By Lethbridge Herald on December 22, 2023.
The Coaldale Copperheads has plenty to be content about with their performance up to the Christmas break.
The coaching staff, in particular, have liked how the players have come back from adversity.
“They find a way to come back,” said Geoff Oster, co-head coach.
“There’s been a number of times that we haven’t scored the first goal or we’ve been down a few and we’ve been able to come back. So their ability to rally around each other and find a way to win has been really impressive.”
The team has played a strong five-on-five game.
“We’re able to score goals five-on-five and I think that’s important,” said Oster.
The defencemen have been good.
“I look at defence in a different manner,” said Oster.
“I don’t look at it as a defensive core with defencemen and a goaltender. I look at it as overall team defence. So their buy into the defensive structure that we bring has been really good and outside of a couple of games, I think we’ve had two games in the last two weekends that were runaways, we’ve maintained a low goals against.”
The Copperheads have had many notable players that Oster talked about.
Oster has seen players like Griffin McCulloch do a good job of making offence happen on the back end with three goals and 26 assists.
A player like Bill Houenagnon, in Oster’s view, has come into his own.
“He had some time off but he’s really coming around,” said Oster.
Brogan Booth has been logging a lot of minutes for the team.
“He’s consistent and he works hard,” said Oster.
“You know that you’re going to get 100 per cent out of him every day.”
Players such as Caden Heins, Peyton Twigg, Nolan Price and Nathan Verloop have made strides from last year.
“They’re building on some personal success that they had last year and they’re really starting to like take it away,” said Oster.
Heins is the highest point-producing Copperhead with 31 points (10 goals, 21 assists).
Coaldale has an 18-6-1 record and sit third place in the Heritage Junior Hockey League’s Southern Division.
The team will resume play on Jan. 6 when they host the High River Flyers.
“I think as a staff we’re content where we are, but we’re not satisfied,” said Oster.