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Colts defeated in hard fought battles

By Barry Williams
23, 2004

     In Heritage Junior Hockey League action played last week in Didsbury, the Mountainview Colts were on the wrong end of the scoreboard in two hard fought battles.

     Saturday Dec. 18, the defending league champions, Red Deer Vipers defeated the Colts 5-2 and on Sun. Dec. 19, the Three Hills Thrashers pulled off a 5-4 victory.

    Against the Vipers, the Colts battled hard for over fifty minutes of play. After the first period, on a goal by Brent Foord, the Vipers held a slim 1-0 lead.

     Foord blinked the red light in the second period, giving the Vipers a 2-0 margin after forty minutes of play.

    Early in the third period, Adam Martinson notched a pair of goals for the Colts deadlocking the game at two goals apiece. With seven minutes to play, the Vipers potent offensive threat got on track netting three unanswered goals to solidify the victory. Foord completed his natural hat trick with a power play marker. Other Vipers marksmen to dent the twine in the final stanza were Ryan Kure and Mark Volper.  Two of the Vipers' third period goals were scored on the power play, which broke the Colts' backs.

    "Actually the game against the Vipers was very entertaining," said Colts' Head Coach, Darcy Austin.

    "Up to the final five minutes of play, we matched the Vipers shift for shift," Austin added.

    According to Austin, the game instilled some confidence in the Colts as they were competitive against the Vipers for the entire game.

    "Considering we were defeated by the Vipers quite handily in the first game we played, the players now know we can be competitive against them," Austin added.

    "I would say this game was a confidence builder," Austin indicated.

    Prior to the game, the Colts activated two players from the Rocky Mountain Midget AAA Lightning to shore up a depleted roster.

    "Actually the two midget players played really well," Austin said, noting the Colts have an excellent relationship with the Lightning.

    "This was a game we definitely had the opportunity to win," Austin said, indicating the Vipers got lucky on a pair of goals.

    Although the Vipers are known for their offensive power, Austin indicated they played a very good defensive contest against  the Colts.

    "They (Vipers) gave us very few good scoring opportunities," Austin added.

     Between the pipes, Troy Schwandt turned in a steady performance blocking 37 shots. Vipers' netminder, Mark Horsely made 23 saves.

     Against the Thrashers, John Regher notched the winning goal in overtime clinching the Thrashers' victory.

     In a game which saw the momentum swing on virtually every shift change, the teams were deadlocked at two goals apiece after twenty minutes of play. Adam Martinson and Will Harvie dented the twine for the Colts with Andy Milligan and Ryan Campbell replying for the Thrashers.

    After forty minutes of play, the Thrashers held a narrow 4-3 lead as Campbell notched his second goal of the game and Dan Panelli's singleton rounded out the Thrashers' scoring in the middle frame.

    Late in the third period, Martinson added his second goal of the game notching the contest at four goals apiece.

    Schwandt played another strong game tending the net as he made 47 saves, many of them on the spectacular side. Meanwhile, Thrashers goalie, Gary Congaware made 31 saves.

    Because the Colts are chasing the Thrashers for a play off spot in the northern division, Austin indicated a point slipped away.

    "This was a game we needed badly," said Austin, noting the Colts hold their own destiny in making post season play.

   "Fourteen of our remaining twenty games are against teams from our division," Austin said.

   "If we're going to make the play offs, we need victories against these teams," Austin concluded.   

Colts' bench boss praises netminders

By Barry Williams
December 6, 2004

     Despite dressing just thirteen players for two recent weekend league games, Mountainview Colts' bench boss, Darcy Austin noticed a significant improvement in the team's play especially in the goaltending.

     Both games were on the road down south in Medicine Hat against the Cubs and in Lethbridge against the Southern Express.

     When the weary road hands arrived back in Didsbury, they held their heads high as they earned a split, defeating the Express 7-6 and losing a heartbreaker 5-3 to the Cubs.

    In both games the goaltenders were bombarded with plenty of rubber as both the Express and the Cubs directed over fifty shots in each game.

   Against the Express, Matt Macleod turned aside fifty-five shots in backstopping the Colts' victory. Meanwhile, in Medicine Hat, the Cubs blasted Macleod with twenty-nine shots in thirty minutes. He eventually gave way to Troy Schwandt mid way through the second period. Schwandt handled  twenty-one shots.

    "Our goaltending was simply outstanding in both games," said Colts' Head Coach, Darcy Austin.

    As a former netminder, Austin can relate to what the Colts goaltenders went through during the games and the praise bestowed upon them came directly from the heart.

    "Because only thirteen skaters were dressed for the games, our goaltenders didn't get much support," Austin added.

    "But give the players credit, they never gave up, they battled right to the bitter end," noted Austin.

    Although the Colts relinquished a lot of shots during the games, Austin indicated most of them came from the outside and around the perimeter.

    "I thought our forwards did a decent job in covering the points and our defense for the most part was able to keep the crease clean," added Austin noticing the netminders had a clear view of the majority of shots.

    "It was a gritty effort in both games," Austin said.

   Against the Express at the Nicolas Sheran Arena, the Colts scored three unanswered goals in the final seven minutes to skate away with the victory.

    All three third period goals came off the stick of Ryan Kallis, who added an earlier goal in the second period. Rounding out the scoring for the Colts with singletons were Cody Edwards, Chad Glazer and Anthony Greer.

   For the Express Jason Lachance blinked the red light twice with Chris Gerla, Taylor Baranuk, Brady Erino and Axel Sorenson denting the twine for a goal apiece.

   James Belisle blocked twenty-seven shots in the Express net.

   In Medicine Hat, the Cubs jumped out to a 3-0 first period lead as Mitch Serr with a singleton and  Clay Ward with a pair accounted for the Cubs scoring in the first stanza.

   At the conclusion of the second period, the Cubs held a 4-1 margin as Tom Pollard scored for the Cubs and Scott Murphy replied for the Colts.

    After Ryan Gilchrist increased the Cubs lead to 5-1 midway through  the third stanza, the Colts closed the margin to 5-3 as Cody Edwards and Ryan Kallis blinked the red light with power play markers.

    "We were able to turn the momentum around in the third period with the power play goals, but it was a little to late as the clock ran out on us," Austin noted.

    Offensively, Austin was pleased with the Colts play and noted with a few breaks and the right bounce of the puck they could've had a couple more goals.

    Despite being outplayed, the Colts forwards were able to gain scoring chances through puck movement and tenacious forechecking.

   "When we play as a team and control the puck by  passing it around offensive opportunities are created," explained Austin.

   "But when we play as individuals, nothing happens offensively," Austin added.

This week, the Colts entertain the Okotoks Bisons on Sat. Dec. 11 and travel to Ponoka to take on the Stampeders  on Sun. Dec. 12.

Colts offence explodes against Ponoka Stampeders

By Barry Williams
r 8, 2004

       When the final buzzer sounded ending the Heritage Junior Hockey League game between the Mountainview Colts and the Ponoka Stampeders, played on Sat. Nov.6, the Stampeders left town with their tail between their legs.

       In exploding for nine goals, the Colts offensive attack was clicking on every aspect of their game as they demolished the Stampeders 9-1 before noisy crowd at the Didsbury Recreation Complex.

       "We needed a big game offensively to restore the player's confidence," said Colts Head Coach, Darcy Austin, noting the players were a bit frustrated about their seasonal offensive output.

       "They were feeling pretty good about themselves after the game against Ponoka," he added.

      According to Austin,  offensively prior to the game against the Stampeders, the Colts were not playing badly as they  had scoring opportunities in every game played but the puck wasn't bouncing right for them.

       "No matter how hard the players tried, the puck wasn't going in for them" Austin said.

      Saturday's game was a different story as they blinked the red light with consistency notching three goals in each period.

      Leading the onslaught of goals with a pair each were Scott Murphy and Jeff Clazie. Singletons were added by Ryan Kallis, Anthony Greer, Ian Brander, Dale Norton and Matt Lowry.

     Colts' goalie, Matt McLoed played a strong game between the pipes, flirting with a shutout for over fifty minutes. Adam Koehler was the only Stampeders' sniper to blink the red light behind McLoed.

     Although the score was lopsided, the play on the ice was fairly even as the Colts directed thirty-five shots at Stampeders' goalie, David Reekie and the Stampeders managed thirty-one shots at McLoed.

     "McLoed certainly gave us the opportunity for the win, he was pretty steady," Austin said.

     "He (McLeod) made some big saves early in the game when it was close," added Austin.

     Besides exhibiting an offensive threat, Austin seemed happy with the defensive play.

    "Our defense did a good job in front of the net in clearing out the crease giving Matt a clear view of the shots," Added Austin.

    Four of the goals came on the power play, while one was scored short handed.

    Our power play is improving every game. Against the Stampeders we kept it pretty simple, controlling the puck and shooting at every opportunity," added Austin.

    While killing penalties, Austin indicated the penalty killers are keeping pressure on the puck and are forcing some turn overs.

    After traveling to Ponoka for a rematch on Tuesday Nov. 9, the Colts will host the defending league champions, Red Deer Vipers, on Friday, Nov.12 and the Airdrie Thunder on Saturday, Nov. 13. They wrap up a week  of play in Stettler on Sunday, Nov. 14 and in Lacombe on Tuesday. Nov. 16.

    "These up coming games will give us the opportunity to move up in the standings, there's ten points in the next seven days up for grabs," Austin said.

   With the improvement in their game, the Colts now have 10 points with a record of five wins and five defeats.          

Colts defensive play improving

By Barry Williams
November 1, 2004

        With a 7-4 victory over the Masdowacis Attack in Hobbema, the Mountainview Colts defensive play is showing signs of improvement.

       As the game progressed, Colts' Head Coach, Darcy Austin, noticed little things the defensemen were doing to keep the Attack's offensive threat from capitalizing on turn-overs.

       According to Austin, the Colts' defensemen are starting to win the battle along the boards and in front of the net.

       "The thing I have noticed the most is our defensemen are getting the puck out of our own end a lot faster," said Austin.

       "Earlier in the season, our defense was content on just shooting the puck out, but now they are carrying it out more often and jumping into the play offensively," Austin added.

        With the return of a couple veteran defenseman to the line-up, the pressure is off the rookie blue liners noted  Austin.

      As the season progresses, Austin expects the first year players will gain more confidence and the Colts goals against will be reduced.

      "At the beginning of the season we were not protecting our goaltenders," Austin added.

     However, in the past two games, the Colts have allowed just thirty shots a game, another vast improvement.

      And with the addition of Matt McLeod from the Three Hills Thrashers, the Colts have two veteran goalies. Troy Schwandt has handled much of the workload between the pipes for the Colts.

     In the game against the Attack, McLeod was solid in net making thirty saves and Austin was pleased with his performance.

     And besides stopping the puck, McLeod brings another dimension to his game as he handles the puck well.

     Because most teams are content with dumping the puck into the opposition end, Austin feels the Colts have a better opportunity of moving the puck with a puck handling netminder.

     In Hobbema, Scott Murphy and Ryan Kallis netted two goals apiece with singletons being added by Ian Brander, Brandan Hastie and Jeff Clazie.

    For the Attack, Ryan Buffalo blinked the red light twice with Nelson Daychief and Ryan Potts rounding out the  scoring.

    "I thought we controlled the play against the Attack as we held the territorial advantage," Austin said.

     "Their goalie played very well and kept the score respectful" indicated Austin.

    In Didsbury on Sat. Oct. 30, the Lacombe Wranglers defeated the Colts 5-1.

    The Colts goal came off the stick of Jeff Clazie while Tanner Stock, Jarod Jequo, Ryan Lodermier, Cody Anderson and Kyle Krustbanen replied for the Wranglers.

    "We had lots of chances against the Wranglers but couldn't put the puck in the net," said Austin.

    "Because forth place in the Northern Division is up for grabs between us, the Wranglers and the Ponoka Stampeders , we needed a win against the Wranglers," noted Austin.

     When the Colts broke training camp, the team set a goal at making the playoffs and Austin believes they will be there at the conclusion of the season.

Colts corral a pair of victories

By Barry Williams
r 19, 2004

     In recent Heritage Junior Hockey League action, the Mountain View Colts were able to corral a pair of victories a 9-6 win over the Siksika Ice and a convincing 9-1victory over the Livingstone Rockmen.

     Against the Rockmen, the Colts dominated the game in every aspect firing forty-three shots at Rockmen netminder, Curtis Butler.

     Chalking up a pair of goals apiece for the Colts were Scott Murphy, Ryan Kallis and Will Harvie. Singletons came off the sticks of Jeff Clazier, Garrett Wenskowski and Cody Edwards.

     Meanwhile, Bradley Holtz dampened Tyler Rockwell's bid for a shut-out putting the Rockmen on the scoreboard early in the first period.

     At the Deerfoot Centre in Calgary, Jeff Clazier notched a hat trick to pace the Colts offensively in the win over  the Ice. Ryan Kallis blinked the red light twice with singletons being added by Tyson Gardner, Scott Murphy, Matt Lowry and Brandon Hatsie.

     For the Ice, Clint Sitting Eagle dented the twine twice, with Brennan Breaker, Garrett Many Bears,   Brandie Dore and Jonah Jerry rounding out the scoring.

    In running up the score, the Colts peppered Ice goalie, Kyle Running Bear with forty-eight shots, most of them on the power play.

    Although not as busy, Colts' netminder, Troy Schwandt, was steady throughout the entire game making thirty-eight saves.

     "Actually, Siksika had a pretty chippy team and we had lots of chances on the power play," said Colts Head Coach, Darcy Austin, indicating the Colts scored three goals with the man advantage.

     "Give our players credit, they were well disciplined during the game and failed to retaliate when they received a cheap shot from the Siksika players," added Austin.

     "Our discipline was definitely the difference in the game," added Austin.

     Although the Colts filled the net on a consistent basis in the games, Austin indicated all four lines contributed in the scoring.

     "So far this season, our lines are fairly balanced and we have a good representation between veteran and rookie players on all the lines," added Austin.

     Despite having just two wins in league action, Austin indicated the Colts deserve a better fate than what their record indicates noting with a little bit of luck and the right bounce of the puck, the Colts could easily have three wins as they lost a 4-3 heartbreaker to the Lacombe Wranglers at the Didsbury Recreation Centre on Saturday, Oct.16.

     In the final eight minutes of the game, the Colts were pressuring the Wranglers in their own end forcing them to turn over the puck on numerous occasions resulting in several glorious scoring opportunities, which went array.

     "We just couldn't buy a goal in the final minutes of the game," Austin said.

     "The players were pretty frustrated at the end of the game because we played good enough to earn a win," Austin said.

    "But I am not too concerned because there were more positives than negatives to take away from this game," Austin noted.

    "We have a lot of good things to take away from it and we can build on these," concluded Austin.

    Goal scorers in the game were not known at press time.

Colts' bench boss will be patient with young team

By Barry Williams
October 07, 2004

      As the Heritage Junior Hockey League swings into action for another season, Mountainview Colts' bench boss, Darcy Austin realizes he will have to be patient with the young players.

    "This season we have only five veteran players returning, so it will take some time before the younger players start feeling comfortable with each other," said Austin, after the Colts' home opener in Didsbury on Sunday, Oct. 3 against the Banff Icemen.

    Three unanswered goals in the second period by the Icemen broke a close 3-2 game wide open and enabled Banff to skate away with a 7-5 victory before a large crowd at the Didsbury Memorial Complex.

    "Our inexperience was evident in the game," Austin added.

    In the first period, Matt Collinge and Will  Harvie dented the twine for the Colts with Brad Meyers, Harry Maheshi and Bryce Platt replying for the Icemen.

    Maheshi and Platt added their second goals of the game in the second period while Luke Irwin rounded out the three goal Icemen outburst in the second stanza.

   Despite goals off the sticks of Collinge and Ian Brander in the third period, the Colts were unable to close the gap on the scoreboard and as a result they suffered their second consecutive loss in early season play.

   According to Austin, the Colts ran into penalty problems in the second stanza and the icemen took advantage of the extra man situation by denting the twine for two power play goals.

    "There is no doubt the penalties and our defensive play hurt us in the game," Austin added.

     A community based team, the Colts have a solid base of local players on the squad as the majority of the players played minor hockey in Carstairs, Didsbury, Olds and Sundre.

    Although this is Austin's first year at the helm of the Colts, he is familiar with the talented pool of hockey players within the County of Mountainview and he plans to use this to his advantage.

   "Most of these players have played with and against each other in minor hockey, so they do know each other," Austin added.

   "Because they come from different minor hockey organizations, their philosophies about the game are varied and different," added Austin.

   "Right now, it's my job to get them playing on the same page," he added, indicating this will take some time and preparation.

   As the season progresses, Austin expects the team to mature and improve and he believes the Colts are legitimate play off contenders.

   When the team broke training camp in preparation for the 2004/2005 Heritage Junior Hockey League season, Austin noted the players set a team goal of qualifying for post season play.

    And the players have previously tasted success as some of them were members of the Didsbury Midgets when they won the Midget A Central Alberta Minor Hockey Association league championship two years in a row.

    According to Austin, the Colts have an excellent working relationship with Didsbury, Olds, Carstairs and Sundre Minor Hockey Associations and in the next weeks he hopes to cement relations with the Rocky Mountain Midget AAA Lightning, members of the Rural Alberta Midget AAA Hockey League.

    "I am quite impressed with the Lightning as I have had the opportunity to watch them practice, it looks like they have an excellent team" Austin added.

    Because the Lightning play their games on the weekends and most of them conflict with the Colts schedule, Austin is not sure how much playing time the Colts can offer to the Lightning players.

   "During the year, I will keep in touch with them (Lightning) and hopefully we can use a few of their players later on in the season," Austin added.

   Also, the Colts work closely with the Didsbury Minor Hockey Association and they have affiliated five players from the Didsbury Midgets.

   "It is important to keep the lines of communications open with the local Midget teams and the Olds Grizzlys," noted Austin.

   When the Grizzlys make their final cuts, Austin is hoping one or more of the cut players will opt to finish the hockey season with the Colts.

    On Saturday, Oct. 2, the Colts trekked into Airdrie and were defeated by the Thunder 9-2.

    Brad Roessler, the league's leading scorer,  blinked the red light four times for the Thunder with Padrouck Stables, John Roedler, Tyler Reid Adam Schaffer and Curtis Anka adding singletons. For the Colts, Wade Ogle dented the twine twice. 

Colts looking for Junior hockey players

By Barry Williams
August 25, 2003

      For several years, the Mountain View Colts have offered area Junior hockey players the opportunity of playing close to home.

     With the opening face-off of the Heritage Junior Hockey League just a few weeks away, the Colts are preparing for league play with the opening of their Fall Camp in Carstairs commencing on Sept. 8th.

     "We're welcoming area players from the ages of 17-20 years to come and try-out for the team," said Colts' General Manager, Doug Brander.

     According to Brander, all positions are open on the team and he is anticipating an excellent turn-out for the Fall Camp.

    "This year we are anticipating on putting a competitive team on the ice," said Brander.

     From every indication, several veteran players have indicated they are willing to don the Colts uniform for another year. The veteran core of players will give the Colts an excellent nucleus to build a contending team.

    To compliment the veterans, Brander is anticipating a good crop of rookie players to crack the Colts line-up.

    "There are some excellent hockey players graduating from the Midget teams in the area and I hope they decide to play their Junior hockey with us," added Brander.

    Originally started as the Carstairs Colts, the team changed it's name to the Mountain View Colts a few years ago and now divides their home games between Carstairs and Didsbury.

     "Because most of our players live within the Mountain View County area, the name change reflects our image better," added Brander.

     "Over the years we have drawn players from Olds, Carstairs, Didsbury and Sundre. Before Three Hills and Drumheller were accepted into the league, we drew some excellent players from the east country," Brander said.

     Because Airdrie and Cochrane have teams participating in the league, the Colts have had very few players from the south country play for them.

     This season, the Heritage Junior Hockey League is operating with fifteen teams and will operate with three equal divisions, North, Central and south. The Colts are slated to play in the Central division against Three Hills, Drumheller, Red Deer and Airdrie.

     "I expect the Central Division will be very competitive. Over the years, we have developed a good rivalry with Airdrie," Brander added.

    Before the Colts head into league play commencing on October 3rd, they will hit the ice with eight nights of conditioning and a series of exhibition games.

     Cuts are slated to be made after the exhibition games.

     Jim Waiting has indicated he will return for another season behind the Colts' bench. Currently, the team is looking for an Assistant Coach, an Assistant Manager, a Trainer and people to help at the home games.

     "Also, we are looking for people to serve on the executive," added Brander.

    "Our intention is to provide the players with an opportunity to play competitive Junior hockey in a fun and relaxed atmosphere," concluded Brander.

    For interested players, the cost of the Fall Camp is $80.00 per player. all players must be paid in full and registered before camp begins.

    Anyone interested in playing for the Colts or assisting as a volunteer please contact Doug Brander at 335-4567 or 540-4557.     



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