Photo by JOSH ALDRICH/Advocate staff -- for Josh's story -- Red Deer Optomist Chiefs defenceman Andrew Kartusch hits Lethbridge Hurricanes forward Michael Grant during Alberta Midget Hockey League action at the Red Deer Arena on Sunday. Red Deer won 3-2.

Optimist Chiefs win final pair of exhibition games

The Red Deer Optimist Chiefs are heading into the Alberta Midget Hockey League season in fine form, winning their final two exhibition games this weekend at the Red Deer Arena. On Saturday they crushed the Fort Saskatchewan Rangers 10-2 and then scored late to beat the Lethbridge Hurricanes 3-2 on Sunday.

The Red Deer Optimist Chiefs are heading into the Alberta Midget Hockey League season in fine form, winning their final two exhibition games this weekend at the Red Deer Arena.

On Saturday they crushed the Fort Saskatchewan Rangers 10-2 and then scored late to beat the Lethbridge Hurricanes 3-2 on Sunday.

In their win over Fort Saskatchewan, Riley Smith had two goals and two assists while Luke Coleman also scored twice.

Tyrees Goodrunning, Parker Smyth, Chase Olsen, Tyler Graber, Drew Joslin and Zane Bennett all scored for Red Deer and Cole Sears made 33 saves for the win.

Fort Saskatchewan responded with goals from Dylan Dorval and Brett Dubuc. Kenton Aubin made only six saves on 12 shots before getting replaced at 14:26 of the first period and Branden Yuel stopped 20 of 24 shots the rest of the way.

On Sunday, Goodrunning scored twice and Smyth got the other to pace the Chiefs attack, Branden Bilodeau made 25 saves for the win.

Arik Weersink made 23 saves for Lethbridge while Tanner Miller and Tanner Thompson tallied.

Chiefs head coach Brandin Cote was pleased with the way they finished the preseason.

“We’re pretty happy with how we’re progressing, it’s a big difference from last weekend when we still had some people we were looking at; with the exception of possibly a few kids that we’re waiting on at junior camps, this will be our team,” he said.

“I thought we looked a lot more like a team this week than last we did last, overall we’re pretty happy with the effort so far.”

Until this weekend, the Chiefs were at 2-2-1 and playing inconsistent hockey as they figured out their roster for the regular season.

Cote was finally able to get a true feel for how the team will look when the puck drops on the regulars on Saturday at 4:45 p.m., against the Medicine Hat Tigers at the Red Deer Arena.

Playing particularly well for the Chiefs is Goodrunning, one of their youngest players, scoring three times in the two games this weekend, including Sunday’s winning goal on the power play at 17:44 of the third period.

“He’s our only 15-year-old forward and he’s been our best player these last two games,” said Cote.

“(Landon) MacKenzie and (Andrew) Kartusch on defence have been real good and our goaltenders have been pretty solid, they’ve made some pretty good saves.”

Just Posted

WATCH: Property taxes in Red Deer will go up 2.02 per cent in 2018

City council passes a “tough” budget that maintains most service levels

Red Deer councillor balks at city getting stuck with more provincial funding responsibilities

Volunteer Central seeks municipal funding after being cut off by FCSS

Olds chicken barn burns to the ground, no livestock harmed

More than 100,000 chickens were saved as fire crews prevent the blaze from spreading

Bear video meant to promote conservation: zoo owner

Discovery Wildlife Park says it will look at other ways to promote its conservation message

Red Deer’s Soundhouse closing its doors on Record Store Day

The owners of The Soundhouse want to shut down their store on… Continue reading

NorAm Western Canadian Cross Country Ski Championships begin in Red Deer

The biggest cross-country skiing competition in Red Deer’s history is underway. Nearly… Continue reading

In photos: Get ready for Western Canadian Championships

Haywood NorAm Western Canadian Championships and Peavey Mart Alberta Cup 5/6 start… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer city council debates cost-savings versus quality of life

Majority of councillors decide certain services are worth preserving

Got milk? Highway reopened near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

Stettler’s newest residents overcame fear, bloodshed to come here

Daniel Kwizera, Diane Mukasine and kids now permanent residents

Giddy up: Red Deer to host Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2018

The CFR is expected to bring $20-30 million annually to Red Deer and region

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag at Pyeongchang Olympics

Not since Kurt Browning at the 1994 Lillehammer Games has a figure… Continue reading

Beer Canada calls on feds to axe increasing beer tax as consumption trends down

OTTAWA — A trade association for Canada’s beer industry wants the federal… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month