The Hawks’ morale is up after taking down the top team in the east.
The Fort Saskatchewan Noyen Construction Junior B Hawks secured a 6-4 win over Beaumont Chiefs at the Jubilee Recreation Centre on Oct. 31.
Even though the Fort was trailing at the end of the first, 2-1, with the lone goal put up by Tyson Davey, the bench tied things up in the second with another goal by Davey, followed by Bailey Whelan and Blake Anker. The Fort pushed ahead in the third with a stunner by Darren Tardiff. With 26 seconds remaining, Matthew Bennett poured extra salt on the wound with an empty-netter.
“That empty netter felt good. To beat a team like that who is on top, it’s a big confidence booster,” said Bennett. “Every year since I’ve been here, we don’t like Beaumont. Tonight was just a great win for us.”
Fort resident and former Sherwood Park Crusader, goalie Brandon Vogel saved 36 shots on net as he played his first game wearing the red, white and black. Having played three seasons and almost 60 games in the AJHL, he said it took a while for him to adjust to the speed of the Junior B game but he was settled in by the third period.
“It was pretty exciting and I had a little bit of nerves coming into today. It took a little bit to get the rust off but the guys really rallied. We got a win against a team that hasn’t lost a lot so props to them,” Vogel said after the game. “The team worked hard today and it was good to get the win.”
Head coach John Parfett agreed it took about a period and a half for Vogel to settle in but then was able to see what he would bring to the ice; “We could see what kind of goaltender he is, especially in that third period,” he said.
The new goalie went to high school with most of the Fort flock so he’s looking forward to the season ahead.
“I’m happy to be here,” noted Vogel.
Regardless of the Halloween win, the Hawks continue to hover in the mid-pack of the CJHL’s eastern division with a 6-7 record and 12 points. Beaumont remains in first place with 10-3 and 20 points.
But the win was crucial for morale, following back to back losses the previous weekend against the Edmonton Royals and the Beverly Warriors. The increased mental game is something Parfett hopes the team maintains as they inch closer to the Christmas break.
“We need to be more competitive in all ends of the ice. We teach that during practices to instill into players and make it more of a habit,” said Parfett. “This win is huge because it helps players buy into what we’re telling them what they need to do to be successful.”
On Wednesday, the Hawks played the top-ranked Western division North Edmonton Red Wings who were at 10-1 for their season, however, that away game played past The Record’s publication deadline. The Fort returns to the JRC this Friday, Nov. 9 to face off against the Sherwood Park Knights. Puck drops at 8 p.m.