By Greg Price
Taber bantam “AA” Golden Suns (6-2-1) continued its strong start to its South Central Alberta Hockey League season with two victories over the weekend.
“We had a good start to our season with every inch of good we are drawing out of our team in this first month has resulted in hard work and good buy-in from the players,” said Cam Cleland, head coach of the Taber bantam “AA” Golden Suns.
The first was a dominant 11-1 victory over Foothills Bisons (1-8-0) at the Taber Arena on Friday.
D.J. Tonin and Jayden Kostiuk both had hat tricks to go with Tristan Miller tallying twice. Nolan Price, Wyatt Broderson and Kolby James had singles. Price also had four assists with James drawing three helpers. Kalem Haney had two assists.
Blake Vaselenak faced 33 shots on net to earn the win in goal.
“That was the result of good game preparation and being in the right place. We knew the opposition wasn’t as strong, but we set the bar not to take anything for granted and we stay away from the negative parts of the game and try and win on the scoreboard,” said Cleland. “We tried to stay out of the penalty box and the other team went the other way and we made them pay for it.”
The team continued its homestand with a 4-1 win over the Central Alberta Selects (5-1-1).
James, Kostiuk, Price and J.D. Hall scored for the Suns. Miller, Haney, Price, Kostiuk, Hall and Zach Young drew assists. Vaselenak earned the win, facing 32 shots on net.
“We saw them in our own preseason tournament and we knew they had a good team that was well coached. They are in the upper part of the league. We kept that mindset of playing a clean, straight game and bring good shifts, period by period and work hard to win the game,” said Cleland. “We did just that. It was probably one of our better, more complete games we have played this year yet.”
Taber bantam “AA” Golden Suns are on the road this weekend, with a game against West Central Tigers on Saturday and a Sunday game against Central Alberta Selects.
“At the beginning of the year, we were just trying to get to the best places we could be at. We did not open with a huge camp (of players) and we did not have the perspective that we would have a real strong core of a club,” said Cleland. “But one thing led to another where things fell into place for us. I still don’t see us as an over bearing strong player to player with our opposition on any given night, but we are doing a good job with everyone managing their game to contribute to the team’s success, and so far, we are slowly moving in the right direction. It is a good place for the kids to see that and work for it.”
PEEWEE: Taber peewee “AA” Golden Suns (2-1-2) earned a single point in the South Central Alberta Hockey League standings over the weekend with a tie and a loss.
The Suns suffered a 9-3 loss to Lethbridge Hurricanes Red (8-1-0) on Saturday on the road.
Rylen Roersma scored the hat trick, getting assists from Jed Magarrell and Tyler Maslen.
Scout Sidam faced 41 shots on net for the Golden Suns.
The team returned home to skate to a 2-2 draw with West Central Tigers (3-2-1) at the Taber Arena on Sunday, rallying from a 2-0 deficit heading into the third period.
Ty Fraser and Roersma tallied for the Suns who got an assist from Magarrell. Landon Porteous faced 33 shots on goal to preserve the tie for the Suns.
Taber peewee “AA” Golden Suns hit the road on Saturday to square off against Okotoks Oilers Green. The team returns home on Sunday for a 1 p.m. game against Medicine Hat Hounds at the Taber Arena.
MIDGET: Taber midget “AA” Golden Suns (2-5-1) suffered two losses over the weekend in SCAHL play.
The first was a 3-0 shutout at the hands of the Airdrie Lightning on the road on Saturday. Broc Merkl faced 41 shots on net in the loss.
The team then lost a close 2-1 decision to CBHA Rangers on the road.
Kole Fujita scored the lone Suns tally with assists from Justin Astalos and Chase Gedny.
Merkl faced 32 shots on net for the Golden Suns.
Taber midget “AA” Golden Suns are at home this weekend with a Friday contest against Medicine Hat Hounds at 8:30 p.m. at the Taber Arena.
The Foothills Bisons then come to town on Saturday with a 5:30 p.m. game at the Taber Arena.