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Red Deer U18 AAA Sutter Fund Chiefs win game one of provincial qualifiers

Provincials are in Edmonton later in March
The U18 AAA Red Deer Sutter Fund Chiefs won game one of their opening series in the AFHL playoffs against the Lloydminster Steelers. The winner of the series gets to go to provincials in Edmonton. (Photo by Ian Gustafson/ Advocate staff)

The Red Deer Sutter Fund Chiefs dominated in their first postseason game of the Alberta Female Hockey League (AFHL) U18 AAA provincial qualifier playoffs.

In game one of a best-of-three series against the Lloydminster Steelers on Saturday in Red Deer, the Chiefs rallied for a 5-0 victory.

Nadia Lavoie, Jaecia Joyce, Belle Smith, Ryann Holbein, and Sydney Hollman found the back of the net in the win. They also outshot the Steelers 48-12.

Head coach Brett Wold said his team played with a lot of energy.

“We have playoff experience and the girls showed it today,” he said. “We’re pretty proud with how they played and they stuck to the gameplan.

“We have nine girls who played playoffs and provincials last year. In terms of games, we have 62 games of playoff experience on our roster which is huge… You don’t know what you got until you’ve been there before.”

In the regular season, the Chiefs were 5-1 against the Steelers however they didn’t take their opponent lightly because in the playoffs it’s anyone’s game.

Wold said how the girl’s breakout of the defensive zone has dramatically improved and are keeping their strategy simple. They also got a ton of scoring chances and Wold gave credit to all four lines for playing well.

“We’re gritty so we just do little things and simple things and when it gets tough we get going. That’s what’s going to be our strength heading into provincials hopefully after this weekend is using that grittiness to our advantage,” he said.

The Chiefs will play the Steelers again on Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre for a chance to win the series and book their ticket to the U18 AAA provincials in Edmonton from March 23-26. If a game three is needed Red Deer will head to Lloydminster next weekend.

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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