Red Deer Optimist Chiefs split weekend series

CAC 4 Optimist Chiefs 2

After wins in seven of the last eight games, it was possible the Red Deer Optimist Chiefs got a bit complacent on home ice Sunday.

They were tied 1-1 after 40 minutes with the CAC Gregg Distributors and had a 2-1 advantage with five minutes to play, only to surrender three unanswered goals and fall 4-2.

“I was disappointed. I didn’t like our game at all,” said Optimist Chiefs head coach Doug Quinn.

“Thought we got off to a slow start, we were better in the second but we had the lead with five minutes to go and guys that I need to shut it down, didn’t do the job and as a result, a loss.”

During Alberta Midget AAA Hockey League play in December, Sunday was Red Deer’s first loss in five games. They are fourth in the Chrysler division, with an 11-7-2 record.

CAC opened the scoring in the first before Foxx Doell tied it for Red Deer early in the second period. Ben Perrault put the Optimist Chiefs ahead temporarily in the third. Just under three minutes later, Reese Makewich tied the game and 1:19 after that, Aiden Chow scored the game-winner. CAC also added an empty-net goal.

The Optimist Chiefs left goalie Logan Breen out to dry, who made 32 saves and perhaps deserved better Sunday.

“We didn’t make the commitment defensively,” he said.

“A lot of stick swinging and looping. They have some good offensive players and they made some good plays. Which is disappointing, I thought our goalie had a really strong game but he didn’t get the help he needed.”

Saturday, the Optimist Chiefs edged the SSAC Athletics 3-2 on the road. Kyle Wallace had a pair of goals in the win and Tristan Baumung also added a tally in the second period. Jayden Henderson had two assists along with Kaiden Ellertson and Foxx Doell each adding one. Colby Knight made 20 saves for the victory.

The Optimist Chiefs are on the road for a pair of games next weekend, before they once again take part in the annual Mac’s AAA Tournament in Calgary starting on December 27 against the Vancouver NW Hawks.

“We have to regroup a little bit. We’ve been on a roll, we’ve won seven of the last eight games so I’ve been happy with how we played. I guess that’s why it was so disappointing how we played (Sunday),” Quinn said.

“We definitely worked and competed harder and played with more structure. Sometimes when things are going too good, and you start thinking it’s getting easy, you need games like (Sunday) to catch everybody’s attention. At the end of the day you still need to compete.”

Email sports tips to Byron Hackett

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