After a slow first period start, Team Alberta U16 Male found their game scoring six unanswered goals to defeat the Calgary Midget AAA Northstars 6-1 in Canada Winter Games pre-competition action at Max Bell Arena in Calgary.
The Northstars opened the scoring early in the first period when Riley Whittingham rippled the twine after firing a slapper from the top of the circle beating Brett Zarowny (Edmonton, Alta.) through a screen. The Northstars dominated the first period, pressing with a hard forecheck and capitalizing on Team Alberta turnovers.
It took Team Alberta some time to find their groove, but when they did, the puck began to find the back of the net. In the second period, Team Alberta’s powerplay heated up scoring three goals with the man advantage. First it was Nelson Gadoury (Calahoo, Alta.) tallying with helpers from Cole Benson (Edmonton, Alta.) and Jared Hauf (Calgary, Alta.). Several minutes later it was Jonathon Merkley (Calgary, Alta.) from Josh Morrisey (Calgary, Alta.). Then it was Morgan Klimchuk (Calgary, Alta.) with Greg Chase (Sherwood Park, Alta.) picking up the assist giving Team Alberta the 3-1 advantage heading into the second intermission.
By the time the third period rolled around, Team Alberta was firing on all cylinders. Klimchuk netted his second of the game with a beauty streaking down the left wing, dangling the Northstars defenseman 1 on 1 before beating the Calgary netminder with a sleek looking deke. Team Alberta tallied again on the powerplay with a goal from Tyson Ballie (Fort Saskatchewan, Alta.) midway through the third frame before Cole Ully (Calgary, Alta.) provided some more insurance late in the game to give Team Alberta the 6-1 win.
Team Alberta’s goaltenders spilt the game. Brett Zarowny played the first half facing 12 shots. Eric Comrie (Edmonton, Alta.) stepped in halfway through the second and faced 19 shots. Team Alberta fired 37 shots at the Northstars net through three periods.
At the previous four Canada Winter Games Team Alberta has won Gold two times (1999, 2003), Silver once (1995) and one Bronze (2007). The Canada Winter Games occurs every four years.
Former Team Alberta players that have competed at the Canada Winter Games include Jay Bouwmeester, Jordan Eberle, Devan Dubnyk, Scott Hartnell and Kyle Chipchura.