CARROT RIVER — Tyler Almen wants to help the Carrot River Outback Thunder succeed.
That is why the second-year player from Clavet will play any position he is asked. At the Prairie Junior Hockey League’s fall camp, Almen was slotted in on the wing and looked amazing, head coach Luke Folk stated. However, the team has been utilizing him as a defenceman.
“Due to a younger D-core, we needed him on the backend watching over the kids,” Folk said.
Last season Folk played on the blue line for the first time in his hockey career. He said he will do whatever the team needs.
“I’m willing to switch from wing to D, because I’ll do anything my coaches think will give us the best chance at winning,” the 19-year-old said.
For reasons such as that, Almen is one of the team’s four assistant captains this season. He brings valuable experience to the Outback Thunder’s backend.
“Tyler Almen’s confidence has grown drastically from last year,” Folk said. “He’s a versatile guy who plays an effective game wherever he’s needed.”
The 6-foot, 180-pounder plays keys roles on special teams.
“Almen has the puck-handling skills to run our powerplay as well as the grit and heavy stick that helps him move guys out on the penalty kill,” Folk said.
Almen said the best part of playing for the Outback Thunder is his teammates. He is pursuing a Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Saskatchewan.
Last winter Warman’s Jaxon White suited up for 14 games with the Outback Thunder on loan from the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League’s Flin Flon Bombers. The defenceman had five assists with the Carrot River squad led by Folk. As of last Thursday, White had three points in eight games for the Junior A Bombers.
“My time with the Thunder played a huge role in my development,” the 19-year-old said. “The coach allowed me to play lots of power play, penalty kill, and critical moments throughout the games, which allowed me to gain the confidence to be an everyday player with the Bombers.
The Thunder Last Week
Friday, Oct. 11 in Saskatoon
Saskatoon Westleys 6, Carrot River 4
Outback Thunder scorers: Talon Thomas (2), Tanner Dutcawich, Kayden Graham
Westleys Scorers: Dayden Dvernichuk, Dawson Barilla, Matthew Conlon, Colten Adair, Austin Underwood, Carter Rain
Goalies: Justice Haack, Carrot River, 25 saves on 31 shots; Jake Davidson, Saskatoon, 41 on 45
Notes: The Outback Thunder jumped out to a 3-1 lead. The Westleys outscored the Outback Thunder, 4-1, in the second period to take the lead. In his debut with Carrot River, Thomas recorded three points. He was acquired from the Saskatoon Quakers for Jaden Mayer and future considerations. Dutcawich and David Wiens also had three points.
Saturday, Oct. 12 in Carrot River
Regina Capitals 5, Carrot River 0
Capitals Scorers: Matt Kesslering, Hunter Beach, Joey Prebushewski, Jarid Morhart, Tristan Sulz
Goalies: Ross Jones, Carrot River, 43 saves on 48 shots; Jordan Berschiminsky, Regina, 26 on 26
Notes: Regina was held off the scoresheet until the second period, in which they took a 2-0 lead.
Sunday, Oct. 13 in Carrot River
Delisle 5, Carrot River 1
Outback Thunder Scorer: Trey Hardie
Chiefs Scorers: Tyson Novakoski, Mitchell Girolami, Joel Zaidan, Brody Swanson, Blake Berschiminsky
Goalies: Ross Jones, Carrot River, 28 saves on 33 shots; Tyler Peterson, Delisle, 23 on 24
Notes: Neither team scored in the first period. Delisle led 4-0 at the second intermission.
The Outback Thunder (0-7) have only one game this week. The squad hosts the Regina Silver Foxes on Saturday.