Red Deer Chief Tyler Steenbergen steals the puck from Calgary Buffalo Brenden Montgomery during the opening game of Alberta Midget Hockey League South Division final at the Arena

Chiefs draw first blood in South final

With overtime looming, Red Deer Optimist Chiefs captain Gabe Bast took matters into his own hands and secured a richly-deserved Alberta Midget Hockey League playoff win for his club Sunday at the Arena. The second-year defenceman took a feed from Trey deGraaf, busted down the right boards and beat Calgary Buffaloes netminder Logan Thompson on the short side to give the Chiefs a 3-2 lead at 16:45 of the third period.

With overtime looming, Red Deer Optimist Chiefs captain Gabe Bast took matters into his own hands and secured a richly-deserved Alberta Midget Hockey League playoff win for his club Sunday at the Arena.

The second-year defenceman took a feed from Trey deGraaf, busted down the right boards and beat Calgary Buffaloes netminder Logan Thompson on the short side to give the Chiefs a 3-2 lead at 16:45 of the third period. The home side protected the cushion over the final three minutes and grabbed a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five South Division final.

Thompson appeared to leave some open space on his blocker side while anticipating Bast to return the puck to Trey deGraaf, who was breaking down the middle.

Whatever . . .

“DeGraaf made a nice play to get me the puck. I saw a spot and just flicked it over top of him (Thompson),” said Bast.

The Chiefs roared out of the gate and had a 2-0 lead before the game was six minutes old. Ross Heidt took a pass from Jeff de Wit and scored on a breakaway at 2:06, and Chase Olsen cashed a rebound from a scramble just over three minutes later with Red Deer on a power play.

The visitors got one back when Anthony Orubor notched a man-advantage goal at the seven-minute mark, then pulled even on Jackson McKinstry’s second of the playoffs 3:43 into the second period.

The Chiefs pushed the pace through much of the middle frame and again in the third, but couldn’t solve Thompson until Bast came through with the winner.

“It wasn’t an easy game,” said Bast. “Their goaltender played well and they’re a good team. The rest of the games in this series are going to be tight-checking and low-scoring.”

Thompson held the visitors in the game with a 41-save performance, but Red Deer head coach Doug Quinn wasn’t overjoyed with his club’s outing.

“I’m happy with the win, but I think we have more to give,” he said. “I thought after we got up we kind of sat back a bit, especially in the second period.

“Sometimes you’re not always going to play a perfect game. Gabe made a great individual effort near the end to salvage a win for us, but we definitely need to be better next game.”

Game 2 is set for Wednesday at Calgary’s South Fish Creek Arena and Quinn anticipates that the Buffaloes will be extra difficult at home.

“They’ve been one of the best teams down the stretch, something like 14-1,” said the Chiefs coach. “They’re really well coached and today they did a good job of cutting off our speed.

“We need to be better, I thought we lost a lot of one-on-one battles today . I’m happy with the win, but as a coach I’m never satisfied.”

The third game of the series will be played Friday (8 p.m. start) at the Arena.

Just Posted

Break-in at Red Deer business

Social media reports confirm a business break and enter in Red Deer… Continue reading

‘Rough waters’: Spill raises new questions about fast-growing N.L. oil industry

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Newfoundland and Labrador’s ambitious plans to dramatically expand… Continue reading

Trudeau rules out snap election call, national ballot slated for Oct. 21

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says there will be no early… Continue reading

Canadian firm says it has found largest diamond ever unearthed in North America

YELLOWKNIFE — A Canadian mining firm says it has unearthed the largest… Continue reading

Man from Olds killed in collision near Sundre

A 39-year-old man from Olds was killed in a collision near Sundre… Continue reading

WATCH: More than 100 protest UN migration pact, carbon tax in Red Deer

Chants of “Trudeau must go” echoed through the streets of downtown Red… Continue reading

Quebecers criticize western oil but buying more gasoline, SUVs, bigger homes: report

MONTREAL — Quebec’s premier is quick to reject “dirty” oil from Western… Continue reading

Speaker Geoff Regan opens the door to his apartment in Parliament

OTTAWA — One of the best-kept secrets inside the main building on… Continue reading

Baloo the cat is back at home after being mistakenly shipped to Montreal

HALIFAX — Much to the relief of his loving family, Baloo the… Continue reading

‘It’s what we do’: Famous Newfoundlanders help replace veteran’s stolen guitar

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Two famous Newfoundlanders stepped in to help an… Continue reading

Quebec’s anti-corruption unit blames media coverage for recruiting troubles

MONTREAL — Seven years after it was created, Quebec’s anti-corruption unit is… Continue reading

Former PQ cabinet minister poised to become next Bloc Quebecois leader

MONTREAL — It appears likely that Yves-Francois Blanchet, a former Parti Quebecois… Continue reading

J&J hammered by report it knew of asbestos in baby powder

NEW YORK — Johnson & Johnson on Friday forcefully denied a media… Continue reading

Police want direct talk with missing Colorado woman’s fiance

DENVER — An official leading the search for a missing Colorado woman… Continue reading

Most Read