Optimist Rebels 3 Pronghorns 0
The Red Deer Optimist Rebels Chiefs ran into a hot goaltender on Sunday and yet managed to post their seventh victory of the Alberta Midget Hockey League season.
Head coach Doug Quinn said Sunday’s showing has been somewhat of an ongoing pattern and suggested that he’s at least a tad concerned.
“There’s no doubt that their goalie played well,” said Quinn, following his club’s 3-0 win over the Lethbridge Pronghorns at the Arena, in reference to Tyson Brouwer’s 41-save performance for the visitors.
“Unfortunately, it’s seems like every team we have played this year, their goalie seems to be playing extremely well. We’re kind of struggling to score goals. We get enough shots, enough opportunities, but some of the kids are not making that adjustment to our league yet.”
The Rebels Chiefs boast a rookie-laden lineup loaded with players from last season’s Alberta Minor Midget AAA League finalists — the Red Deer IROC Chiefs and Northstar Chiefs.
Surely, the Rebels Chiefs will benefit from that scoring power sooner than later and the lack of offence will soon be a surplus.
“I’m hoping it will,” said Quinn.
“We’re getting the opportunities. It’s an adjustment for most of these players . . . every time you move up to another level the goaltenders are better and the defencemen are stronger. We just have to keep working at it and it will come.”
Colton Bobyk fired two goals in Sunday’s triumph, with Trey deGraaf also scoring and Matt Zentner making 16 saves for the shutout.
Familiar with the Red Deer minor midget AAA coaching staffs of last season, Quinn was well aware of the players and the coaching expertise they received.
“There’s no doubt that a lot of our players have come out of strong programs and certainly their speed and work ethic has been really good,” said Quinn. “We haven’t scored as well as I’d want, but defensively we’ve been good and our goaltending has been really strong.”
l The win was the second in three days for the Rebels, who knocked off the Calgary Royals 6-1 Friday.
Jacob Schofield tallied twice and deGraaf, Gabe Bast, Jordan Steenbergen and Jack Goranson also tallied for Red Deer. Jayden Sittler made 19 saves as the Rebels held a 38-20 advantage in shots.