April 19th, 2024

Golden Hawks set to battle Xtreme in playoffs opener

By Lethbridge Herald on March 6, 2024.

Herald photo by Justin Seward Lethbridge Val Matteoti Golden Hawks Colin Fancy skates for the loose puck after a faceoff against the Calgary NWAA Flames during U15AAA Alberta Elite Hockey League ation at the Logan Boulet Arena on Saturday.

By Justin Seward

Lethbridge Herald

The Lethbridge Val Matteoti Golden Hawks U15AAA hockey team are set to  fly into their first round playoff match up against Airdrie Xtreme beginning tonight on the road.

The Hawks are going in having gone 12-4-1 since Jan.5 and firmly secured their spot in the postseason with that run ,and a fifth place finish with a record of 19-11-0-2-2 record.

“I think everyone’s pretty excited always around this time of year,” said Hawks head coach Mitch Maxwell.

“As a player or as a coach, it’s always exciting to get to the end of the season (and) to be able to have a chance to prove yourself on something you’ve worked on all year. We’ve been working to play a playoff game and playoff series and have a good chance to put ourselves in an opportunity to win a playoff series. We feel good about where we’re at. Obviously we got a real tough competition in Airdrie, but yeah everyone’s pretty excited, it’s been a long road.”

Maxwell sees preparation as business as usual.

“We’re just trying to kind of tighten up a few things that we feel like will help us be successful,” said Maxwell.

“But the reality is we worked all year to be ready for this point and  so we’re not going to reinvent the wheel or try to do anything too much different, (and) just try to be us and be the best that we can be.”

The Golden Hawks compete level tends to be consistently high and will look to use that against the Xtreme.

“We got a great group of kids that love to be together and love to work together and so I think just that,” said Maxwell.

The coaches constantly preach the importance of the first five minutes in games.

“And so to get off to that good start, kind of  get everyone settled in,  bring lots of positive energy and some compete early on in that series is huge,” said Maxwell.

Cohen Larson is one of the leaders on the Hawks and thinks the team has been playing its best hockey recently going into playoffs.

“We’ve started getting  along better and we’ve been coached really well for the second half,” said Larson.

Larson thinks Xtreme have good defence and  a good forward line.

“But we just have to shut them down and play our best hockey,” he said.

 Game 1 is tonight in Airdrie; Game 2 is tomorrow at Nicholas Sheran Arena at 7:15 p.m. and if necessary Game 3 is back in Airdrie on Sunday.

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