The U17 AAA Red Deer North Star Chiefs may have already clinched a playoff spot but their work isn’t done just yet.
The Chiefs, who beat the Calgary Bulls 4-2 on Saturday, are pushing to move up the standings with just six games remaining before the Alberta Elite Hockey League playoffs begin.
Currently, in sixth place with 30 points, the Chiefs could see a lot of movement in the South Division with only nine points separating the teams from second place to sixth.
“We’ve got an opportunity to move up in the standings and get a little better positioning for playoffs,” said head coach Lane Moore.
I think we’ve got a team that can compete with anybody… We’ve got a good squad, a veteran group and I think we’re poised to make some noise in the playoffs.”
Moore approximated that half of the players on the team returned from last year. In turn, this has helped them score plenty of goals but Moore explained his team is relentless on the forecheck.
“We’ve got some speed and we’re pretty tenacious on the forecheck. When we get everybody working together as a unit we’re pretty tough to stop,” he added.
The Chiefs have also split time between goaltenders Cole McLean and Dylan Spackman, both of which they’re confident in.
“The boys are rolling really strong. They’ve both got settled in and both are playing. I have no problem going to either one of them,” he said.
On Saturday afternoon the Chiefs played a tight game against the Calgary Bulls.
After a goal from Chiefs forward Tavish Beagle midway through the second, the two squads were tied 1-1 heading into the third period.
With a minute and a half to go in the game, it appeared the game may head to overtime but the Chiefs had other plans. Matthew Deaver scored 18:29 into the final period on the powerplay to put Red Deer up by a goal. Riley Yzerman and Tristen Buckley scored shortly after to extend their lead and Calgary scored in the final seconds in a 4-2 Red Deer win.
“It was a big win for us,” Moore said. “I think today we may have given up a little too many shots but I thought we held it together. Near the end of the game, we started to score some goals.”