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Fort Macleod Mavericks are Central Alberta Tier 4 Bantam Hockey League champions

bantam banner

The Fort Macleod Mavericks are league champions.

Fort Macleod Mavericks defenceman Brayden Smith battles with a Canmore player.

Fort Macleod Mavericks defenceman Brayden Smith battles with a Canmore player.

Fort Macleod Mavericks defenceman Cauy Yellow Face clears the puck from goalie Brody Zmurchyk's crease.

Fort Macleod Mavericks defenceman Cauy Yellow Face clears the puck from goalie Brody Zmurchyk’s crease.

The Fort Macleod Mavericks are league champions.

The Fort Macleod Mavericks are league champions.

Jason Stockton, Colmyn Crop Eared Wolf and Triston Wells celebrate their overtime victory.

Jason Stockton, Colmyn Crop Eared Wolf and Triston Wells celebrate their overtime victory.

GAZETTE CONTRIBUTORS – SHAWN O’SULLIVAN AND RANDY O’SULLIVAN
Fort Macleod Bantam Mavericks have had a whirlwind of a time for the past two weeks.
We left for Viking on March 12 for the Division C provincial hockey tournament.
We did not win any games up north but would like to congratulate our kids as they played hard. We were up against Tier 1 and 2 teams all weekend even though we play our regular season in Tier 4.
The scores do not indicate how well our team played against these top teams as we were challenged to overcome injuries and nerves and still managed to push our oponents into stepping up thier game each time we stepped on the ice.
The coaches are proud of the Fort Macleod Zone 5 champions. The provincial experience brought this team closer together and taught them to bring their game to the next level.
As a coach your main goal should be to challenge your team and to teach them how to overcome those challenges. We believe this builds character.
This experience prepared us for the final weekend of play against the Canmore Eagles for the Central Alberta Tier 4 Hockey League championship.
The Fort Macleod Mavericks would like to thank all the local businesses and individuals who supported our provincial fund-raising efforts. Your kindness and support is so appreciated. It made all of this possible and our team thanks you sincerely.
CAHL championship
The Mavericks faced off against the Canmore Eagles for the league championship this past weekend.
The home crowd was packed Friday night for Game 1 of the banner round.
The atmosphere was alive and the Mavericks got on the board first with a hard-working goal from Colmyn Crop Eared Wolf, assisted by Jordy Welsh and Jayce Van Driesten.
The Mavericks scored one more time to close out the period with a 2-0 lead. Cauy Yellow Face picked the puck up off the boards and fired a menacing wrist shot through traffic that beat Canmore’s goalie. This goal was unassisted.
The second period saw lots of back-and-forth with only one goal. Devon Holloway knocked the lead down with Canmore’s first goal of the game.
With 20 minutes left to play nerves creeped in and the Mavs started the third period a bit apprehensive which allowed Canmore to score two unanswered goals to take their first lead of the game.
With 3:23 left to go in the third period Triston Wells tipped home a blast from Jason Stockton to tie the game 3–3 and send it into overtime.
It did not take long for the Mavericks to clinch Game 1 as Jason Stockton went end-to-end around the defenders and slid a pass to a wide open Triston Wells who displayed some slick moves and burned the goalie with a backhand deke.
Brody Zmurchyk played very well turning away 21 shots while Canmore’s Dana Crawler stopped 26.
Mavericks 7 Eagles 3
The Mavericks travelled to Banff on Saturday with hopes of securing the banner with a Game 2 victory.
The Eagles started the game off with a goal from Spencer McLeod.
This didn’t intimate or deter the Mavs plan as Colmyn Crop Eared Wolf once again outworked a defender to score the first of three unanswered first period goals by the Mavericks.
Jordy Welsh gave Fort Macleod the lead by firing a goal past Canmore’s goalie on a great play by Jason Stockton.
Jordy scored his second goal of the game with an assist to Colmyn Crop Eared Wolf.
Parker Small Legs started the second period with a powerplay goal as he fired an unassisted snap shot past the Eagles ‘tender to make it 4–1 Mavericks.
Canmore replied quickly with Spencer McLeod’s second of the game. The Mavs headed into the second intermission with a 4-2 lead.
Parker Small Legs picked up where he left off, scoring his second of the game on another powerful shot from the slot making it 5-3 Mavs.
This was the closest Canmore would get as the Mavericks kept the pressure up for the remainder of the game, leading to both Parker Small Legs and Jordy Welsh finishing their hat tricks with empty net goals in the last few minutes.
With the final seconds counting down the excitement couldn’t be contained. The buzzer rang and the kids spilled over the bench with gloves and sticks flying through the air, every kid skated over to their outstanding goalie Brody Zmurchyk to celebrate as league champions.
Brody played outstanding, turning aside 35 shots for the win while a combination of Dana Crawler and Teppei Ogawa faced 41 shots for the Eagles.
The league governor was there to hand the banner to captain Jason Stockton and the team took a victory lap before posing for pictures with the banner.
As coaches we are proud of this team as they overcame a lot of adversity by working hard and never wavering in their pursuit to better themselves. They worked their tails off for six months with hopes of winning this banner. When it was time to get to work they laced up their skates, stepped up their game and got it done, the character and dedication each player showed throughout the season was incredible.
This motivation combined with the countless hours and overwhelming amount of support by a fantastic group of parents made this season unforgettable for all. Each and every one of those parents should be proud of themselves because without them these kids wouldn’t have been able to win two banners in one year.
We were lucky to have two great assistant coaches in Taylor Wolstenholme and Tim Cryderman to help us all year long. They played a huge part this year. Avery Van Driesten, Wade O’Sullivan and Colton Yellow Horn also helped out on the ice this year teaching the kids some very valuable facets of the game.
No season can be fun or successful without a great manager and our Mavericks lucked out having Marci Stockton as a manager. She was relentless in her quest to fulfil all the time consuming and stressful tasks that come with managing a sports team. Whether it was scheduling ice times, entering scores, booking hotels or preparing healthy meal plans for the kids her focus never left and the kid’s best interest was always on her mind. She deserves all the praise possible for her work this year, what she did for this team was simply outstanding.

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