Stampeders win on home ice

Meadow Lake Stampeder Dustin Gorst (15) parks himself in front of the Turtleford netminder during NSRHL action Saturday evening at the Meadow Lake and District Arena where the home team won 6-2.

Meadow Lake Stampeder Dustin Gorst (15) parks himself in front of the Turtleford netminder during NSRHL action Saturday evening at the Meadow Lake and District Arena where the home team won 6-2.

by Derek Cornet

After being defeated 6-0 in their first regular season game against the St. Walburg Eagles Nov. 15, the Meadow Lake Stampeders of the North Saskatchewan River Hockey League (NSRHL) rebounded the next night when they beat the Turtleford Tigers 6-2 at the Meadow Lake and District Arena.

Although the first period went by rather slowly with only one goal being scored by Turtleford, Stamps coach Ian Turberfield said his team began moving the puck around more in the middle frame. Meadow Lake managed to secure six goals in the last two periods. Veteran forwards Calvin Fiddler and Darren Caron both scored twice, while singles went to Kihisis Derocher and Ashton McIntyre.

“This league is so tight right now, we can’t just sit back because we need to be on them,” Turberfield said of the team’s forecheck. “If we’re hard on them, we’ll have a good chance to win, but if we’re going to sit back and get down by three or four goals like we did in St. Walburg, it’s hard to get back up from that.”

The roster for the Stampeders includes several new players as well as seasoned veterans who have been on the team for several years. Turberfield said it’s important younger people become involved in the league because they’ll be the veteran players of the future. He added the younger players are also bringing new energy to the team.

“The young guys are adding a lot of spark to our hockey club and it’s something we need,” he said. “We can’t always rely on our top lines and these young guys are getting it done.”

As for the driving force behind the team, Turberfield said this season’s front end is where the team is really going to excel. While the defensive end wasn’t too bad and was capable, he said the front end is where a lot of the skill and speed is held.
The team practices every Tuesday night and Turberfield added the Stamps will be focusing their attention on breakdowns, timing and passing. These aspects are important because they’re skills that need to be well-developed as the season progresses.

Stampeders captain Logan Gorst is in his 12th year with the team and said the roster is well-rounded. He’s hopeful the season will turn out well and he’s unphased by the 6-0 loss they were handed in St. Walburg Nov. 15. He added the team is a bit rusty and believes he and his teammates will be better suited when the two clubs meet up again.

“St. Walburg is really talented and they move the puck around pretty good,” Gorst said. “They also have good goaltending again this year, but we’ll eventually get them.”

Gorst is also looking forward to the Stampeders’ upcoming three-game weekend. The team will go to Maidstone Nov. 29 where they go up against the Jets, and then play a double-header at home Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 against the Wilkie Outlaws. Game times are 8:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. respectively.

Meanwhile, it was recently announced a senior AAA exhibition game will be held in St. Walburg Jan. 19. An all-star team featuring top NSRHL players will face off against the Rosetown Redwings. Coach Turberfield is unsure how many Stamps will be in the lineup for that game.

“I imagine, though, a few of our guys will make the team,” he said.

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