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Airdrie Xtreme coach left wanting more from team after tournament

By: Lucas Punkari

  |  Posted: Thursday, Nov 21, 2013 12:08 pm

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On the surface, a 3-2 record at the 41st annual Medicine Hat Hockey Hounds Major Bantam Tournament would sound like a pretty decent weekend away from home.

But for Airdrie Xtreme Head Coach Josh Zimmer, the overall level of play from his side from Nov. 14 to 17 in the Gas City was not something that he was particularly pleased by.

“I wasn’t that thrilled with our efforts in the games there, as we didn’t play at our best,” Zimmer said. “It could have been a combination of a number of games over certain days, or the fact that we were away from home and out of our rhythm a little bit, but we just weren’t playing like we should.”

“Hopefully we get back to our regular ways this week,” he added.

The Xtreme started off the tournament with a pair of losses, as they dropped a 5-2 decision to the Vancouver Thunderbirds on Nov. 14 and suffered a 7-2 setback against the Lloydminster Heat on Nov. 15.

“Lloydminster was probably our toughest competition that we have faced all season long,” Zimmer said. “They are probably the best team in Alberta, and facing them was a real eye opener for the guys as they got to see what it takes to be a good team.”

The following three games were much more rewarding for the Xtreme, as it rattled off a trifecta of wins, starting with a 6-4 victory over the St. Albert Sabres on Nov. 15.

The team followed that up with a 6-2 triumph over the Red Deer Black Rebels on Nov. 16 and a 2-1 victory over the Balgonie Prairie Storm from Balgonie, Sask.

“That win against St. Albert was probably our high note of the tournament,” Zimmer said. “We were down by a score of 4-1 heading into the third period, and we roared back with five unanswered goals to get the win.”

The Xtreme is now getting ready to return to Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League (AMBHL) action this weekend on Nov. 23 at the Ron Ebbesen Arena in Airdrie, as it will be hosting the Calgary Royals in an 8 p.m. contest.

“We need to get back to our forecheck style of game, as it wasn’t that good during the tournament in Medicine Hat,” Zimmer said. “We also need to get some more bodies in front of the net, as we didn’t do that as much as I would have liked in the tournament as well.”


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