It was a roller-coaster weekend Oct. 7 and 8 for the CFR Chemical Bisons as the team went from a major high to a crushing low, all within the span of 24 hours.
The Bisons hosted a pair of Alberta Midget AAA Hockey League regular season games at Ron Ebbesen Arena, earning its first win since returning to Airdrie, but followed it up with a massive loss to a Chrysler Division rival the next day.
“(Our first win) was a high for not only us, but the players as well,” head coach Dan Gendur said. “One thing we need to stress to (the players) is yesterday is yesterday and today is today.”
Both games saw a lack-luster starts from the Bisons and had the team trailing 3-1 heading into the final period. In the Oct. 7 game against the South Side Athletic Club Boston Pizza Athletics, the Bisons turned the game around for a 4-3, come-from-behind victory. However, it was a much different result in the Oct. 8 game against the Calgary Flames as the Flames trampled the Bisons in a 8-2 drumming.
“We’re a team that has to play 60 minutes to win a hockey game,” Gendur said.
He added he felt a difference in the team’s attitude heading into its afternoon matchup Oct. 8, resulting in the team falling into a deep hole and giving up a trio of goals in the opening 20 minutes.
The Bisons picked up its play in the second period, gaining multiple scoring opportunities and carrying most of the play through the middle stanza. This hustle resulted in a goal off the stick of Jett Jones, his third in the last two games.
“We were still in the game and the guys responded well,” Gendur said. “We cut down on our mistakes that cost us some odd-man rushes.”
In the final period the Flames came fast and hard at the Bisons, scoring five straight goals and putting the Bisons win well out of reach. Jake Petrie added a second goal for the Bisons in the final minutes, but the damage had already been done in the 8-2 loss.
Although it was a disappointing loss, Gendur said its a learning point for the young squad as the season moves forward.
“We’re stressing a high-tempo game and right now, our team, we’re not conditioned to what a midget AAA hockey player should be,” Gendur said. “Once we get that addressed, we’ll be able to keep up better and execute our systems better as well.”
With the loss, the Bisons record drops to 1-3-0 and places the team last in the Chrysler Division standings.
Even though his team is at the bottom of the pack, Gendur still has faith in his young club.
“We can compete against any team in the league if we play 60 minutes,” Gendur said. “When we don’t play 60 minutes, we struggle. We just have to ramp up our intensity.”
The Bisons head out on its first road trip of the season Oct. 14 to 15 when it heads north to take on the Sherwood Park J. Ennis Kings and the Knights of Columbus Pats.