Knights on winning streak
After losing its first game of the season May 26 against the Spruce Grove Slash, the Airdrie Knights rebounded in a big way winning its next three games.
The first came against the winless Calgary Mounties, May 30. The Knights won 12-9 at the Campus Centre Arena in Calgary. Mark Scherman and Matt Besplgu scored two goals and an assist, while Justin Norbraten and Pete Roth recorded three assists each.
“It was a complete turn around since the loss,” said Knights Head Coach Gareth Barley. “The Mounties, although they’re winless, they’re much improved. We had to work to play. It was a close game and we took a few more penalties than we needed to, which was a little bit uncharacteristic for us.”
After defeating the Mounties, the Knights kicked off back-to-back games with a 9-5 win over the Edmonton Outlaws and followed it up with an 11-7 win against St. Albert Sr. Miners. In a contrast to its first few games of the season, the Knights came out strong against the Miners and jumped to a 5-1 lead after the first period.
The Miners closed the gap midway through the game, tying it at seven, before the Knights pulled away. Alex Coutts got the win in net for the Knights after Geoff Rainsford played the previous night against the Mounties.
Despite the wins, playing three games in five nights took a toll on the team, which lost four players to injury over the course of the weekend. It forced Barley to shift players in other positions for the game against the Miners, which he thought they handled well.
“It is tough on the guys,” he said. “The guys played a committed game and a very defensive-minded game. We never got too high or too low, and everyone kept a level head.
“Team goal wise, we’re reaching an achievement every game and the biggest thing is we’re one team, not a bunch of individuals.”
The Knights finished up the four-game road swing against the Okotoks Sr. Raiders, June 6. (Results were not available at press time).
The team has a 10-day break before playing its first game at the Ron Ebbesen Arena.
Barley said the rest will be beneficial as the team prepares for a five-game homestand.
The Knights’ next home game will be at the Ron Ebbesen Arena, June 16, when it hosts the Mounties. Game time is 8 p.m.