Snipers shoot way to provincial roller hockey championship

Las Vegas, here they come. The Red Deer Snipers are off to the gambling mecca next month after capturing the Alberta 12-and-under roller hockey title Sunday at the Collicutt Centre with a 6-1 win over the Sherwood Park Bullfrogs. “It’s going to be a good time. It will be good experience for the boys,” said head coach Troy Park, whose club will compete in the Junior Olympics July 17-20.

Las Vegas, here they come.

The Red Deer Snipers are off to the gambling mecca next month after capturing the Alberta 12-and-under roller hockey title Sunday at the Collicutt Centre with a 6-1 win over the Sherwood Park Bullfrogs.

“It’s going to be a good time. It will be good experience for the boys,” said head coach Troy Park, whose club will compete in the Junior Olympics July 17-20.

“The kids will be playing teams from California and other international teams from Australia and China. It will be fun and also a real eye-opener. We’ll have to see how we do down there.”

The Snipers, who were led by Pierce Shybunka’s three-goal performance, closed out a perfect weekend and extended their undefeated season with the win over Sherwood Park.

Tye Carriere, Cade Mason and Colby Phillips also tallied for the Snipers, who got stellar goaltending from Bretton Park.

The Red Deer squad never trailed in the game and in fact blew it open with four second-half goals.

“For the most part, most of these kids play hockey together so they gelled pretty nicely even on this floor,” said Trevor Park, whose team is basically an all-star unit from the Red Deer house league.

In earlier games in the provincial tournament also played at the Dawe Centre and Kin City, the Snipers downed Red Deer Camo 8-1, doubled the Alberta Aces 8-4, slipped by the Bullfrogs 3-2 and blanked Red Deer Camo 14-0 in a semifinal. The Camo, meanwhile, also fell 7-4 to Sherwood Park and 12-1 to Team United and defeated the Alberta Aces 7-5 in the bronze-medal game.

Red Deer Green thumped Red Deer Yellow 17-7 in the eight-and-under division 2 gold-medal game, while Red Deer 2 fell 8-2 to Team Edmonton in the final of the 10-and-under recreation division.

In other division finals, the Red Deer 17-and-under competitive Snipers edged the Wolfpack 8-7; the 10-and-under competitive Roller Hawks were 6-5 winners over the Northern Alberta Bulls; Team United topped Wetaskiwin 6-2 in 14-and-under recreation; eight-and-under division 1 Wetaskiwin buried Didsbury Silver 21-1; Wetaskiwin downed the Scorpionz 8-3 in 17-and-under recreation play; the Jets defeated 4Pac 7-4 to take junior honours; Sherwood Park downed Didsbury 8-5 in 12-and-under recreation play; and Sherwood Park beat the Cyclones 10-3 in the 14-and-under competitive divisions.

Red Deer 1 won bronze by beating Red Deer 2 by an 8-5 count in the 10-and-under competitive division. Red Deer teams losing bronze-medal games were the Gunners (9-2 to Wetaskiwin in 12-and-under recreation), the Snipers (4-2 to the Crusaders in 14-and-under competitive), and Red Deer 1 (10-6 to Didsbury in 10-and-under recreation).

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