By Lethbridge Herald on November 21, 2023.
By Justin Seward
The Lethbridge U13AA Hurricanes are forming something special this season and for their efforts are getting recognized.
The team is 13-0 in the South Central Alberta Hockey League regular season and 19-0 overall, while being ranked third overall out of 125 teams on the latest www. myhockeyrankings.com in the Western Canada Pee Wee AAA category.
“I never knew about those rankings until about last month,” said Charlie Mattersdorfer, head coach.
“But the kids think it’s real cool and you know what I mean, it’s a testament to how hard they work, and yeah they’re having just a great year.”
Mattersdorfer said the success comes from just the group really gelling, and just being real good friends together and working hard.
“I think honestly if you watch our practice here, it doesn’t matter what the kids are doing, they’re having a blast, they’re having a concert in the room before the game ,before practice started, they’re all good buddies, they work hard and honestly they’re all just real good athletes,” said Mattersdorfer.
The players’ focus has been to find consistency, have fun playing and compete in every game at this level.
“So the message for games are we break it down into five-minute increments for each period and we try to win the first period,” said Mattersdorfer.
“Then we go on so forth to 20 and then 40 and then 60 and that’s kind of like our take on just approaching the game for these young kids.”
He has seen a big improvement during this run in the team’s puck management.
“The way they share the puck together,” he said.
“They manage the puck up from the defensive zone through the neutral zone into the offensive zone. So the one thing that has continually got better is just like their willing to share the puck together. They’re happy for each other, it doesn’t matter who scores or who’s successful individually (and) just worried about the team. So that’s kind of like the biggest thing for this group I think.”
Away captain Jake Gerstenbuhler said it’s really fun to be undefeated and just going into every game having confidence and hopefully coming out with success.
“It gives us lots of confidence in the dressing room, outside of the rink and everywhere,” said Gerstenbuhler.
Gerstenbuhler has seen the success coming from a combination of working hard and team work.
“Some great experience and just going out there (and) working hard as we can,” said Gerstenbuhler on what the team’s learning.
Home captain Easton Mattersdorfer said everybody’s having fun out there.
“As the season goes on, we just want to keep the streak going,” he said.
“And having fun, working hard and just keep putting pucks in the net.”
The Hurricanes have scored 148 times while surrendering just 25 goals this season so far.