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RD U18 AA Sutter Fund Chiefs win second straight provincial title

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The U18 AA Red Deer Sutter Fund Chiefs won the gold medal in Okotoks over the Calgary Fire at the provincial championships. The win marked their second straight championship title. (Photo by Red Deer Sutter Fund Chiefs/ X)

The Red Deer Sutter Fund Chiefs claimed their second straight U18 AA Alberta Female Provincial Championship over the weekend.

On Sunday they took down the Calgary Fire 2-1 in the gold medal game in Okotoks to finish on top of the league once again.

Head coach Clint Greiner said they played a more defensive-focused game while capitalizing on their opportunities on offence.

“I feel like the girls really stuck to that and we played all four lines the whole tournament,” he said.

“There were a handful of girls that were also on the team last year… I think it’s a great accomplishment for the whole team including the girls that didn’t play last year.”

After Chiefs forward Devon McConnell opened the scoring in the first period the Fire answered in the second period scored by Alexa Forsyth.

In the final frame, both teams had plenty of back and forth before forward Bria Hull gave Red Deer the lead midway through the period. Goaltender Brylee Hull also made 27 saves between the pipes to secure the victory for Red Deer.

“I’ve had her three years and was goalie of the year the last two years and could have had it this year. She had an outstanding season and an outstanding game,” he said.

“I was fortunate enough to rest her the two games before the finals and it worked out.”

Greiner added his team handled the pressure of a tight game better than he expected.

“It was at the 10-minute mark in the third when we scored and everyone was calm when we were up a goal. The Fire put the pressure on and the energy was good,” he said.

The Chiefs entered the tournament as the top seed after finishing the regular season with a 24-4-1-1-0 record. Just last year they took home the gold medal after beating the North Central Impact 1-0 and they wanted to achieve that again.

At provincials during the round-robin portion of the tournament, Red Deer finished 3-1 losing to the Fire on Saturday. However, the Chiefs returned the favour on Sunday when it mattered most.

“We were confident but we also knew the majority of the teams there were going to compete hard all the time. It is hockey and if we didn’t come without our ‘A’ game, our ‘B’ game wasn’t going to be good enough,” he said.

Greiner explained this was his last season coaching minor hockey. Before this year he spent time as the head coach of the U15 AA Sutter Fund Chiefs and is happy to walk away from coaching following a gold medal victory.

He’d like to thanks all the coaches and athletes he’s worked with over the years.

Ian Gustafson

About the Author: Ian Gustafson

Ian began his journalism career as a reporter in Prince Albert, Sask. for the last three years, and was born and raised in Saskatchewan.
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