By Greg Price
Whatever the final results are for the Taber bantam “AA” Golden Suns hockey team this week as the team prepares to host provincials starting on Thursday at the Taber Arena, head coach Geoff Oster is promising his squad is not going to get outworked.
“We bring a very aggressive forecheck. This team has a very sound defensive system from the back end out where we have a defence first responsibility,” said Oster. “We believe in accountability with everybody. We ask everyone do their job.”
The Golden Suns’ provincial quest starts on Thursday with a 7:15 p.m. game, right after opening ceremonies at 6 p.m.
The first game of provincials goes at 12:45 p.m. on Thursday.
Play continues for the Suns on Friday with a 12:45 p.m. game followed by another game at 7 p.m.
Round-robin play concludes for the Golden Suns on Saturday at 12:45 p.m. Sunday’s slate are the playoff games with an 8 a.m. start for a semifinal with the championship game at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday at the Taber Arena.
“During the playoffs, we finished third overall in league. We made it all the way to the finals against Wheatland where Wheatland beat us 4-2. They ended up being central for the whole league (north/south),” said Oster. “They are a very deep team, but we stack up well against them. The series for the year was one win, one loss and two ties, so in four games you couldn’t ask for a better match up. We match up well with every team here, we’ve seen St. Albert play in Lethbridge. Any Calgary or Edmonton team it all depends. But I feel confident we stack up quite well against all these teams.”
Navigating the ups and downs of the five-team round-robin format, Oster had been proud of how his team has been ability to handle adversity in the past.
“You have to be able to weather any storm. If it was easy, it’s not worth it. Our kids are very resilient and they work hard for everything. We’ve been down multiple games and we’ve come back. ” said Oster. “That’s been one of the staples of this team, is the ability to compete to the final buzzer and is something we appreciate from them. Their drive and their effort has always been a never-quit, never-die attitude. The kids are going to do what they can, and keep doing it. If they are struggling, they are going to do the small things to get them through the game. We are quite confident in our game and we’re not going to panic if we’re down by a goal. They’ve been in enough big games this year to be able to handle anything in stride.”