Saturday, April 28, 2012

Semifinal Saturday @HC_TelusCup

They are down to the final four at the 2012 Telus Cup national midget championship in Leduc, Alberta.

It may be cliche to say that all four teams have a legit shot at winning it all... but it is absolutely the truth in the is case.

The Red Deer Optimist Rebels finished the preliminary round of the tournament with a 3-0-2 record after a sound 10-3 thrashing of this year's tournament basement-dwelling Sudbury Wolves.  13 players had at least one point for the baby rebels in this one.  Ty Mappin led with two goals and three assists.  But the big moment in this game perhaps belonged to defenceman Kolton Dixon who scored Red Deer's 10th goal of the game... his first of the season.  No doubt he had a smile on his face and received "plenty of support" from his teammates.  On a more serious note... if the Optimist Rebels take nothing else from this game hopefully they gained some confidence on their powerplay (they converted three times on the man advantage vs. Sudbury compared to just twice throughout the rest of the tournament).

Red Deer finished second in the preliminary standings with 8 points, one behind 4-0-1 Phenix College du Esther-Blondin.  Saskatoon (2-1-2) finished third with 6 points while the host Leduc Oil Kings (2-3-0) earned four points to claim the fourth and final playoff spot. So here's how Semifinal Saturday shapes up...

2pm - Red Deer vs. Saskatoon - These two western squads met in the opening game of the tournament, playing to a 2-2 tie.  You can check out my earlier blog post for a full game re-cap but it was a match that wasn't nearly as even as the final score indicates.  Contacts goalie Mack Shields kept his team in it making 38 saves.  Saskatoon should have plenty of confidence knowing they managed to hang in with the Optimist Rebels and pull out a single point.  Red Deer Rebels fans will again get to see four prospects do battle in this game... Scott Feser and Scott Ferguson for Red Deer and Vukie Mpofu and Rodney Southam for Saskatoon. 

6pm - Phenix College du Esther-Blondin vs. Leduc Oil Kings - This will be the second meeting between these two teams in just over 24 hours.  The Quebec squad edged the hosts 5-4 in the final preliminary game on Friday afternoon.  If, and it's a huge 'if', that game is any indication today's semifinal should be an dandy.

Meantime... a pair of Red Deer Optimist Rebels have won player awards at the Telus Cup.  Joel Topping is the Top Defenceman.  Dasan Sydora is the top goaltender.  Congrats to both!

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