By Cole Parkinson
For Taber Times
The tiering round is done and Taber Oil Kings teams hit the ice for the real deal as the Central Alberta Hockey League regular season kicked off this past weekend.
Two games were on the U11 Oil Kings’ opening weekend schedule. First up was a trip to Raymond on Saturday afternoon. Thanks to a monstrous five-goal first period, the Oil Kings were able to skate to a 6-3 victory in their first game. Lincoln Braun was unstoppable, scoring four goals and gathering an assist, Luke Engwer had a pair of assists, Ryden Baker and Paxton Foote had the other goals, while Tyrion Ewing chipped in an assist. Dylan Volk was in net for Taber and the netminder made 17 saves on 20 shots.
Sunday saw the team welcome in Lethbridge where the two teams battled for all 60 minutes. Ultimately, Lethbridge would take the game with three straight in the third period as it ended 4-3. Braun had another two goals while Cage Holcek had the other. Hudson Ilczynski had an assist in the game. Volk was back in net, making 28 saves on 32 shots.
This coming weekend sees another pair of games as the team hits the road for both. On Saturday, the team heads to Redcliff and then they wrap up the weekend the following day in Irvine.
The U13 Oil Kings kicked off their season with a pair of home games this past weekend. Saturday afternoon saw Crowsnest Pass come to town for the first game of the season. Taber would jump out to a 3-0 lead over the first two periods, but Crowsnest Pass would come roaring back in the third and take the game 5-3. Kash Kover, Logan Rabusic, and Wyatt Valgardson were the goal scorers for Taber. Chance Crowson got the start between the pipes and made 24 saves on 29 shots.
Looking for a quick rebound, the Oil Kings matched up against High Country on Sunday. In a high-scoring affair, the visitors were able to double up the Oil Kings 10-5. Kover and Valgardson had a goal and an assist each in the game while other scoring came from Cooper Broderson, Dalan Blasetti, and Rabusic, who all had a single goal. Blake Untereiner, Seth Jespersen, Mitchell Kimoto, Jaxson Tychsen, and Samuel Hathaway all found the scoresheet with an assist. Aidyn Derksen Arnel was the starting goalie for Taber and made 25 saves on 35 shots.
A single road game is on tap for the Oil Kings this coming weekend as they head to Coaldale on Saturday afternoon.
The U15s kicked off their CAHL schedule with one game this past weekend as they were in Coaldale on Sunday afternoon. Taber would score three in the first and another three in the second en route to a 6-4 win on Coaldale ice. Lincoln Wiebe led the way with two goals and three assists, while Ethan Volk and Kellon Schalk had a goal and an assist each. Jenner Workman and Julian Woordman had a single goal each and Ryder Nielsen and Skylar Jensen had one assist. Brodyn Sutka got the win in net with 29 saves on 33 shots.
The Oil Kings now prepare for a two-game weekend as they welcome in Foothills on Friday night with puck drop at 8:15 p.m. They wrap things up on Saturday with a road game against Bow Island.
The U18 Oil Kings were hopeful to kick off their season with a pair of wins this past weekend. On Friday night, the team was on the highway to take on Pincher Creek.
Both teams had no trouble putting the puck in the net, but Taber was able to carve out an 8-6 win when the final buzzer sounded. Kayden Kress had a goal and two assists for Taber while Jasper Sidam had two goals, and Carter Jensen, Konnor Wiebe, and Blake Rabusic had a goal each. Kellen Lauwen, Ayden Umbach, and Avery Remfert all chipped in with an assist. Ty Dorin got the start in net and made 22 saves on 30 shots.
The team then lined up against Lethbridge at home on Sunday afternoon. Game sheet results were unavailable as of Monday night.
Next up, the U18 Oil Kings hit the road on Saturday for a date against Claresholm before wrapping up the weekend at home against Bow Island/Foremost at 3:30 p.m.