By Cole Parkinson
For Taber Times
The first half of the South Central Alberta Hockey League is nearing its end but Taber Golden Suns’ teams found themselves back on the ice this past weekend for a handful of games.
It was a two-game homestand for the U13s as they looked to gain their first wins of the month.
Saturday afternoon saw the West Central Tigers back in town for another matchup. The visitors would jump out to a 1-0 lead in the first period thanks to a powerplay marker and that’s all the scoring either side would muster. The Tigers would widen the lead to two near the midway portion of the period as Taber looked to get back in the game. A few minutes later, they would find the back of the net thanks to Dax Hill and the Suns were down by a single goal. Unfortunately, the Tigers would add two more before the end of the period to take a 4-1 lead into the third period. An early goal would see Taber down by four and the team would need a late-game comeback to get a win. That wasn’t in the cards as the Tigers would score one more before the end of the game and take it 6-1. Drew Tame made 33 saves on 39 shots in the Taber net.
Looking to even out the weekend, Sunday saw the Bow Valley Timberwolves in town. The first period was all Golden Suns as the team jumped out to a 4-0 lead. Hudson Stenger, Marcus Schwartz, Hayden Eldridge, and Jaxton Rodeback all had a goal while Hill had an assist. The Timberwolves would come clawing back in the second with three straight to cut the lead to a single goal. Barrett DeVlieger would add another for Taber before the end of the period though with Travis Jackson drawing the assist. With a 5-3 lead heading into the final frame, Taber was looking for a strong defensive period.
Bow Valley would put two quick goals in the back of the net to tie the game with just over 18 minutes to play. Schwartz would answer back seconds later with Carter Harris and Lincoln Deleeuw drawing the assists. With another lead, the Timberwolves continued to play spoiler as they added a shorthanded marker at the 13:54 mark. They didn’t stop there as they found another goal with just over a minute to play to take their first lead of the game and they’d add an empty netter to take the game 8-6. Cale Campbell was the starter for Taber, making 21 saves on 30 shots.
The U13 Suns see December games wrap up next weekend with two more home games against the East Kootenay Avalanche. Saturday afternoon’s game goes at 3 p.m. while Sunday’s puck drop is at 1 p.m.
It was also a two-game home game weekend for the U15 Golden Suns as they welcomed in the Medicine Hat SEAC Tigers and the Lethbridge Hurricanes.
Friday night saw the Tigers and Suns line up for an exciting game to start the weekend. Taber would open the scoring with a Foster Weatherhead powerplay goal assisted by Liam Okell. The Tigers would respond with a pair of quick goals late in the period and they took a 2-1 lead into the middle frame. Taber would once again open the scoring with another powerplay goal, this time from Okell as Nixen Miller and Weatherhead had the assists. The Tigers would add a powerplay goal of their own with just over a minute left to play as the Tigers took a one-goal lead into the third. That lead would be extended by another Tigers’ powerplay marker and they’d add an empty netter for extra measure for a 5-2 win. Griffin Stenger made 23 saves on 27 shots in the Taber net.
Sunday’s matchup against Lethbridge saw both clubs put plenty of goals on the board. The first was all Suns as the home team skated out to a 2-0 lead thanks to goals from Heston Hansen and Miller. Weatherhead and Brooke Dyck had an assist each while Brie Haraga had two assists. The Hurricanes would answer with two straight of their own in the second period. The Suns would regain the lead thanks to a Miller powerplay goal as Hansen and Canaan Fleck had the assists. With seconds to play, the Canes would tie the game thanks to a powerplay goal. Heading into the third tied at 3-3, the Suns would score first as Tony King hit the back of the net. Maxx Davis collected the lone assist on the Suns’ fourth goal of the game. From there though it was all Lethbridge as they scored three straight in a matter of minutes en route to a 6-4 victory. Dakota Hurst was between the pipes for Taber and the netminder made 35 saves on 41 shots.
The final games of 2023 for the U15 Suns come this weekend as they hit the road for a rematch against the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Saturday night. They then return home on Sunday for a 3:30 p.m. game against the Medicine Hat SEAC Tigers.
The U18 Suns were at home this past weekend for a pair of games. First up was a date against CNHA Black. In a tight contest, the home team was able to edge out CNHA Black with a 4-3 win. Connor Chapman and Jett Matisho each had a goal and an assist in the win while Lincoln Weiss had two assists, Hunter Simpson and Landon Howg had a goal each, and Dalton Damen, Chase Stronge, and Evan Koizumi all had an assist.
Sunday afternoons saw the Foothills Bisons come to town to wrap up the weekend. Foothills would open the period’s scoring but Taber would answer back thanks to Damen would find the back of the net with assists going to Landon McEwen and Tyler Kiss. The Bisons would retake the lead later in the period and take the period 2-1. The second saw no scoring until less than a minute left as Howg would even things up 2-2. Stronge and Weiss had the assists on the tying goal. Heading into the third tied at 2-2, the Suns saw their offence take off. They’d end up scoring three unanswered en route to a 5-2 win. Matisho, Howg, and Chapman were the goal scorers. Howg would add an assist as well while Weiss, Hayden Smith, Stronge, and Hayden Span all chipped in with a single assist. Keegan Stenger collected the win in net with a 23-save performance.
Next weekend sees the U18 Suns take to the road for a single game against the NWCAA Stamps on Dec. 17.