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Sundre U18 Huskies having howling season despite injuries

Sundre squad had lost only one game in regular Central Alberta Hockey League play going into 2024
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SUNDRE – Despite some injuries and illnesses that have haunted the Sundre U18 Huskies, the hockey squad has nevertheless had a howling season so far.

The team had emerged from pre-season play with a record of four wins and two losses, placing the Huskies among six tier 3 teams in the Central Alberta Hockey League.

The Huskies then came off the ice for a roughly two-week holiday break with an official league record of 6-1-1.

Their last contest just before Christmas was a “pretty dominant game over Cochrane,” said Jason Martyn, head coach.

“We’ve been plagued with illness and injuries and it was one of our first games that we had almost all our players back,” Martyn told the Albertan during a phone interview last week.

They’d also played in a tournament hosted by Ponoka just before the holidays, and although those games did not count toward regular league standings, the Huskies performed admirably and found themselves facing off in the A final against a tier 2 Medicine Hat team that ended up winning during overtime play, the coach said.

Asked how the team was feeling following the holidays and whether they’d been on the ice at all or instead enjoyed the break to feast on turkey and all of the fixings, he said the Huskies had taken the roughly two-week period off with their first practice back on the ice lined up on Wednesday, Jan. 3.

They also had two away games lined up over the past weekend; one in Caroline on Saturday night away followed by another match in Strathmore on Sunday. Going into those games, the coach said the Huskies were missing two players.

“Saturday’s game didn’t go as well as planned,” Martyn said on Monday morning when contacted for an update, adding the hosts won 4-3.

The “last few minutes of the game ended up with two suspensions (and) two injured players,” he said, adding that “the officiating was very poor.”

As a result, the coach said the team had little choice other than to cancel Sunday’s game as they simply did not have enough players due to two suspensions and injuries. 

Going into the weekend, however, the coach had hoped the Huskies would all soon be back on the bench and ready to play. And provided his team is firing on all cylinders with a full roster, the coach expressed confidence about their chances at making not only at playoffs, but especially provincials.

Coming into 2024, the team’s only loss in regular league play had been against Innisfail.

“We took our first loss early in the season to Innisfail,” he said.

“And then we tied to Rockyford with a lot of illness and injury; that was a game that we lost but we shouldn’t. But that’s part of the past and we got to look forward to the future now,” he said.

“I’m very, very confident that we’ll be in the high playoffs. Our goal right now is to make provincials,” he said. “I have a team that has the talent and skill to win league easily and make provincial play-downs.”

Later this month, the U18 Huskies will be hosting their own home tournament, which is scheduled to start Friday, Jan. 26.

Simon Ducatel

About the Author: Simon Ducatel

Simon Ducatel joined Mountain View Publishing in 2015 after working for the Vulcan Advocate since 2007, and graduated among the top of his class from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology's journalism program in 2006.
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