Raiders bantam hockey team continuing strong run in playoffs
By: Lucas Punkari
| Posted: Thursday, Mar 20, 2014 01:33 pm
As the Rocky Mountain Raiders hockey team prepares for the Alberta Major Bantam Female Hockey League (AMBFHL) semi-finals against the Red Deer Chiefs, it has major contributions from all over Rocky View County.
That includes four players from Airdrie, as forwards Kelly Braybrook and Alyssa Wilkie, and defenders Catherine Longchamps and Ashley Sutherland have helped the team to a successful campaign.
“We all just came together in a quick period of time,” Braybrook said prior to the post-season. “We have been able to succeed in our games all year, and we want that to continue in the playoffs.”
“Many of us were also on the team that won the gold at the Alberta Winter Games in February, and I think that has helped us become an even more solid team,” she added.
The drive from the team is something that Head Coach Jordan Fenton has noticed since the year began, as the Raiders had the best record in the AMBFHL this season with a 20-1-3 record.
“We’ve have a large area to draw from and we have a ton of talent on our team, which you have to credit to the local minor hockey associations for how they’ve developed the players,” Fenton said.
“They all have the focus and determination to succeed as hockey players, and I’ve been very impressed in watching them grow from behind the bench,” he added.
The Raiders have had a solid well-rounded team right from the start of the season, as its play on offence and defence has made the team a force to be reckoned with.
“At the start of the year, we challenged the girls to be a real strong puck possession team that controlled the puck from the start of the game,” Fenton said prior to his team’s 7-1 win over the Calgary Outlaws on March 15. “They are really aggressive when they don’t have the puck, and they just continue to drive towards the net as the game wears on.”
As the Raiders get ready for its best of three semi-final season with the Chiefs, which will get underway in Cochrane on March 20, Fenton said he wants to see the team continue what it has been doing.
“The playoffs are obviously different from the regular season, but we can’t ignore everything that we have worked on,” Fenton said. “We have just wanted our team to build on what we have done so far, and we have been doing just that.”
Game two of the series will take place in Red Deer on March 22, while a third game, if necessary, will be held in Cochrane on March 23.