Balzac player makes jump into AAA Bantam ranks
After playing for the Airdrie Lightning Bantam AA hockey team last season, Zachary Cox has made the jump up into Bantam AAA ranks and will suit up for the Airdrie Xtreme this year.
Although he’s played just three games so far in the Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League, the experience has been what the 14-year-old right winger from Balzac expected.
“It’s faster for sure and there is a lot more skill and talent out here, so you have to work a lot harder,” Cox said. “I do know a lot of the guys here as I played with some of them last year, and they are all great friends, which has made the transition a good one.”
Cox, who stands 6’ tall and weighs 150 lbs., has already picked up a couple of goals this season, as he potted a pair of lamp-lighters during his team’s 7-5 loss to the Rocky Mountain Raiders at the Ron Ebbesen Arena in Airdrie on Sept. 21.
“I just try to go to the net and finish when I can,” Cox said. “I just try to do the simple things out on the ice whenever I play, whether that is going hard to the net to try and get that rebound, or if I need to backcheck hard.”
Cox’s play has been noticed by Xtreme Head Coach Josh Zimmer, who was also Cox’s coach for the Lightning last year.
“I have seen him develop a lot from the start of last year up until now,” Zimmer said. “He’s a big strong kid who uses his size well, and he can make an impact in every game.”
“It’s great to see him get a couple of goals already, as that should give him some confidence as he goes forward,” he added.
Cox and the rest of his teammates on the Xtreme are still looking for their first win of the season, as the team has an 0-3 record following a pair of losses last weekend.
After losing 7-5 to the Rocky Mountain Raiders in Airdrie on Sept. 21, the Xtreme came out on the losing end of a 5-4 affair against the Red Deer Black Rebels at the Red Deer Arena on Sept. 22.
“We have been doing well so far, but we just aren’t doing the simple things right now,” Cox said. “We have been doing things the hard way, and that is not how we should be doing it.”
“We have been playing a little bit better at some things, there are still things that we can do some more work on to help us win games,” he added.
The Xtreme will look to pick up its first win of the season this weekend, as they will compete in a pair of games.
On Sept. 28, the Xtreme will take a trip up to Lethbridge to take on the Lethbridge Golden Hawks at 3 p.m.
The following day (Sept. 29), the Xtreme will return to the Ron Ebbesen Arena in Airdrie for a game against the Red Deer White Rebels.