By Cole Parkinson
Sunny South News
After a great 2-0 weekend to start the new Heritage Junior Hockey League season, the Coaldale Copperheads were back in action this past weekend with a three-pack of games.
Friday night saw the Snakes hit the road to High River as they took on the Flyers. The Copperheads got off to a flying start as they scored a pair of goals early in the period from Derrien Tonin and Riley Potts while Koden Lazar, Krishan Stocker, Ryley Leist, and Kale Amundrud all collected an assist each. After the first intermission though, the Flyers came back and scored three of their own in the second period. After plenty of scoring in the first two periods, the third saw the exact opposite as neither team was able to muster any goals and the Flyers would skate to a 3-2 win.
Coaldale outshot High River 42-27 in the game and would go 0-5 on the power play and kill off four out of five power plays. Cort Castonguay was the starting goalie for Coaldale and made 24 saves on 27 shots.
With the calendar flipping to October on Saturday, the Snakes saw the month begin with a pair of home games. Oct. 1 saw their rival Medicine Hat Cubs come to town and the Snakes were eager to put a win on the board. Lazar got the first goal of the game just over 10 minutes into the period with Stocker and Tonin collecting the assists. Not long after the opening goal, the Cubs would pot one of their own to tie things up. With just over 30 seconds to go in the period, Medicine Hat would score another to give themselves a 2-1 lead going into the first break.
The second period once again saw the Copperheads open the scoring as Hunter Van Vaerenbergh found the back of the net as Brandon Creighton and Amundrud had assists. But the Cubs followed their first period formula and found the lead-taking goal late in the period and once again took a lead into the intermission.
The third period started similar to the first period as Lazar scored the first goal just one minute into the period as Stocker collected the assist. After the tying goal to make it 3-3, neither team was able to find the winning goal in the period. In overtime, Coaldale carried the play and outshot the Cubs 5-1, but no goal came and the game went into a shootout to find a winner. The Cubs shot first and couldn’t find the back of the net. Coaldale’s first shooter, Tristan Miller, also couldn’t put one past the Medicine Hat netminder. The Cubs’ second shooter was also denied by Copperhead Aidan Low. The first goal of the shootout came off the stick of Derrien Tonin as the Copperheads took a 1-0 lead. With the game on the line, Low stood tall and stopped the Cub shooter and the Copperheads collected their third win of the season with a 4-3 win. Low was spectacular in the game stopping 29 of 32 shots in the game and stopping all three shootout attempts.
The Copperheads found themselves in penalty trouble all game long and went 9-10 on the penalty kill while going 0-5 on the power play. Meanwhile, the Snakes were outshot in the game 32-27.
In the final game of the weekend, the Copperheads saw a rematch with High River as the Flyers came to town. The first period was a bit of a shock for the Copperheads as the Flyers came out strong scoring the first three goals before Miller would score with 13 seconds left to make it a 3-1 game. James Halverson and Adam Kennedy found the score sheet with assists.
With a hole to climb out of over the next two periods, the Copperheads came out of the first intermission with a goal of getting back into the game. Kleist would score the Copperhead’s second goal of the game on the power play as Amundrud and Stocker had assists. After the second period, it was 3-2 Flyers and the Copperheads hoped to make the comeback complete in the final frame.
Unfortunately, the Flyers would extend their lead to 4-2 just over 10 minutes into the period. Landen Locke would cut that lead to 4-3 with 2:16 left to play, but that would be as close as it would get as the visiting team took the win. The Copperheads would go 1-6 on the power play and kill off all six penalties. Brendan Stewart was the starting goalie for Coaldale and stopped 16 of 20 shots, while the Copperheads fired 28 shots at the Flyer netminder.
After two weeks of play, Coaldale is currently fourth in the Southern Division with a 3-2 record and six points. The coming weekend sees two games on tap for the Snakes as they have a pair of home games. On Saturday, the team welcomes in the Mountainview Colts for an 8 p.m. puck drop. On Sunday afternoon, the Rocky Rams are in town with puck drop going at 3 p.m.
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