Like a well-oiled machine, the U18 AAA Red Deer Sutter Fund Chiefs were dominant in all facets of the game Friday afternoon.
To begin the Alberta Female Hockey League (AFHL) U18 AAA Showcase in Red Deer the Chiefs shut out the Rocky Mountain Raiders 5-0 at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre.
Not only did they score a handful of goals but they limited their opponents to just 15 shots and achieved their second shutout of the season.
Head coach Brett Wold said it was a great win and thought they came out strong right out of the gate.
“I thought we played a good 60 minutes. That’s what we’ve been trying to get out of the girls the last couple of games so kudos to them for putting in the effort,” Wold said.
Chiefs defenceman and captain Ryann Holbein had a three-point game contributing a goal and two assists. Meanwhile, Jaecia Joyce, Rylee Mcleod, Alyssa Shaw, and Callahan McCulloch all reached the back of the net in the effort. Chiefs goaltender Taya Christie finished with a 14-save performance and on the other end of the ice Raiders netminder, Erika Finney made 43 stops.
“When you get up on them by five you don’t want to start cheating and going for offence. So we know our focus was to stay defensive and make sure we take care of our own zone. They did a great job of that tonight,” Wold added.
The matchup marked the opening game of the Showcase which takes place from Feb. 3-5 and will feature all six teams.
The U18 AAA Red Deer Sutter Fund Chiefs opened the @AFHL_HA showcase in Red Deer with a 5-0 win— Ian Gustafson (@IanGustafson12) February 4, 2023
With eight games left the Chiefs are one point back from second place and five points back from first in the standings pic.twitter.com/lVEqpRgeix
The Chiefs play again Saturday morning at 9 a.m. against the Edmonton Jr. Oilers and on Sunday they’ll go head-to-head with the St. Albert Bauer Slash at 2:30 p.m. Both will be played at the Canada Games Centre.
The event’s purpose is to shine a spotlight on the talent within the league and even some scouts make an appearance to take a look at all the teams within the AFHL. The games are also live streamed on HockeyTV.
“It’s awesome,” he said. “We get to be in our home rink and we get to sleep in our own beds so it’s always a privilege for us to play here.”
The Calgary Fire, St. Albert Bauer Slash, and Red Deer Sutter Fund Chiefs are the top three teams in the league.
With eight games remaining for the Chiefs, Wold said their focus is preparing for the playoffs rather than finishing in the top two.
“The points are obviously nice. We’re just focusing on playing some playoff hockey here and getting ready for that. Regardless if we move up in the standings or not we’re getting ready for that first playoff series,” he said.