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Airdrie Xtreme to use week off to heal

By: Lucas Punkari

  |  Posted: Thursday, Jan 16, 2014 12:43 pm

Airdrie Xtreme goaltender Ben Laidlaw (right) pushes Calgary NW Flames forward Markus Boguslavsky into teammate Taylor Fawns during a game in Airdrie on Jan. 12.
Airdrie Xtreme goaltender Ben Laidlaw (right) pushes Calgary NW Flames forward Markus Boguslavsky into teammate Taylor Fawns during a game in Airdrie on Jan. 12.
Lucas Punkari/Rocky View Publishing

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A weekend off from the Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League (AMBHL) couldn’t have come at a better time for the Airdrie Xtreme.

That’s because the squad will have an opportunity to heal its bumps and bruises before it returns to action on Jan. 25, when it will travel north to take on the Red Deer White Rebels.

“The schedule that we have really works in our favour,” Xtreme Head Coach Josh Zimmer said.

“Hopefully, we will have everyone get healed up with the time that we will have off, and we can have our roster at 100 per cent for the stretch drive into the playoffs.”

In the Xtreme’s two most recent AMBHL games, a 7-4 win over the Calgary Royals in Calgary on Jan. 8 and a 2-1 loss to the Calgary NW Flames in Airdrie on Jan. 12, the team’s forward core was affected by injuries, which led to some line changes.

“I’m really proud of the group of guys upfront, as we just battled through the challenges,” Zimmer said.

“On Wednesday (Jan. 8) we had seven forwards from our team and two affiliated players (Ryan Ries and Ryan Bell) join us, and then on Sunday (Jan. 12) we ended up finishing the game with only seven forwards as Gary Haden got hurt and Tyler Petrie had a misconduct.”

“However, the guys came out firing against the Royals to get a huge win, and they matched up well with a short bench against the Flames, who are one of the top teams in Western Canada,” he added.

As of press time, three Xtreme players (Haden, Mitchell Visser, and Taylor Fawns) were day-to-day with undisclosed injuries that would be fully diagnosed this week at doctors appointments, while Petrie would be out of the lineup for its next league game with a suspension after getting a game misconduct on a checking from behind penalty in the final minutes of the Xtreme’s loss to the Flames on Jan. 12.

“It’s a challenge for sure with a short bench, especially when you are in tight games like the one we had against the Flames,” Xtreme defenceman Landon Melzer said.

“You’re in a cycle where you are on the ice for a shift, off the ice for a shift, and back on again, so you have to be prepared at all times.”

“We have a lot of time off until our next league game though, so we will hopefully have everyone recovered by then,” he added.


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