Hockey Digest

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The St. Albert Steel remain unbeaten after regulation time following Saturday’s overtime decision in Camrose.

Reed Linaker’s power-play goal 51 seconds into the five-minute OT period defeated the hometown Kodiaks 3-2. Spencer Pommells and Brandon Fagerheim assisted on Linaker’s 12th goal this season.

It was the eighth victory by the Steel (17-10) after regulation play and the sixth in OT.

Captain Mike Giese (seventh) and Derek Bacon (14th) scored in period two. In the third the Kodiaks (18-11-0-3) outshot the Steel 16-5 while pulling even with goals 43 seconds apart on the power play.

Shots overall were 36-33 for the host team of the 2011 Royal Bank Cup. It was also the ninth game in a row the Steel gave up more shots than they registered. In net was Rhys Hadfield (17-9, 3.31 GAA).

The night before in St. Albert, the Steel dropped a 2-1 decision to the Alberta Junior Hockey League champion Spruce Grove Saints (25-2-0-3), ranked number one in the Canadian Junior Hockey League. The Saints scored twice in the opening 10 minutes, including a power-play marker at 2:21. Bacon cut the lead in half 61 seconds into the third.

Shots were 12-9 Saints in the third and 38-29 overall for the visitors. Between the pipes was Hadfield.

Attendance was listed at only 210.

Because of a scheduling conflict with Performance Arena, Friday’s contest between the Steel and Grande Prairie Storm (17-11-0-3) is scheduled for Leduc at 7 p.m.

Sunday the Steel host the Drayton Valley Thunder (5-21-0-4) at 6 p.m. It’s also the annual Teddy Bear Toss game in support of the Kinettes’ Christmas hamper drive.

France Montour, head coach of the midget A female St. Albert Rush, will serve as an assistant coach for the U18 national women’s team at the 2011 IIHF world championship.

Montour was an assistant coach with the U18 team during a three-game series against the United States in August in Lake Placid, N.Y.

The U18 worlds go Jan. 1 to 8 in Stockholm Sweden. Canada is the defending champion.

The coaching staff and Hockey Canada scouts will select the 20-player roster for worlds, based on a series of practices and intersquad games during a three-day selection camp, starting Dec. 17 in Toronto. Thirty-one players were invited to tryouts.

The St. Albert Slash have a huge game on tap tonight against the Edmonton Thunder in the Alberta Major Midget Female Hockey League. Faceoff is 8:30 p.m. at Performance Arena.

The Thunder, the 2010 Esso Cup national bronze medalists as the Pacific reps, lead the north division leaders at 15-0-3. The Slash are 13-2-3. In late October the teams skated to a 2-2 draw in Edmonton.

The Slash are undefeated in eight games after a 9-0 drubbing of the Grande Prairie Storm (2-16-2) Sunday in St. Albert. Matana Skoye was the top scorer with three goals and one assist. Chloe Sanderson (6-0-2) stopped 16 shots for her second shutout of the season and the team’s fifth overall.

Meanwhile, Hockey Alberta announced Monday the organization will receive a $25,000 grant from RBC’s Play Hockey Initiative to fund a girls’ hockey festival, April 15 to 17 in Alberta’s Capital region.

The three-day event will also coincide with the start of the Esso Cup, April 17 to 23 at Servus Credit Union Place. The Slash are hosting the six-team tournament.

The hockey festival includes a Try Hockey novice jamboree, atom and peewee skills camp run by Olympic gold medallist Carla MacLeod, Team Alberta Challenge Zone Camp tryouts and a coaching clinic.

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St. Albert Gazette

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