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Copperheads move in to second place in South Division as regular season winds down

Posted on February 15, 2024 by Sunny South News

By Garrett Simmons
Sunny South News

The Coaldale Copperheads had another up-and-down weekend in Heritage Junior Hockey League play.

It all started Friday with a 6-0 loss to the High River Flyers. High River scored two goals in each period, to run away with the game, despite the fact the Copperheads shelled the Flyers goaltender early, and often.

Coaldale fired 16 shots on goal in the first frame, and directed 24 shots at the High River goal in the second. The Copperheads ran out of a bit of steam in the third and mustered only 11 shots but in the end, Coaldale still outshot High River to the tune of 51-47.

Flyers goaltender Parker Forrest picked up the shutout, as the High River goalie was a major part of his team’s 6/6 effort on the penalty kill.

Coaldale gave up three powerplay goals, as the Copperheads were shorthanded eight times in the contest.

Kaiden Fulton made 41 saves in the game.

Saturday was a different story, as Coaldale’s offence erupted for seven goals in a 7-6 victory over the Strathmore Wheatland Kings.

Coaldale got off to a 2-0 lead after the first 20 minutes, as goals from Brogan Booth and Nathan Verloop had the home crowd jumping early. Rylan Bruns had two assists in the period and Bill Houenagnon added one helper.

Strathmore made it 2-1 with a powerplay goal in the second period, before Tyran Kiss extended the lead to 3-1 on the goal assisted by Koden Lazar and Adam Kennedy.

Strathmore scored to make it 3-2 but once again, Coaldale struck back, as Verloop’s goal, from Kennedy, made it a 4-2 game. A Peyton Twigg powerplay marker, assisted by Verloop, made it 5-2, as the home side led by three heading into the third.

The Wheatland Kings made a game of it in the final frame, as a quick goal narrowed the lead to 5-3. A Caden Heins powerplay goal widened the advantage to 6-3, as Booth drew the assist.

Strathmore put on a strong push and scored the game’s next three goals to tie things up a six. A powerplay goal finally evened the score.

But Verloop saved the day for the Copperheads, as he scored his 19th of the year on a set up by Drew Constant and Griffin McCulloch.

When all was said and done, Strathmore held a 40-21 edge in shots, as the visitors went 2/4 on the powerplay. Coaldale was 2/3 with the man advantage.

Nixon Ordway made 34 saves to earn the win.

This Saturday, Coaldale will get another shot at High River, as the Copperheads will host the Flyers for an 8 p.m. game.

Coaldale is now in second place in the South Division with a 24-11-2 record, good for 50 points. Medicine Hat sits in third with 48 points. The Cubs do have three games in hand.

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