The Sylvan Lake Yettis are a young, talented and determined team this season who are focused on making it to the playoffs.
The Yettis began their season on a high note, April 14 in Calgary. The team faced the Wranglers in the first game of the season, and won 9-5.
“Winning the first game of the year was really big for us,” said Head Coach Cal Thudium.
Thudium says the teams has the skill and speed to make it to the playoffs, something has has not yet occurred for the junior team.
However being a young team, with the majority under the age of 18, comes with its challenges.
The Yettis will have to work on competing at the junior level, according to Thudium.
“Age doesn’t matter when you are at the junior level,” Thudium said. “When you are at a junior level you have the same skills as the others, and the guys need to know and understand that.”
Going up a team made up of older players was part of the Yettis’ downfall in the home opener on April 15. The team went up against the High River Heat, which consists of more players over the age of 18.
“They don’t realize yet that they are on the same level.”
With a final score of 8-5, the Yettis will have a bit to work on in the coming practises.
In particular Thudium wants to have the team work hard and come out strong in the first period.
In the April 15 game against the Heat, the Yettis let up five goals, something Thudium says cannot happen if the team is to be competitive in the league.
While the Yettis were down going into the final period of the game on April 15, their discipline started to wain as tensions grew on the court.
“We started to make a come back [in the third period], but we we started to take on penalties and that is something we can’t afford to do,” said Thudium.
While the team didn’t play its best game on Sunday, Thudium says there is a lot of positives, such as the leadership developing amongst the players.
In addition, the team is rounded out with strong goal tending from the two goalies on the team, Andrew Barnes and Ethan Hanson.
“We are really pleased with [Andrew] Barnes, we brought him in from Ponoka,” said Thudium. “We put him in in the second period and he only let in one goal.”
Thudium says Barnes is a large reason the Yettis won against Calgary.
The Sylvan Lake Yettis play at home again on April 21 adjacent the Venom. To prepare for the game, Thudium says the team will have to work hard in practise.
“We hope to have more wins than loses this season, for sure.”
The game versus the Venom will be at the NexSource Centre on April 21, with the game scheduled for 2 p.m.