Yellowhead Chiefs AAA Female Midget: Welcome
|Kirsten, Jalin, Hannah and Tash with former Chief captain Jordyn Tibbatts|
The September long weekend usually heralds the end of summer, the beginning on the school year and for the Yellowhead Chiefs, a very competitive tryout camp. With the tough decisions made, head coach Derek Tibbatts lead his new team to Edmonton to the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) Ooks Blue Gold Classic tournament. The long bus ride gave the players an opportunity to renew friendships and welcome the rookies into the Chiefs family. There was some not quite American Idol ready singing from the new players to serenade the bus.
A crisp one hour practice at the NAIT rink started the weekend on Friday morning. The facility is first rate and the ice was close to the best the team had ever been on, (sorry Dan, you are still number 1 in our books). The Chiefs first game was against the Calgary Fire, the only AAA team from that city this season. With the bus legs worked out in the morning, the Chiefs carried the play for long stretches in the first two periods, generating opportunities on the Calgary net with their speed and good puck movement. The more physical Alberta team used their size to get control of pucks, but were stymied by Emma Greenwood, making her first start as a Chief.
Late in the first period, third year vet Kirsten Brown pressured a Calgary defenceman at their blueline and created a turnover, sending her in on a partial breakaway. Brown finished the play with a high wrist shot that beat the goalie on the glove side. Assists on the goal went to Karissa Cullum and Jalyn Elmes. Greenwood handled the few shots sent her way in the third to secure the shutout win for the Chiefs, 1 – 0.
Game 2 for the Chiefs came on Saturday afternoon after a presentation from the student advisory members from NAIT outlining the programs offered at the college. Rookie netminder Miranda Cook was between the pipes for this game against the Sherwood Park Fury. Yellowhead continued to showcase their team speed, hemming the Fury in their end with a strong cycle game. Jalin Adams opened the scoring early in the first period, sliding home a puck to the side of the net, assisted by Jalyn Elmes. Emma Coulter added the second goal for the Chiefs later in the first, banging home a rebound in front with assists from Hannah Fouillard and Hannah Street. Two more goals in the second period stretched the Chiefs lead to 4 – 0 as Hannah Fouillard and Karissa Cullum found the back of the net. Cook was solid in goal, including a quick sliding save on a bang bang play in front of the net to preserve her shutout. Sherwood Park came out strong in the third and scored their first goal of the game just 40 seconds in. The Chiefs recovered well and continued to control the game, leading to rookie Karli Frederick scoring her first as a Chief as she calmly slammed home a rebound with an assist going to Sam Geekie.
Saturday night, an exhibition game involving all the graduating players was played, including several players from the NAIT Ooks. For the Chiefs, Tashel Scantlebury, Hannah Street , Kirsten Brown and Jalin Adams participated in the game and while none of them factored in the scoring, three did find their way to the penalty box.
The Chiefs finished the tournament Sunday morning with a matchup with the Red Deer Chiefs. The long weekend showed as Yellowhead was on their heels in the first period, with Emma Greenwood playing a solid first period until her new teammates found their legs. Red Deer ran into penalty trouble in both the second and third period as they tried to play a physical game against the quicker Yellowhead team. Early in the second period, two rookie defenceman combined on the power play to put the Chiefs ahead, as Sydnee DeCorby fed McKenna Paddock a pass on the left side. Paddock fired a quick snap shot that beat the Red Deer goalie on the short side. Greenwood was again solid the rest of the way and the Chiefs finished the weekend with another 1 – 0 win and an undefeated record. The team and the graduating players received some great feedback from the NAIT coaching staff and packed their bags for the long trip. A highlight for the girls was meeting Canadian Olympian, Shannon Szabados who was practicing with the NAIT Ooks mens team. That highlight was trumped by the chance to spend one more weekend with graduated Chiefs captain Jordyn Tibbatts who is attending NAIT and playing for the Ooks. A great start to the season for the Chiefs, who will practice over the next two weeks before taking part in the Central Plains Capitals Pre-Season Showcase at the end of September.
Tuesday, September 2
The 2014-2015 season began for the Yellowhead Chiefs on Friday August 29th with registration and the first ice session of the fall tryout camp. 33 Bantam and Midget players hit the ice at the Shoal Lake Communiplex and were put through the paces by returning coaches Derek Tibbatts and Kristin Nickel. Two ice sessions followed on Saturday with a full intersquad game on Sunday afternoon. The coaches then met with the players and provided feedback on their camp. The roster for this seasons Chiefs will be posted soon and features a great mix of returning veterans and eager rookies. The team will now gather for practice on Tuesday evening before boarding the bus on Thursday to travel to Edmonton to play in the NAIT Ooks Blue Gold classic tournament. Games against Calgary, St Albert and Red Deer will test the new team while the graduating players will have an extra game as they will participate in an inter squad game with the NAIT varsity team, including recently graduated Chiefs captain Jordyn Tibbatts.
The regular season will kick on Ocotober 3rd and 4th with home games against the Norman Wild. Check out our full schedule on the website.