By Cole Parkinson
February is officially here and Taber Golden Suns teams were back on the ice this past weekend competing in the South Central Alberta Hockey League.
The U13s had a pair of games this past weekend to kick off the month. First up was a road trip to Okotoks to take on the Oilers on Saturday evening.
The Oilers would reach out to a 2-0 lead before the Suns would even things out with two of their own before the end of the period. Jude Klingenberg and Hayden Eldridge both scored on the powerplay to even things up. Eldridge drew an assist on the first goal while Jaxton Rodeback assisted on the second.
The Suns would continue to find the back of the net early in the middle frame as they put two behind the Oiler netminder. Dax Hill and Marcus Schwartz added to the goal total while Ben Van Der Linde, Hudson Stenger, Barrett DeVlieger, and Klingenberg had an assist each. The Oilers though would mirror Taber’s first period with two late and keep the game tied at 4-4 heading into the third.
The Oilers would score just over four minutes in on the powerplay to retake the lead. With under half the period to play, Schwartz would retie the game with Klingenberg drawing another assist. Neither team would add to their totals from there and the game ended tied at 5-5. Drew Tame got the start between the pipes for Taber and made 42 saves on 47 shots.
On Sunday, the Airdrie Lightning made their way to Taber to wrap up the weekend. In a high-scoring game, both teams were able to show off their offensive abilities. Each team would score twice in the first as Hill and Van Der Linde had the Taber markers and Stenger and Nash Skanderup had the assists on the second of the period.
The second saw both teams continue to fill the net as they each scored three more as they headed into the third tied at 5-5. Eldridge had a pair while Lincoln Deleeuw had the other Taber goal. Jaxton Rodeback drew an assist in the period.
In the third, the teams once again traded a pair of goals, and the game ended 7-7. Klingenberg and Travis Jackson had the Taber goals while Eldridge added two more assists and Jaxton Rodeback and Deleeuw had one each. Cale Campbell was in net for Taber and the netminder made 34 saves on 41 shots.
This coming weekend sees another two games for the U13s as they head out to Claresholm on Saturday to take on the Foothills Bisons before returning home on Sunday afternoon for a 1 p.m. start against Red Deer Wesco.
The U13 Suns currently sit in sixth place in the South Conference with a 5-22-2 record and 12 points.
It was a two-pack of games for the U15 Suns as they hit the road on Saturday for their first game against Foothills. Taber would grab the first lead of the game thanks to a Foster Weatherhead powerplay goal from Heston Hansen. The Bisons would answer seconds later and the teams would head into the second tied at one apiece.
Taber would score the lone goal of the second period midway though thanks to Canaan Fleck. Hansen and Tony King would draw the assists on the goal as Taber went into the final period ahead by one.
The Bisons would score on the powerplay in the third, but Taber would answer seconds later as Weatherhead had his second of the game. Bril Haraga had the lone assist that gave Taber their lead back. Thanks to a strong defensive performance Taber was able to close it down and take the game 3-2. Dakota Hurst was rock solid in net making 43 saves on 45 shots for the win.
Sunday was a home game for the U15s as they welcomed in the Airdrie Lightning. Taber would get the party started as Nixen Miller found the back of the net thanks to a Raiden Koizumi assist. Airdrie would tie the game up a minute later and the teams wouldn’t score again in the first.
Taber was once again first to find the back of the net in the second as Koizumi scored and Paxton Powell had the assist. But like the first, the Lightning would answer back in short order to tie things back up at two. The period would end that way and they headed into the final frame square at two.
Fleck would give Taber their third lead of the game after six minutes of play as Koizumi and Hansen had the assists. Unfortunately for Taber, from there, it was all Lightning as they scored two straight to retake the lead. They would then add two empty netters en route to a 6-3 victory. Griffin Stenger was the starting goalie for Taber, making 36 saves on 40 shots.
The U15s now prepare for two more games this coming weekend as they host the Wheatland Warriors on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. and the East Kootenay Avalanche at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday. The U15 Suns currently sit tied for sixth place in the South Conference with a 6-17-5 record and 17 points.
Like the other two Taber Golden Suns teams, the U18s saw two games this past weekend. First up was a quick trip to Lethbridge to take on the Hurricanes on Saturday evening.
The teams would score one each in the first as Taber saw Dalton Damen score the first goal of the game with Berkley Emelson and Tage Jensen drawing an assist each.
Tied heading into the second, the Hurricanes would break the tie after over six minutes of play. From there though, Taber was able to get their offence rolling as they scored four unanswered to end the period. Lincoln Weiss had a pair while Landon Howg and Chase Stronge had the other two. Connor Chapman, Emelsen, and Hayden Smith had the assists.
With a 5-2 lead heading into the third, the Suns set themselves up for success. Lethbridge would cut the lead to two early in the third, but Taber was able to seal the victory late in the third as Landon Howg found the empty net and Taber took the game 6-3. Keegan Stenger was in net for the win as the goalie made 32 saves on 35 shots.
The following day saw the Suns back on the road as they took on the Okotoks Oilers. Okotoks would score the lone goal in the first period.
They then would double their lead 10 seconds into the second period. Landon McEwen got Taber on the board six minutes later as Smith had the lone assist. The period would end with Taber down by one.
Near the midway point of the third, Evan Koizumi tied the game up as Howg had the assist. Okotoks would answer 30 seconds later to retake the lead. They then would add another later in the third as they skated to a 4-2 win. Kahil Wright made the start for Taber and made 51 saves on 55 shots.
Another two games come this weekend for the U18s as they have a pair of home games. On Friday night, the Lethbridge Hurricanes are in town for an 8:15 p.m. puck drop. On Saturday, the CBHA Hawks are in Taber for an 8 p.m. start.
The Suns currently sit in third place in the South Division with a 12-14-2 record and 26 points.