Chiefs Baumgardt stellar in defensive battle

Taryn Baumgardt has one more year remaining with the Red Deer Sutter Fund Chiefs major midget hockey team, but she’s already drawing interest from a number of universities.

Chiefs 0 Bruins 0

Taryn Baumgardt has one more year remaining with the Red Deer Sutter Fund Chiefs major midget hockey team, but she’s already drawing interest from a number of universities.

“This is the third year I’ve had her and she’s a very skilled player, with a little size, very mobile, makes good plays and has good vision,” said Chiefs head coach Mickey Girard. “She has another year remaining with us and already several universities have her in their sights.”

But Baumgardt isn’t sure what her plans are.

“I’d like to go to university, but I’m not sure where and what I’ll take.”

Baumgardt was able to showcase her talent, along with the other members of the defence, Sunday as the Chiefs battled the Calgary Bruins to a 0-0 tie at Kin City Arena B. It was the second tie in as many days for the Chiefs, who battled the Spruce Grove Saints to a 2-2 draw Saturday at Kin City.

“We’re a little disappointed, but it was still a good effort . . . we just didn’t find a way to score,” said Girard. “Yesterday (Saturday) we had 53 shots on goal and we were stopped by their goalie while today I didn’t think we were aggressive enough.”

“The thing is we always have good games with them (Bruins),” said Baumgardt, who is one of the premier rearguards in her age class in the province.

She’s played on the provincial team, along with teammate Hannah Mousek, for the last two years.

“It’s always an unreal experience to represent your province,” she said. “I’ve learned a lot as we’re up against great players. For myself I just try to do what I can do to help out.”

Baumgardt played her minor hockey in Innisfail, playing with the boys through peewee and switching to girls in bantam. The 17-year-old, who is in Grade 11 in Innisfail, joined the bantam AAA Sutter Fund Chiefs in her second year in the age group.

The move fit her perfectly.

“I get a chance to play with a lot of excellent players and I’m having a lot of fun,” she said. “Plus the league we play in pushes me every game and makes me a better player.”

Baumgardt, who is fourth in team scoring with six goals and 17 assists, sees herself as a puck-moving defenceman.

“I’ve always moved the puck OK, but it’s easy to play with the girls I play with . . . they make my job a lot easier.”

For the most part Baumgardt is teamed with Mousek, both with the Chiefs and the provincial team.

“We’ve switched a couple of times, but I’ve been with her most of the time. We know each other and where we’ll be and what we’re thinking, so that works out for both of us.”

Girard broke the two up for part of the season, but 10 games ago united them again.

“I know they like playing together and they sense were each other will be and they do a good job of moving the puck. Plus the other two pairs have also worked out.”

“We have an excellent defence and strong goaltending,” said Baumgardt. “Camille (Trautman) was a great goalie )(last year), but the goalies this year (Jennifer West and Megan Kirkland) have been great for us.”

Kirkland recorded her third shutout of the season Sunday, making 26 saves while her mates had 39 shots on Karen Lefsrud in the Calgary net.

With the shutout Kirkland lowered her goals-against-average to 1.21.

On Saturday, West was in goal, making 12 saves. The Chiefs led 1-0 and 2-0 by periods on goals by Mousek and Emma Malsbury,

The Chiefs and Medicine Hat are tied for first in the South Division with 42 points each. They both have four games remaining with all of Red Deer’s games on the road.

“We have a tougher schedule as we play St. Albert and Edmonton then twice in Medicine Hat,” said Girard. “It will likely come down to those two games in Medicine Hat. It’s like we have four playoff games before the playoffs, but that may be good.”

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