Skating off the turkey….

Shaky return to action for some after the holidays

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

Sooner or later, you would think, Barrhead is going to stumble and lose a game in Tier 1 Midget hockey. And Slave Lake might just be the team to take them down.

But Saturday wasn’t the day. The Slave Lake Midget 1 Thunder got off to a shaky start, Barrhead scored seconds in and had the Slave Lake boys scrambling and panicking in their own end and the visitors were up 2 – 0 before you knew it.

To their credit, the host team rallied and had a good second period, outscoring Barrhead 4 – 2. But the final score was 6 – 4 for Barrhead, who continue to cruise along undefeated at the pinnacle of Midget ‘A’ hockey in the Northern Alberta Interlock League.

The score was 3 – 0 after one period and 5 – 4 after two. Barrhead got the only goal of the third period. Shots were 36 – 29 for Barrhead.

Scoring the Slave Lake goals were Hunter Mouallem with three and Jacob Sholtz. Brady Courtorielle took the loss in net for the Thunder.

On Sunday the Thunder hosted Devon, a Tier II team with a 5 – 1 – 1 record. Again, a shaky start for Slave Lake and again, a comeback that fell short. The game ended 6 – 5 for Devon.

Devon got a couple of quick ones on Thunder goalie Chase Nehring, and led 3 – 1 after the first period.

After giving up a shorthanded goal to start the third period and trailing 6 – 2, Slave Lake took advantage of some powerplays and scored three straight to make it interesting. But they couldn’t get the tying goal. Scoring for the Thunder were William Chemago, Dominique Wapahoo, Owen Pearson, Hunter Mouallem and Jacob Plouffe.

A busy weekend is coming up for the team. They host Westlock Friday night, Barrhead (maybe this time!) Saturday and play in Bon Accord against CNN on Sunday.

Bantam
The Bantam 1 Thunder lost 3 – 1 on Sunday evening to visiting Athabasca, with Tanner Churchill getting the lone Slave Lake goal.

“We ran into a hot goalie,” says head coach Jerod Hartman.

The team hosts the CR Knights this Saturday, at 5:15 p.m.

The Bantam 2 Thunder lost a pair of games on the weekend – 7 – 0 to Edson on Saturday and 9 – 2 to the same team on Sunday. Colbie Payne and Landon Horsley were the Slave Lake goal scorers.

Pee Wee
Slave Lake’s high-flying Pee Wee 1 Thunder handed Edson a 7 – 1 defeat on Saturday on home ice. Hayden McClure scored a hat trick and Kaleb Van Hoek knocked in a pair in the win. Other Slave Lake goalscorers were Jacob Derksen and Drayder Pearson. Salah Baalbaki faced 28 shots in the win. His teammates fired 55 pucks on net at the other end.

On Sunday the Pee Wees hosted Fort Saskatchewan, losing 5 – 4 despite out-shooting the visitors 46 – 23.

The Thunder led 2 – 1 after one period, on goals by McClure and Van Hoek. Derksen’s goal in the second made it a 3 – 1 game, but Ft. Sask. struck back with two to tie it. Two more in the second gave them a two-goal lead. A late powerplay score by Damian Hill got Slave Lake to within one.

This weekend the Thunder play twice in Drayton Valley.

The Pee Wee 2 Thunder, meanwhile, played a rare weekday game on Jan. 4, losing 6 – 2 to Wabasca. Both Slave Lake goals came in the third period, from Ethan Fudge and Luke Graling. Wabasca outshot Slave Lake 43 – 20.

On Saturday the Pee Wee 2 team picked up two points from a 3 – 1 victory over Whitecourt. After a scoreless first period, Jagger Green and Keyana Holiday-Twin scored for Slave Lake. The period ended with the Thunder up 2 – 1. Graling’s goal in the third gave them a bit of a cushion. Conal Ferguson faced just 15 shots in the Slave Lake net. Phoenix Rice in the Whitecourt goal stopped 24 of 27.

Atom
The Atom 1 team played in Swan Hills on Sunday and won 16 – 4. If the statistics are correct, Slave Lake scored eight times on just nine shots on goal in the third period.

Hudsyn Pearson was the big shooter, scoring five times for the Thunder. Jonas Lillo scored thrice and Grayson Conrad and Cayden Tanghe a couple apiece. Other scorers were Adrian Mercer, Jayce Beaulac, Callum Lindsay and Kale Whitney.

The Midget 1 Thunder spent a lot of time pinned in their own end in the first period against Barrhead on Saturday. The teams tangle again on Jan. 12.
Isaiah Brown of the Slave Lake Novice 1 Thunder makes the stop in a Jan. 5 game against hometown rivals Thunder 2. His team won 6 – 2.

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