists from Steven Swartz and Mack Honess.
Dylan Swanson faced 30 shots on goal in the loss.
Taber midget “AA” Golden Suns followed up by taking a beating at the hands of CRAA Blue on the road on Sunday with a 12-1 loss. The Golden Suns only tally came from Steven Swartz on an assist from Cole Nakamura.
Goaltenders Dillan Kelly and Dylan Swanson faced a shower of shots on net, with each being pelted 49 times in rough half-games of play.
The bantam “AA” Golden Suns were not in action over the weekend.