The West Central Tigers AA Bantam hockey team has done exactly what they set out to do.
They have earned a spot in provincials, but, unfortunately, due to the spread of the COVID-19 (Nobel Coronavirus), provincials have been cancelled.
Head coach Chad Beagle is undertstandably very disappointed as is his team.
H said the players had worked very hard to achieve this goal and it is devastating to know they won’t have a chance to move forward.
The Tigers went up against Central Alberta Selects to win in the semi finals before going up against Red Deer in the finals to win their division in a tournament held in Red Deer Feb. 27 to March 1.
Head coach Chad Beagle said the final was a wild game with lots of penalties.
“We were down 4 – 1 going into the third period and we had to kill a five-minute penalty,” he said.
However, even as the time clock ticked towards the end of the game, players Karson Ledieu and Keegan Beagle outdid themselves, displaying great hockey playing skills (Ledieu with three goals and Beagle with three points) and the Tigers won the game and the division 6-5.
Last Friday the Tigers went up against Wheatland Warriors in Rimbey winning 5-2. Saturday they were back in Strathmore, losing 3-2 for the second game of the three game series. The Tigers won their final game in Rimbey winning that game 4-0, thereby emerging as The South Central Alberta Hockey League champs.
Beagle said the players won the championship after coming off an eleven-day stretch during which they played eight games. They also had to deal with the time change, meaning they didn’t arrive back in Rimbey from Strathmore until 2:30 a.m. and had to be back on the ice Sunday.
“They really played their hearts out,” said Beagle. “I’m very proud of them.”
Provincials were be held in Sylvan Lake, March 19-22.
Prior to being notified by Hockey Canada there would be no provincials, Beagle said his team was confident and ready to face the challenge.
“We feel really good,” he said. “We have adopted a motto, ‘shoulder to shoulder’ and it means we all work together and no one is more important than anyone else. We will play strong and give it everything we’ve got and let the chips fall where they may.”