The Red Deer Optimist Chiefs were fit to be tied during the weekend, battling the host Calgary Buffaloes to a 3-3 draw Saturday and playing the visiting St. Albert Raiders to a 1-1 standoff Sunday at the Arena.
Chase Olsen notched the lone goal against the Raiders, who got an impressive 44-save performance from Patrick Dea. Cole Sears stopped 14 shots in the Red Deer net.
“I was really happy with how we played today,” said Chiefs head coach Doug Quinn. “Our effort was there, it was just one of those games when we didn’t score on our opportunities and their goalie played exceptionally well.”
Quinn wasn’t as tickled with Saturday’s contest, considering the Optimist Chiefs blew a 3-0 lead.
“That was a bit disappointing,” he said. “For most of the first two periods I thought we played extremely well.”
The Buffaloes took advantage of a Chiefs miscue to notch a late second-period, short-handed goal to get back into the contest, then scored twice in the final frame to salvage the draw.
“We had total control of that game and then near the end of the second period we’re on a power play and two of our guys run into each other. Their guy goes in on a breakaway and scores,” said Quinn.
“Then we took a bad penalty at the end of the period and started the third on the penalty kill. But they scored just after we killed the penalty and we were outplayed the rest of the game. We were on our heels.”
The Chiefs got a goal from each of TJ Brown, Allan Pruss and Ross Heidt, while Jayden Sitter stopped 30 shots. Brandon Butler made 43 saves for the Buffaloes.
The Chiefs, who will play in the Calgary Mac’s Midget Tournament over the Christmas break, return to Alberta Midget Hockey League action Saturday at 4:45 p.m. against the visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes.