By Cole Parkinson
For Taber Times
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
After the U13 and U15 Taber Golden Suns kicked off their 23-24 South Central Alberta Hockey League campaigns earlier in September, the U18 followed suit this past weekend.
Looking to get in the win column for the first time this season, the U13 Golden Suns welcomed in the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Sunday for their lone game on the weekend. Unfortunately for the Suns, Lethbridge was firing on all cylinders as the visitors skated to a 17-1 win. Jude Klingenberg scored the lone Taber goal unassisted. Drew Tame was the Suns’ netminder, facing 63 shots and making 46 saves.
The U13 Suns look to regroup this coming weekend as they have a pair of games on tap. On Friday at 7 p.m., Taber heads to Cochrane to take on the Bow Valley Timberwolves. The following day sees the Suns back on the road for a 4:30 p.m. puck drop against the Central Alberta Selects.
In a rematch from last weekend, the U15 Golden Suns saw themselves back up against the East Kootenay Avalanche — this time on home ice.
The Suns would open the scoring near the midway part of the first period as Canaan Fleck gave Taber the lead with Heston Hansen drawing the assist. The lead would be extended to two early in the second period when Brooke Dyck found the back of the net on the power play with Blaise Odland finding the scoresheet with an assist. Before the end of the period, the Avalanche would draw within one and Taber would find themselves up 2-1 heading into the final frame.
In the third period, East Kootenay would strike three times in a row and take a two-goal lead. Seconds later, the home team would get back within one as Liam Okell found the back of the net. Fleck and Foster Weatherhead would draw the assists. In another quick strike, the Suns would tie the game up as Dyck potted another goal with Nixen Miller and Odland getting the assists. Neither team would be able to find the ice breaker and the game ended tied 4-4. Dakota Hurst got the start between the pipes, making 25 saves on 29 shots.
The U15 Suns now prepare for a two-game home stand this coming weekend. On Saturday at 5:30 p.m., the Suns play host to the Foothills Bisons. On Sunday afternoon, the West Central Tigers come to town for a 1 p.m. puck drop.
The first weekend of action for the U18 Golden Suns saw the team host the East Kootenay Avalanche and the Foothills Bisons.
Saturday afternoon saw East Kootenay come to town for the opening game of the U18 season. Taber would find the back of the net first as Connor Chapman scored on the power play and Lincoln Weiss and Jett Matisho would collect an assist each. East Kootenay would answer back with two goals of their own near the end of the period. But the Suns wouldn’t head into the break down by a goal as Matisho scored one of his own with Landon Howg and Blake Smith drawing assists, and the game would head into the middle frame tied at 2-2. While no team would score in the second period, the final frame was all Avalanche as the visitors potted three goals to take the game 5-2. Keegan Stenger was the starting goalie for Taber and the netminder would make 26 saves on 30 shots.
The Suns then saw Foothills come to town on Sunday. The first period was all Suns as the home team climbed out to a 5-1 lead. Landon Howg had a natural hat trick and an assist while Chapman and Conrad Mehlhaff each had a goal and an assist, Cohen Spencer had a single goal, and Dalton Damon and Weiss each had an assist. In the second the Bisons would add two while the Suns saw Howg continue to find the back of the net with Matisho drawing the assist. While Foothills would close the gap just before the midway part of the period, Howg would score his fifth of the game in the empty net to seal the victory. Chapman would add another assist on that goal. Kahil Wright got the start between the pipes and made 27 saves on 31 shots.
This coming weekend sees a two-pack of games for the U18 squad. On Friday night, the Lethbridge Hurricanes come to Taber for an 8:15 p.m. puck drop. On Sunday evening, the Suns hit the road to take on the Okotoks Oilers for a 6 p.m. game.