The Chestermere Lakers Atom Tier 1 team fell short in the quest for a provincial title, but overall their season was a smashing success.
On March 18, the Lakers lost 6-2 in the semifinals to Canmore, which went not to beat Bonnyville to win the tournament held at the Chestermere Rec Centre.
The Lakers went through their regular season undefeated, then won league and zone titles before falling just short in the Atom AA Minor Provincial Championships.
“They did really well getting two of three,” said coach Alex Halat. “I told them two out of three ain’t bad.
“We had a great game (against Canmore). We had over 45 shots but unfortunately only two goals. It’s upsetting that we lost.
“The kids were devastated of course. All you can tell them is it’s the start of your hockey careers and you aren’t going to always win. Chalk it up as a life lesson. It’s nice at this age that they are learning what adversity is.
“You have to work that much harder. We just came up short. In the off-season, keep this in mind. If you aren’t training, somebody else is. The next you meet them you win. It teaches us to work hard in school and work hard in our family lives so we can come out winners in the end. I wasn’t upset with them at all. They left it all on the ice. It is a life lesson.”
It was a busy weekend at the Rec Centre as the 10-team tournament went from Thursday through Sunday.
A good crowd came out on Sunday morning for the semifinals, which really boosted the Lakers morale, even if they didn’t win. Overall, the tournament was a major success.
“At these provincials there was a lot of kids with a lot of bright futures,” Halat said. “They might not make the NHL but they are going to be successful people when they are older.”