After a mild start to their season, the Kindersley Red Lions are finding their rhythm as more wins showcase their newly-synced team members.
“After the first few games it was clear that the team needed a little shaping and guidance in the defense side of things,” noted Coach Wayne Sampson (Sambo). “Now it’s looking like we’ve clicked and the boys are playing together — playing together well.”
The Lions took a near shutout game of 5-1 over the Unity Miners on November 17th and followed it up with a complete shutout game 4-0 over the Eatonia Huskies on the following night. Who knows what might have happened that Sunday night if the Lions had met the Luseland Mallards as planned, but the game was canceled in favor of a future night.
The following Friday, November 24th the Lions were back on the ice, this time with the team Coach Sambo coached last year — the Kerrobert Tigers. This game was the Lions’ third win in a row as they carried the day 5-4. The following day was aimed to be a fourth win, but the Luseland Mallards surprised everyone mid-game and ultimately carried the game 9-7.
“It’s bound to happen that we get surprises like that,” says Coach Sambo, “I take it as a learning game and a good one for the team to get under their belts before the playoffs.” Coach Sambo says that although there is the usual give and take of wins, the team is only getting stronger; with each game refining and combining strengths, the Lions are starting to show it in the higher point scores.
He also attributed a key role in the win over the Tigers to what he called his newly-found gem— 21-year-old Luke Sproule. Sproule was a goalie in his midget hockey days, after leaving Kindersley for a short time, Sproule returned just in time to slide into place as a goalie for the Red Lions. His first three games on the ice thrilled fans and directly correlated to three wins of the team, he seemed to build a literal wall of defense, and the game with Kerrobert was no exception.
“He had 54 saves during the game, I mean, he was just moving!” Coach Sambo says that with such a strong goalie and other talented defense and linemen the team, the overall team confidence and power has grown. “I hope that by the end of the year we can give those three-time provincial title winners,—the Wilkie Outlaws— a good run for their money.”
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