HOCKEY: MIDGETS GET SPLIT

On Sunday January 8 the TR Midget hockey team had their hands full with two games scheduled in our arena.

Game one saw a team from Chetwynd come for a 10:30 am start. The game started with TR having six substitute players on the bench to Chetwynd?s four. Chetwynd jumped out to a three to nothing lead before Big #4 Phil Hayden scored to close the period at 3-1. ?Chris Fowlow has made a lot of good saves to keep this game close,? noted avid fan Sherri Golob. In the second period, Jordan Pittman and Carson David scored to knot the game at three, but the momentum shifted again, as Chetwynd potted three straight goals. Carson notched his second of the game, as the period ended 6-4. ?The three unanswered goals had us down until Carson got his second goal, and we felt we could make up the rest going into the third? stated Trainer Sye Hayden.

The third period started and Jordan Pittman scored two more goals for the hat trick. The third was a beauty as the Power forward picked up a loose puck in the corner, circled out, and then rifled it over the goalie?s shoulder on the short side for a power play marker. But alas, it wasn?t enough as the game ended in a 7-6 win for Chetwynd. Chetwynd had a well-balanced attack, with all nine of their players registering at least one point.

The last 30 seconds of the game were not played, as a Chetwynd player was knocked into the board while he was in the process of taking a shot. ?It was a clean hit?, noted referee Jason Collison. ?He had the puck and he was knocked down. Fortunately, he walked away from the game after that dastardly tumble.? When prodded on why the game was not played out, the veteran referee said, ?the players wouldn?t stop chirping at each other, and the tone of conversation was less than cordial. So it was suggested to me, and I asked both coaches, in light of the injured player lying on the ice, and we decided to call it. Unfortunately with the lack of volunteers, I was the only Official on the ice, and there could be a lot to handle with the wrong attitudes.?

A total of five minor penalties were called, two of them to Tumbler Ridge.

The second game saw the same TR Flyer Midgets host the Carl Alexander team from Ft St John. TR captain Justin McQueen scored the first goal of the game. 11 seconds later, Carson David scored for the two goal lead. Jordan Pittman made it 3-0, before FSJ answered back to close the period at 3-1.

The teams skated through a scoreless second period. ?Our boys are still going strong considering they are playing two contact games with an hour break in between? noted Trainer Sye Hayden,

The third period saw the level of aggression rise. Referee Collison was using a two-man system with the arrival of his assistant Larry White. Ryan Head and Jordan Stanek scored goals for TR, with FSJ replying back with one of their own. Nearing the end of the game, Ryan Head got into an altercation with a FSJ player. The FSJ coach was given an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for his behaviour, and then he was handed a game misconduct penalty for his lack of acceptance over the first call. For the second time that day, there was about 30 seconds on the clock, and the mood was not getting any friendlier, so the clock was run down to zero. Tumbler Ridge taking the 5-3 victory.

Midget Head Coach Keith Bertrand had this to say: ?Well, that?s hockey. Our team sets a new bar for itself every game we play. Remember that we are just a house league team, at times playing against B division teams. Goaltender Chris Fowlow is playing exceptional for a first year midget goalie. This is good for all the players. It develops social, physical, and mental skills, preparing them for other situations in life where they need to work as a team to achieve their goals?.