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Last two Suns teams finish seasons over the weekend

Posted on March 14, 2024 by Taber Times
Times Photo By Brylan Span FLEXIBILITY: Chase Stronge and Jett Matisho of the U18 Taber Golden Suns battle to keep the puck out of their net as goalie Keegan Stenger makes a split save. Stenger was belted with shots in his two SCAHL playoff tournament appearances, facing 137 shots and holding an incredible .916 save percentage.

By Cole Parkinson
Taber Times

In the final weekend of South Central Alberta Hockey League playoff action, two Taber Golden Suns teams were hopeful to finish on top.


The U13s were in Strathmore starting on March 7 to take part in the U13 playoff tournament. Their first game was up against the Easy Kootenay Avalanche. The Avalanche would take a 1-0 lead in the first period and then extend that lead at 8:54 in the second period. Lincoln Deleeuw would answer back for the Suns just over a minute later as Jude Klingenberg collected the assist. The period would end in favour of the Avalanche 2-1.

The third would see East Kootenay add two powerplay markers en route to a 4-1 win. Drew Tame was the starter in net for Taber and he made 30 saves on 34 shots.

Game 2 saw the Suns matchup against the Lethbridge Hurricanes. Unfortunately for Taber, the game was one-sided as the Hurricanes scored early and often in a 14-0 victory. Cale Campbell made 33 saves on 47 shots in the Taber net.

Looking to end their season with a win, Taber played the Wheatland Braves in their final round-robin game. After no score after the first period, both teams would see plenty of goals in the middle frame. Taber would score three straight from Jaxton Rodeback, Ben Van Der Linde, and Nash Skanderup as Marcus Schwartz, Rodeback, and Cole Bouchard all had one assist. The Braves would answer with two of their own before the end of the period. With neither team able to find the back of the net in the third, Taber would take the game 3-2. Tame played 30:07 with 18 saves on 18 shots while Campbell went 27:03 with 19 saves on 21 shots.

Wheatland takes on Red Deer Wesco in a best-of-three series this coming weekend to determine the U13 Championship.


Likewise, for the U18 Golden Suns, the team was out in Medicine Hat last weekend for the U18 playoff tournament. The team kicked things off on Thursday with Game 1 against the Medicine Hat Hounds.

The Suns would score the first goal off of Jett Matisho’s stick as Connor Chapman had the assist. From there it was all Hounds as they finished off the first with three straight. They would add another two goals in the third to take it 5-1. Kahil Wright was busy in the crease as the netminder made 54 saves on 59 shots.

In a rebound performance, the Suns took to the ice on Friday afternoon and laid the boots to the Lethbridge Hurricanes with an 8-1 win. Chase Stronge had a hat trick with an assist, Chapman had two goals and two assists, Landon Howg had a goal and two assists, Hayden Onda and Conrad Mehlhaff each had two assists, Matisho and Dalton Damen had goals, and Lincoln Weiss, Tage Jensen, and Ryler Kiss all had an assist. Wright was back in net and made 27 saves on 28 shots.

The third game saw Taber take on East Kootenay. Taber would draw first blood with Damen finding the back of the net with Onda collecting an assist. The Avalanche would answer back with two quick strikes and take a 2-1 lead into the middle period. In the second, it was all East Kootenay as they scored three more goals. The Avalanche would add an early goal in the third to make it a 6-1 game. Hunter Simpson would score late for the Suns but that was as close as they would get as they fell 6-2. Nathan Rijkens would draw the lone assist on the goal. Keegan Stenger was the starter for Taber and the netminder made 57 saves on 63 shots.

With the one win, Taber was able to move on to the South Conference semi-final where they met the Okotoks Oilers. It was the Suns’ day as they fell in the semi-final 5-0. Stenger made 63 saves on 68 shots in the game. The Suns now see several players departing: Kahil Wright, Hayden Onda (AP), Berkley Emelson, Connor Chapman, Hayden Span, Hayden Smith, Evan Koizumi, Landon Howg, Keegan Stenger, Conrad Mehlhaff.

Okotoks will now take on the West Central Tigers this coming weekend in the U18 Championship.

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