Xtreme shutout Southeast Hockey Hounds for first win of season
A rookie forward and a veteran goaltender helped the Airdrie Xtreme to its first win of the season, as it defeated the Southeast Hockey Hounds 4-0 at the Ron Ebbesen Arena, Sept. 23.
Barrett Sheen recorded two goals and an assist in the win, while Kurtis Chapman faced 60 shots enroute to a shutout.
“It was certainly good after having a bad start in the first weekend,” said Xtreme Head Coach Terry Keogh. “It was good to get the monkey off our back. The guys played better and the players that didn’t play at this level this year are starting to make the adjustment.”
Sheen is a first-year player with the Xtreme this year and spent 10 games with the team last year as an affiliate player. His four points in the opening three games of the season has him second in team scoring, only one point behind Andrew Fyten, who also has had a quick start to the season. Fyten and Jordan McConnell are two of four returning players who have led the Xtreme in the first few games of the season.
“We had pretty big expectations for (Barrett),” said Keogh. “With the goals he’s scoring for us right now, he’s anticipating the puck and making sure he’s there. He has some pretty good size, so he’s hard to move from in front of the net.
“Both (Andrew and Jordan) had very good seasons as first years. They’ve showed that we definitely made the right choices last year and we’re looking to them to lead these guys this year.”
Despite opening the season with two losses, goaltending has been solid for the Xtreme. Second year player Kurtis Chapman has played two out of the three games, earning the shutout against Southeast while rookie Jake Carlson only gave up two goals in a 5-3 loss to the Red Deer Rebels Black, Sept. 16.
“They seem to work fairly well together,” said Keogh. “The best scenario for us is if for them to support each other, but also want to compete to be the go-to guy. That’s the best way for them to develop.”
The Xtreme played an exhibition game against the U18 Team Alberta women’s team, prior to the team’s next home game. It gave the players a chance to play a different style of game with body contact not allowed in women’s hockey.
“The league approached up in the spring and we thought it would be a great opportunity for the players,” Keogh said. “Because there’s no body contact, we have to rely on our speed and be able to move the puck. It helps us develop our speed even further in which the players have to handle the puck and play the game.”
The Xtreme’s next home game is Sept. 30 against the Calgary Bisons. Game time is 1 p.m. at the Ron Ebbesen Arena.