Tisdale Trojan pair helps Team Saskatchewan win cup

TISDALE — A pair of Tisdale Trojans helped Team Saskatchewan capture the Western Hockey League Cup.

Kylynn Olafson and Carter Briltz each played a role as the provincial team defeated Team Manitoba 4-2 to win the prestigious under-16 tournament for the Western provinces. Fellow Trojan Cole Tanchuk was supposed to play in the event, which was held in Calgary Oct. 23-27, but was out with an injury.

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“It was an amazing feeling to win a championship, especially while representing your province, family, coaches and the Tisdale Trojans,” Olafson said. “We came into the tournament knowing we were underdogs. We embraced that and accepted the challenge. When the clock finally hit zero, the gloves and helmets came off and it was time to celebrate.”

In the round robin, Saskatchewan fell 6-4 to B.C., 3-2 to Alberta and 4-3 to Manitoba. In the semifinals, Saskatchewan beat Alberta, 5-3.

“The boys stuck to the process. … They … stayed mentally strong,” said head coach Devan Praught, who coaches the midget AAA Notre Dame Hounds.

Olafson, who hails from Lanigan, was fifth on the team in scoring with four points, including two goals. He had an assist and the game winning goal in the final.

Olafson served as an assistant captain for Saskatchewan. Praught was impressed with his energy and wanted the other players to emulate it.

“It was an honour to wear an ‘A’ at the WHL cup,” Olafson said. “With it came a lot of responsibility, and I was willing to do what it took to contribute to the team.”

Regina’s Briltz is a big body who played quality minutes in the WHL Cup, Praught said. What did Briltz enjoy most about the gold medal winning experience?

“I would just say being a part of it and on the first team from Saskatchewan to win it,” he said. “Also knowing that I was representing my province and the Tisdale Trojan was awesome. Bringing home the gold was great, and I made a lot of new friendships and bonds that I won’t forget.”

Briltz said the event featured some of the best hockey he has ever been a part of.

“You are down to the top 80 players in Western Canada in the under 16 age group so everybody’s good and it challenges you to be the best that you can be every single time you’re on the ice,” he said. “Every team there could skate and every team competed. I think it can really help me when I come back and start playing with the Trojans again.”

Olafson echoed that last thought when asked how his and Briltz’s WHL Cup experience could benefit the Trojans.

“We know the work that is put in to winning a championship now,” Olafson said. “We now know the feeling of winning a championship, which will drive us that much more to reaching our final goal.”

The 5-foot-8, 140-pound Olafson has six assists through 12 games this season with the Trojans. Meanwhile, Briltz, who is 6-foot, 175 pounds, has four goals and eight points in 15 games. Trojans head coach Dennis Kubat said that the WHL Cup experience will benefit the duo:

“They are going to be that much more confident in our league. It kind of shows on the ice. All of our 15-year-olds from day one till now have, I think, really improved. All of our guys have improved and that’s all we can really ask for from our team – keep getting better.”

The duo has enjoyed its rookie midget AAA season so far. Briltz said there are many things he appreciates about being part of the Trojans.

“First off, I really love the team, my coaches and my teammates,” he said. “It’s such a fun group of guys to be a part of. Also, all of the support from the community has been outstanding. It’s just a really fun place to be playing hockey and I’m looking forward to the rest of the season. I think we are just getting going and things are starting to click.”

 

Trojans win three

The Tisdale Trojans won three of their four games last week.

Victories over the Saskatoon Contacts, 6-4; Beardy’s Blackhawks, 6-4; and Regina Pat Canadians, 3-1 gave the team a five-game winning streak. A loss on Sunday to the Notre Dame Hounds, 6-2, brought the streak to an end.

“We have kind of told them if you keep going to the gym, keep being good kids at school, keep working hard at practice, just trusting us coaches, the results will come – it’s nice to see that they finally came for us,” head coach Dennis Kubat said.

In each victory last week, the Trojans came from behind. Early in the season players were coming home tired from the gym. However, Kubat said:

“To see that we scored three goals against the Contacts and three goals against Beardy’s in the third period, [you see] how these things pay off in the long run. They might not like the workout at time, but it all comes together in making us a better program and making the kids better players when they can go in the third and their legs aren’t tired and they can give a little more.”

The Trojans played for four games in six days with the last three being played in four days. Due to injuries, Tisdale had only four regular defencemen in the lineup last week. Kubat praised his team’s resiliency, never quit attitude, and the positivity of the bench.

 

The Trojans Last Week

Tuesday, Oct. 29 in Saskatoon

Tisdale 6, Saskatoon Contacts 4

Trojans Scorers: Kalen Ukrainetz (3), Jordan Normand, Carter Briltz, Mario Fortier

Contacts Scorers: Josh Visentini (2), Alex Bernauer, Connor Yager

Goalies: Hunter Lolacher, Tisdale, 28 saves on 32 shots; Ethan Chadwick, Saskatoon, 28 on 34

Notes: The Trojans trailed 2-0 in the first period and led 3-2 at both intermissions. After the Contacts tied the game in the third, the Trojans scored three straight goals before Saskatoon could find the back of the net again.

 

Thursday, Oct. 31 in Beardy’s

Tisdale 6, Beardy’s 4

Trojans Scorers: Kalen Ukrainetz (2), Carter Briltz (2), Noah Wills, Mackenzie Carson

Blackhawks Scorers: Robert Pizzey (3), Holden Doell, Aaron Lorenz

Goalies: Boston Gelowitz, Tisdale, 27 saves on 31 shots; Matthew Hennessey, Beardy’s, 43 on 48

Notes: Beardy’s led 2-1 after the first period. The game was tied at 3-3 at the second intermission. The Trojans outscored Beardy’s, 3-1, in the third.

 

Saturday, Nov. 2 in Tisdale

Tisdale 3, Regina 1

Trojans Scorers: Mackenzie Carson, Trenton Curtis, Kalen Ukrainetz

Pat Canadians Scorers: Cal Caragata

Goalies: Hunter Lolacher, Tisdale, 26 saves on 27 shots; Drayden Ramage, Regina, 24 on 27

Notes: Regina took a 1-0 first period lead. The Trojans scored twice in the second and once in the third period.

 

Saturday, Nov. 2 in Tisdale

Tisdale 3, Regina 1

Trojans Scorers: Mackenzie Carson, Trenton Curtis, Kalen Ukrainetz

Pat Canadians Scorers: Cal Caragata

Goalies: Hunter Lolacher, Tisdale, 26 saves on 27 shots; Drayden Ramage, Regina, 24 on 27

Notes: Regina took a 1-0 first period lead. The Trojans scored twice in the second and once in the third period.

 

Sunday, Nov. 3 in Tisdale

Notre Dame 6, Tisdale 2

Trojans Scorers: Trenton Curtis, Kalen Ukrainetz

Hounds Scorers: Tyler Guy (2), Josselin Dufey (2), Trey Funk, Brendan Kerr

Goalies: Hunter Lolacher, Tisdale, 37 saves on 42 shots; Marcus Bjorn, Regina, 25 on 27

Notes: After a 1-1 first period, Notre Dame led 3-2 at the second intermission. The Hounds outscored the Trojans 3-0 in the third period. “I think, in the grand scheme of things, that was a humbling lesson for us that you can’t take any night off,” Trojans head coach Dennis Kubat said.

 

This Week

The Tisdale Trojans (7-7-0-1) only play on Saturday this week. They host the Beardy’s Blackhawks

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