The Red Deer North Star Chiefs are preparing for Provincials this month after winning the Sutter South Cup on home ice last weekend.
The minor midget AAA hockey team defeated the Lethbridge Headwater Hurricanes 2-1 in overtime on Sunday to earn their way into Provincials, and assistant coach Mike Salmon couldn’t be happier.
“Lethbridge definitely had a good team, they won our league series against us this year so we had to overcome a good hockey team to win,” says Salmon. “We had to play really stingy defensively, it wasn’t easy at times. Sometimes they were in our end for a couple of minutes at a time but we weathered the storm, had good goaltending, good team defense which is huge and then we had a couple of timely goals from some players who stepped up and scored at the right times.”
Prior to the gold final victory, the North Star Chiefs defeated the NWCAA Bruins 3-2 in the semi-final which followed victories over the Okotoks Oilers, SEAC Tigers and NWCAA Stamps as well during their successful playoff run.
Salmon says he’s most proud of the way the team stuck together while pulling through some earlier adversity during the Sutter South Cup final.
“We had the lead going into the third, they tied it up and we kind of sensed the team was a little deflated obviously when they scored,” admits Salmon. “But we kept pushing them to keep going and the goal is going to come and then we had to get it in overtime even for the win but eventually it came and the boys were as happy as we promised they would be.”
Salmon says they’re excited for the upcoming Provincials in Edmonton Mar. 21-24, a tournament which features the top three teams from the south in the Alberta Minor Midget Hockey League (AMMHL) and top three teams from the north.
“Hopefully we can have the same results,” exclaims Salmon. “It’s a great group of boys representing Red Deer and central Alberta well, so I’m happy to be a part of it.”
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