TISDALE — Bigger is not always better.
When it came time for Rosetown’s Kayden Ostrom to choose where to play midget AAA hockey, he opted for the Tisdale Trojans rather than a squad based in one of Saskatchewan’s larger centres. He felt that Tisdale was the best place for him to develop his game.
“It was a small town, just like where I’m from, and it just felt like the best fit for me,” the 15-year-old rookie said.
The Trojans also certainly have a history of success. With a young group this season, the team won all three of its games on the road last week. They downed the Beardy’s Blackhawks, 4-2, on Wednesday and then beat the Notre Dame Argos, 8-2 on Saturday and 3-2 on Sunday. The Trojans improved to 19-14-0-1.
“Those were big for the boys,” Tisdale head coach Dennis Kubat said. “Hopefully, we can just keep climbing up the standings and be playing our best hockey come playoff time.”
The Trojans bench boss was pleased to see different players light the lamp last week and the team’s improving health. He was also happy with the goaltending of Hunter Lolacher and Boston Gelowitz.
Through 34 games this season, the 5-foot-6, 140-pound Ostrom had two goals and five points. Kubat praised him for working hard and contributing on the penalty kill.
Playing for the Trojans required adjustment on and off the ice for Ostrom. He came to Tisdale after a successful bantam AA career. Ostrom helped the West Central Wheat Kings win a league championship in 2018. Last season he posted 30 points in 31 games. Moving to the midget AAA was definitely a step up. Kubat said that Ostrom has improved during the season.
“Midget AAA is so much faster and way more skilled than bantam AA as well more physical,” Ostrom said.
Ostrom, who is billeting with the Garland family, had to adapt to things off the ice.
“It’s definitely different living away from home – not being around my family, and I had to make new buddies and adjust to the new school,” he said.
However, Ostrom is having fun playing for the Trojans.
“The best thing about living in Tisdale is definitely hanging out and spending time with the boys,” he said.
The Trojans last week
Thursday, Jan. 16 in Beardy’s
Tisdale 4, Beardy’s 2
Tisdale Scorers: Kalen Ukrainetz (2), Mario Fortier, Carter Briltz
Blackhawks Scorers: Cole Duperreault, Teagan Koehler
Goalies: Hunter Lolacher, Tisdale, 44 saves on 46 shots; Matthew Hennessey, Beardy’s, 36 on 39
Notes: Briltz opened the game’s scoring with a first period goal. Tisdale held a 1-0 lead at both intermissions. The Trojans took a 2-0 lead on Ukrainetz’s first of the night. The teams traded goals the rest of the way with Ukrainetz capping the game with an empty net goal. “Hunter played amazing,” Tisdale head coach Dennis Kubat said. “He kept us in the game at times.”
Saturday, Jan. 18 in Wilcox
Tisdale 8, Notre Dame Argos 2
Tisdale Scorers: Noah Wills (3), Mackenzie Carson (2), Mario Fortier, Keagon Little, Zac Robins
Argos Scorers: Kevin Bond, Avery Kirkup
Goalies: Boston Gelowitz, Tisdale, 24 saves on 26 shots; Nikita Evstratov, Notre Dame, 14 on 19; Ian Lee, Notre Dame, 16 on 19
Notes: A power play goal by Little and a shorthanded marker by Wills staked the Trojans to a 2-0 first period lead. Tisdale built a 6-1 second period lead on goals by Carson, Fortier, Wills, and Robins. Trojan Trenton Curtis recorded four assists. “We definitely carried the play on Saturday,” Kubat said.
Sunday, Jan. 19 in Wilcox
Tisdale 3, Notre Dame Argos 2
Tisdale Scorers: Trenton Curtis (2), Rylan Donald,
Argos Scorers: Jaydon Forrester (2)
Goalies: Hunter Lolacher, Tisdale, 29 saves on 31 shots; Ian Lee, Notre Dame, 38 on 41
Notes: Forrester scored twice in the first period to give Notre Dame a 2-0 first period lead. On a second period powerplay, Donald scored his first goal of the season to cut the lead to 2-1. Curtis tied things up before the second intermission. In the third, he scored again to give the Trojans the lead. Noah Wills recorded three assists for Tisdale. “It was just one of those games where the puck wasn’t going in for us. … We told the boys ‘We are liking how you are playing for the most part. We just got to bury our chances.’ We were able to have a few chances in the third and the puck went in for us,” Kubat said.
Zack Smith (2016-18) scored his ninth Western Hockey League goal of the season for the Regina Pats on Saturday against the Spokane Chiefs. His brother Ty, a 2018 NHL Draft first round pick of the New Jersey Devils, is the Chiefs’ captain. Zack started this season with Melfort in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. Since joining the Pats, the 18-year-old forward has accumulated 13 points in 31 games.
The Tisdale Trojans kick off a six-game home stand by hosting the Prince Albert Mintos on Wednesday. The Notre Dame Hounds visit on Saturday.