February 22nd, 2020

Copperheads go 1-1

By Woodard, Dale on October 9, 2019.

Lethbridge Herald

The Coaldale Copperheads won a scrappy game Sunday afternoon.

The Copperheads downed the Medicine Hat Cubs 5-1 in Heritage Junior Hockey League play in Medicine Hat to improve to 3-2-0 on the season.

That win came one night after a high-scoring 9-7 loss to the Airdrie Techmation Thunder Saturday night at the Coaldale Sportsplex.

The 1-1 weekend puts the Copperheads in third place in the Southern Division, two points behind the Cochrane Generals (4-3-0) and six points behind the 6-0 Okotoks Bisons.

On Sunday, tempers flared late in the second period with the Copperheads up 2-0.

Cubs forward Tavin Straub was ejected for a high cross check and on his way off the ice had words with Copperheads netminder Broc Merkl.

The exchange touched off a a bench brawl erupted just inside the open gate. Forty penalty minutes were doled out in the fracas, including an instigating minor to Merkl, who was ejected along with Straub and Cubs captain Tavin Stadnicki.

Brandyn Howg scored twice for the Copperheads in Sunday’s win. Isaac Benoit had one goal and two assists and Mason Sande and Jayden Bexte added the other Coaldale goals. Bexte also had an assist.

Merkl got the start and turned aside all 19 shots he faced, getting the win. Backup Brandon Clark came in late in the second, stopping nine of 10 shots.

On Saturday, the Copperheads and Thunder lit into each other in the 16-goal night.

The Thunder scored four times in the first and third peirods and the Copperheads scored three in the second and third.

Benoit had a four-point night on two goals and two assists and Tyler Anderson added two goals.

Dallas Bodnar, Jedd Horvath and Bexte each scored once.

Bexte also had two assists and Bodnar added one helper.

Merkl took the loss, starting the first period and stopping 14 of 18 shots.

Clark took over in the final 40 minutes, stopping 20 of 25 shots.

The Copperheads are back home for their annual three-game Thanksgiving homestand at the Coaldale Sportsplex.

First up is a Saturday night tilt against the Red Deer Vipers at 8:30, followed by the High River Flyers Sunday at 6 p.m.

The Copperheads finish the weekend against the Cochrane Generals at 2:30 p.m.

Monday’s game will be regular admission, but fans are encouraged to bring a non-perishable items for the Coaldale Food Bank.

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