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Sundre U18 Huskies’ run at provincial playdowns ends

Sundre Minor Hockey Association’s highest-level team had recently claimed regular season league banner
MVT stock hockey skates
File photo/MVP Staff

SUNDRE – After winning one game and losing another over the past weekend, the U18 Huskies’ season is essentially over.

The highest-level team in the Sundre Minor Hockey Association had recently wrapped up the regular Central Alberta Hockey League season in first place, sending the squad into the first round of provincial playdowns.

On March 8, the Huskies were on the road when they took the first game of the three-team round robin after defeating Bashaw 7-4.

However, that victory came at a cost that resulted in Byron Burwell, the team’s main goaltender, suffering a knee injury.

That meant that when the Huskies returned to play on home ice Sunday, March 10 against Brooks, the squad was without its regular netminder. Stepping in to fill a fairly big pair of goalie pads was Tyler Mahan, the U15 goalie, said Jason Martyn, U18 Huskies head coach.

That was the first game Mahan had really gotten the chance to play at that level and it happened to be the final game, the coach said, adding that while it was a tough shake, those were simply the circumstances and that the Huskies had to play the hand they were dealt.

The game against Brooks was a tough battle that ended in a 9-1 loss for the Huskies, he said.

On Saturday, Brooks had played against Bashaw, with that match coming out undecided with a tie. The way the round robin points racked up, however, Brooks emerged victorious.

“They won the 3A division title,” said Martyn, adding that team will be going into the final round of provincial playdowns.

While the Huskies’ season is essentially over, the squad wasn’t quite yet ready to hang up their skates for the summer, with plans to attend a wind-up tournament for fun in Invermere, B.C. on the weekend of March 23-24.

Looking back at 2023-24, Martyn told the Albertan “it’s hard to say” when asked where the Huskies developed the most.

“The team grew so much together. It’s hard to pick out one place they grew – they grew as a team more than anything,” he said. “Every player developed so much throughout the year.”

That makes selecting players for the association’s upcoming annual awards night on April 3 a particular challenge, he said.

“It’s probably the hardest thing to do when you got that wide a range of kids that grew,” he said.

But overall, it’s been a good season and Martyn said he’s looking forward to the next one.

Simon Ducatel

About the Author: Simon Ducatel

Simon Ducatel joined Mountain View Publishing in 2015 after working for the Vulcan Advocate since 2007, and graduated among the top of his class from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology's journalism program in 2006.
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