May 25th, 2024

Hockey Hounds set to return to play after solid tournament performance


By Dale Woodard - Lethbridge Herald on December 1, 2021.

The Lethbridge U18 Hockey Hounds fell one victory shy of winning their own tournament.
Still, that performance last weekend could be just what the doctor ordered as the Hockey Hounds return to South Central Alberta Hockey League play this weekend.
Hosting their home tournament Friday through Sunday at the ATB Centre, the Hockey Hounds made it to Sunday’s gold medal game against the Okotoks Bisons.
However, a repeat win of their tournament wasn’t in the cards as the Bisons hit the road with a 5-2 win and the 2021 tourney bragging rights.
Still, Hockey Hounds head coach Scott Trotter said posting four wins over the course of three days should bode well for his team as they return to SCAHL play this weekend.
“We were kind of in a slump going into the tournament and guys were finding their groove going forward,” said Trotter. “Okotoks is obviously good competition for us, but I think all in all it was a good weekend for everybody.”
The Hockey Hounds rattled off four straight wins before suffering their only setback of the weekend in the final to Okotoks.
“It’s great for the team. We’ve been battling for every win this year, so to go 4-1 feels good,” said Hockey Hounds forward and team captain Drew Constant. “We came out strong and we battled. They’re so much bigger than us. It’s just soaking it in right now. Our goalie played well and I thought we were rolling, but we were too beat up.”
Still, four wins in a weekend is something to build off of.
“I think it’s just confidence and doing the little things right,” said Trotter. “When you start putting the puck in the net like we did leading up to this game the confidence comes. Our younger players stepped up a lot, too.
“The team bonding and team building and being able to battle through five games in 72 hours is pretty big. I think we’re excited to get back into league, take on our competition and move up in the standings.”
But last weekend was about being tournament hosts on their home ice and almost giving the hometown crowd a tourney win.
“It was awesome. This is why you play hockey,” said Constant. “I think we exceeded everybody’s expectations, for sure. Obviously, we’re a little sad in the room (after the final loss), but when you think about it, it was a fun tournament. It was good for our team.”
The Hockey Hounds are currently 5-8-1 and in fifth place in the South Division.
“We’re kind of in the middle of the pack in the South Division,” said Trotter. “We win one, lose one. To put four wins together this weekend, it shows the guys they can do that and play with the competition we see every night.”
The Hockey Hounds return to league play Friday when they host the Medicine Hat Hounds at 7 p.m. and Henderson Arena.
They’re back at Henderson Arena Saturday at 7:30 p.m. when the West Central Tigers pay a visit.
They head to Okotoks Sunday to face the Oilers at 3:30 p.m.
The Hockey Hounds now look to carry a little tournament momentum into their three-game weekend.
“It’s huge,” said Constant. “Hopefully we carry it into league. It’s good to see.”

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