The all-star nod are in for South Central Alberta Hockey League competition with the Taber Golden Suns programs well represented across all three age levels.
The games will be played in Medicine Hat this Sunday.
In the midget program for the Golden Suns, forwards Calvin Swanson (23GP-9G-14A-32 PIM) and Cole Nakamura (25GP-8G-12A-18PIM) will be making the trip representing the South Division.
“They are both 17 year-olds and they have both been very valuable to us the whole year. Swanson is our captain who has a lot of skill as a big forward. He has a nice shot along with a great set of hands. He uses his big frame and once he starts getting going wide, he makes that hard shot and a lot of the time it finds the back of the net,” said Derek Wiest, co-coach of the Taber midget “AA” Golden Suns. “Cole has been working so hard on his game all year and he has a lot of skill. He has great hands and is a good little passer, they are both very deserving of going to the all-star game.”
On the back end, it will be Ryan Tessemaker (22GP-1G-3A-46PIM) on defence for the Taber midget Golden Suns earning an all-star selection.
“He’s been very good for us. He’s a tall, lanky kid who is a very good skater along with being a good passer along with having a good shot and seeing the ice well,” said Wiest. “His stickwork is good and he can play very well defensively. He plays in all different types of situations and logs a lot of minutes. He gets a big, powerful hit every now and again that can shift the momentum in a game.”
The midget Golden Suns will also be represented between the pipes in Dillan Kelly with a stellar .930 save percentage, facing an immense 546 shots in 15 games he has played, registering a 2.85 goals-against average to go with two shutouts.
“I think he is one of the best goalies in the whole league. He’s a phenomenal goalie who is always well positioned. He looks like a big goalie in the net and he comes up with some huge saves that keeps us in games,” said Wiest. “He’s very quick. We were very lucky to get him from ‘AAA’ for sure. He’s fun to watch from the fact where he comes up with some saves that you just don’t think are possible.”
Two players from the bantam program will help lead the South Division in forward Logan Wiebe (24GP-20G-24A-28PIM) and defenceman Ace Wenbourne (26GP-8G-11A-82PIM).
“Logan sees the ice very well and when he really wants to turn it on, he can really dominate out there, especially in the corners. He does the dirty work in the corners and is an excellent play maker. For me, the selection can give him a boost of confidence for the back end of the season in the next few months,” said Duane Nevil, co-coach of the Taber bantam “AA” Golden Suns.
“Ace has been strong and our stand-up defenceman on the year for sure. He can shoot the puck and he’s pretty physical. He’s our go-to guy this year and his selection is well deserved for sure.”
The peewee program will be sending three players to the all-star weekend in Medicine Hat starting off on the front end with forward Dylan Nevil (25GP-23G-16A-46PIM).
“He’s a big kid with a lot of skill. When he plays with all his assets with his size and puck skills, he can dominate the game at this level,” said Jason Beckett, head coach of the Taber peewee “AA” Golden Suns. “”He brings a good presence on the ice.”
Darian Virostek (25GP-3G-3A-10PIM) made the selfless move from forward to the blueline in which he has flourished to earn his all-star selection still having a learning curve to the position.
“I’d classify him as more of a two-way defenceman. I think we have a pretty good ‘D’ group but he’s been a forward moved back to ‘D’ and he’s made the transition and really accepted it. He’s a tremendous skater with a great shot where he’s still adapting to the ‘D’ position and still learning how to play. He contributes every day and work works hard all the time. He’s a great competitor,” said Beckett adding it is surprisingly the attention to offence that has been the biggest adjustment for him on the blueline. “He has kind of overcompensated and has concentrated defensively. He’s has come in at his own pace to develop offensively at times where it’ll happen having a great shot at the blueline.”
Carl Tetachuk will be one of three goalies representing the South Division for the peewee all-star game in Medicine Hat with a 5.20 goals-against-average, .880 save percentage and one shutout.
“He’s a very mobile, quick goalie. When he’s focused, he reads the ice and can read every situation where nothing catches him by surprise,” said Beckett. “He plays solid angles and relies on quickness after the shot and is good at controlling rebounds.”