The Red Deer Sutter Fund Chiefs are set to host the Alberta Hockey Midget AAA Female Provincials next week. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Sutter Fund Chiefs ready to host Midget AAA Female Provincials

The second half of the season did not go as planned for the Red Deer Sutter Fund Chiefs in the Alberta Midget AAA Female Hockey League.

Since the beginning of January, Red Deer has lost eight of 11 games. Rock bottom was a shootout loss to the Edmonton Pandas, the last place team in the league.

After sputtering to the finish, the Sutter Fund Chiefs have had a good break and are ready for their shot a provincial supremacy.

They will play host to the 2018 Midget AAA Female Provincials, which get underway March 23.

“Maybe things happen for a reason, maybe the hockey gods wanted us to struggle a bit and find our way and be battle ready for the tournament,” head coach Bob Rutz said.

“We just had some peaks and valleys. In a lot of those games, we were right there. We outshot teams, we outplayed teams, but we had pockets of time where we just let our foot off the gas. Other teams took advantage of that.”

Since the regular season ended, Rutz said his team has gone back to basics and ironed out the fundamentals of their game.

He believes that will be key if they hope to make some noise next week.

“Everyday has been a different theme in practice for us. We had a couple scrimmages last week where we worked on overtime stuff and 4-on-4,” Rutz said.

“Devoted an entire practice to D-zone and forecheck… It’s a chance for us to go back and reinforce the habits we need with our structure and all our systems.”

Sutter Fund Chiefs captain Paige Grenier is excited to get the tournament underway and thinks the team is motivated to come out on top in front of the home crowd.

“We want to take a run at this thing. Obviously, Alberta always brings out good teams to the tournament, so it’s going to be tough competition but I’m looking forward to it,” she said.

“Anytime you get to host a tournament, it’s something special getting to play in front of the home crowd. I encourage lots of people to come out, especially if they have young girls playing hockey.”

Red Deer will open the tournament March 23 at Servus Arena against the St. Albert Slash. Game 2 will be against the league-leading Rocky Mountain Raiders.

“We’ve stressed just keep working hard. If you’re not working hard, you won’t get the breaks. Just play the game the right way and do things you’re supposed to do and hopefully it will pay off,” Rutz said.



Email sports tips to Byron Hackett

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

City of Red Deer gets ball rolling on annexing more land

”It’s important we look ahead,” says Mayor Veer

Walmart melding online and in-store shopping

South Red Deer Walmart recently underwent six months of renovations

Updated: Nature trail unveiled at RDC

Trail unveiling and tree planting honours Nova Chemicals $2 million donation

Video: Windows smashed at three Red Deer businesses

Red Deer RCMP arrest man after vandalism spree

Automated cars could kill wide range of jobs, federal documents say

OTTAWA — More than one million jobs could be lost to the… Continue reading

McGill research finds significant driving impairment 5 hours after cannabis use

MONTREAL — Driving under the influence of cannabis remains dangerous even five… Continue reading

Family: Remembering the important things

It seems so much of life is work and routine and then… Continue reading

Canada gets into Women’s World Cup with 7-0 win over Panama

FRISCO, Texas — Christine Sinclair isn’t concerned about chasing records. She’s set… Continue reading

Baldwin urges ‘overthrow’ of Trump government via voting

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Actor Alec Baldwin followed up his latest parody portrayal… Continue reading

Prince Harry and Meghan expecting their 1st child in spring

CANBERRA, Australia — Prince Harry and his wife, the Duchess of Sussex,… Continue reading

Sears files for Chapter 11 amid plunging sales, massive debt

NEW YORK — Sears filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday, buckling… Continue reading

Doctors to debate medical pot as more patients expected to ask for prescriptions

VANCOUVER — Doctors with opposing views on whether medical marijuana should be… Continue reading

Most Read