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Xtreme players take part in league all-star game

By: Lucas Punkari

  |  Posted: Thursday, Jan 23, 2014 12:23 pm

Airdrie Xtreme forward Gary Haden (left) scored a pair of goals for the South All-Stars during the Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League all-star game in Edmonton on Jan. 11.
Airdrie Xtreme forward Gary Haden (left) scored a pair of goals for the South All-Stars during the Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League all-star game in Edmonton on Jan. 11.
SUBMITTED/For Rocky View Publishing

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Nearly a week after they took part in the Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League (AMBHL) all-star game in Edmonton, Airdrie Xtreme forward Gary Haden and defenseman Taylor Fawns were still buzzing over their game on Jan. 11 at the Bill Hunter Arena.

“We both found out just before Christmas that we would be representing the Xtreme at the all-star game, and we were just getting more and more excited as we waited for the game to happen,” Fawns said.

“Now that it actually happened, I can say that it was one of the highlights of the year for both of us.”

“It was a great experience, especially as we got to play with and against all of the top players in the league in one game,” Haden added.

The pair, who suited up for the South All-Stars during the contest, found themselves in different roles throughout the game, which the North All-Stars won 5-4.

At the back-end, Fawns was paired up with a number of different defenders throughout the game, as the 14-year-old Didsbury native was tasked with trying to stop some of the top scorers in the AMBHL.

“Overall, I thought I did really well,” Fawns said. “There were a few times where I could have been a little bit more aggressive, but I have no complaints with how I played.”

Up front, Haden was placed on a line with Kyle Olson of the Calgary Bisons and Brett Leason of the Calgary Flames, which allowed the 15-year-old Airdrie native to find the back of the net on two occasions.

“Kyle and Brett are two of the top scorers in the league, and I had a great time playing with them,” Haden said.

“On a personal level, I felt I played pretty well and I finished a lot of my checks, but the biggest part of how well I played was because of my linemates.”

“We were on fire and when we had the puck, it seemed like no one could touch us,” he added.

As both players prepare to help the Xtreme in the stretch drive of the AMBHL season, Haden and Fawns agree their experience at the all-star game will not only help them throughout the rest of this year, but as they continue their hockey careers.

“When you are playing against the top guys in the league, you have to play your very best, and that’s something you need to do all of the time,” Fawns said.

“If you take a shift off, you are going to give up a goal against the best guys,” Haden added.

The Xtreme will be back in action on Jan. 25, when it will go on the road to take on the Red Deer White Rebels.

The next day, the Xtreme will return home to the Ron Ebbesen Arena for a 1 p.m. game with the Grand Prairie Storm.


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