By Woodard, Dale on December 9, 2019.
The Lethbridge Val Matteotti bantam AAA Golden Hawks lost the game, but won the segment.
The Golden Hawks were topped 4-3 by the Red Deer Rebels in Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League play Sunday afternoon at Nicholas Sheran Arena.
Deadlocked at 3-3 late in the third, the Rebels struck for the game-winner with 4:17 remaining when Will Christian scored off a speedy Red Deer burst through the neutral zone.
The loss – the Golden Hawks only game of the weekend – puts the team at 5-11-0, keeping them in fourth place in the Ram South Division.
Red Deer remains atop the Ram South Division at 12-1-2 with the win.
Despite the loss, the Hawks are still 3-2 in their last five games thanks to a three-game winning streak at the end of November and into early December that was halted with a 2-0 loss to the SEAC Medicine Hat Tigers Wednesday night at Nicholas Sheran Arena.
The two latest losses aside, that still puts the Golden Hawks above .500 over their last five games, more than doubling their win total before that.
“We won our last segment 3-2,” said Golden Hawks head coach Brendan Harper. “We go in segments of five and it’s all about taking steps forward. Coming into this segment, it was a big mindset for us to continue to win the segment and continue to take steps forward. As of late things have been clicking really well. I think our team is gelling and we’re starting to do the right things.”
Golden Hawks assistant captain Layne Loomer was in on each Lethbridge goal Sunday afternoon with one goal and two assists.
“It was good, we played well,” said Loomer. “They just got a chance and they buried it and I think that was just the difference.”
Fellow assistant captain Ty Fraser opened the scoring and added an assist, while Aidyn Law tied the game at 3-3 7:45 into the third before the Rebels struck late.
Owen Callow, Colby Joyce and Harrison Lodewyk scored the other Rebels goals.
Brenner Fyfe made 29 saves for the Golden Hawks. Rebels goaltender Brock Lott kicked out 23.
“I thought they played really well today,” said Harper, who had four regulars out for Sunday’s game. “We’re short on bodies, a lot of players are injured at this time of year and every kid on the ice stepped up today. They played hard and they played the right way. They stayed on the page and at the end of the day I know the result wasn’t exactly what we wanted, but we’re proud of them. They played hard against a really good team.”
The Golden Hawks are three points behind the Tigers and four back of the Airdrie Xtreme.
“Everybody is just buying in and going with the system and we’ve just been playing the best we have been playing all year,” said Loomer.
“The big thing for us is the effort level of the players,” added Harper. “The couple of controllables that they have are their effort and their attitude. We think as a group our effort has been really good. We never quit in games no matter what the score, which has definitely helped us come back in the third period.”
“It’s been good as of late and things have just been going our way. So will hopefully get back on track.”
The Golden Hawks are back home this Saturday when the Xtreme roll into Nicholas Sheran Arena at 3 p.m., their final home game of the 2019 calendar year.
They hit the road to Calgary Sunday to take on the 9-5-3 Royals.
Ideally, they’ll have a few more bodies to go to come next weekend.
“We’ll know more at the start of the week,” said Harper. “But at the end of the day everybody is banged up at this time of year, everybody is injured. It’s just managing the injuries and hoping there’s a speedy recovery.”
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