By Tyler Lowey, Times Reporter
The Wheatland Chiefs inflicted a little payback Feb. 2 at Hussar Arena.
Earlier in the month, the defending provincial champion Chiefs lost to the Okotoks Oilers in Okotoks. It marked the second time all season that the Oilers (2-24-1) found themselves in the win column.
Late Friday night, the Chiefs came out with a sense of urgency and laid the body on the Oilers.
“There was a sense of urgency for sure, but not because we lost to them earlier. We didn’t play well against them last time and we got off to a slow start against the Calgary team last week,” said Chiefs Head Coach Matt Gass. “We just wanted to come out and play strong to try and get us back to where we need to be going heading into playoffs.”
To provide a little spark, Gass bumped defenceman Bailey Filkohazy up to the top line to take the opening faceoff.
“I just wanted to get the boys going and I thought that change was a way to help,” said Gass.
While Filkohazy didn’t play the whole game up with the forwards, he did tie for the team lead with one goal and one assist in the 6-2 drubbing at Hussar Arena.
A couple of power play goals helped an already energized Chiefs (16-9-2) squad in the opening frame.
Jayden Hendricks notched his 10th of the season when he took a puck low on the halfwall and ripped it past Kyle Schneider. Stran Red Crow tossed in his team-leading 11th of the season eight minutes later from Lucas Muenchrath.
Zach Suntjens, A.J. Kusu and Jared Kirkpatrick all factored into a three-goal second period for the Chiefs, as Riley Stovka turned away 33 shots for his sixth win of the season.
With eight games remaining in the South Central Alberta Hockey League regular season, Gass is hoping this is a turning point for the local double-A midget team.
“We have a couple games each weekend from here on out,” he said. “We want to be playing our best and carry some momentum into the playoffs. This was a start and a better effort.”
The Chiefs will begin to wind down the schedule when they host the Central Alberta Selects (4-18-2) Feb. 10 at Hussar Arena.
Warriors heating up
A week off appeared to reinvigorate the Wheatland Warriors (12-14-2) offence, as they racked up 17 goals last weekend in a pair of road games.
The weekend started when they blasted the Red Deer Ramada Inn (2-20-1) 12-2 Feb. 3 at Servus Arena.
Twelve different players factored into the scoring as Brayden Ledrew led the way with a hat trick and three assists. Jarred Schrock registered a pair of goals and one helper, while Chase Tweit and Joel Romano scored a goal and recorded one assist each. Ryder Many Grey Horses, Domenic Ficaccio, Jerrin Hendricks and Spencer Tower supplied one of each and Bryce Benfield picked up a lone goal.
The offensive prowess continued on Super Bowl Sunday when they shook the 14-12-2 Central Alberta Selects 5-3 at the Can Pak Arena.
Benfield continued the hot hand with a pair of goals and one assist, Hendricks netted two assists, while Ficaccio, Tower and Ledrew found the back of the net.
Up next, the local double-A bantam team will host the North Division-leading West Central Tigers (20-6-3) Feb. 11 at the Strathmore Family Centre. Puck drop is set for 4:15 p.m.
The Wheatland Braves didn’t enjoy the same success over the weekend, as they were soundly defeated 9-2 Feb. 3 by the Bow Valley Timberwolves at the Cochrane Arena.
Adam Moore opened the scoring for the Braves in the first period on a solo effort, only to see the T-Wolves (22-3-1) close out the frame with three unanswered goals.
It was much of the same in the second, as Charles Goll netted his 13th of the season, only to see the hosts put four past Connor White, who made 22 saves on 29 shots.
Matthew Dovichak stopped nine of 11 shots in the third for the Braves (16-13-0).
The local double-A peewee team will take on the team right behind them in the South Division, the Lethbridge Hurricanes White (14-9-4) Feb. 11 at the Adams Ice Centre.