The Kitscoty Pitbulls, with Ricky Paul, Sean Paul, Matt Sellen, Steven Daren, Tyler Waterfield, Bradyn Orbeck, Kody Short, Owen Stephenson, Christopher Davies, Cody Wyatt, Kennedy King, Carter Carnduff, Jared Fischer, Kian Keichinger, Rhett Laycock, Dylan Stephenson, Linden Koenig, Blake Keichinger, Dillion Johnston, Josh Davidson and Keagan Pearson, won the Hockey Alberta midget D championship late last month. SUBMITTED PHOTO
The dogs are on top.
The Kitscoty Pitbulls overcame a tough weekend schedule and a touch of early adversity to capture the Hockey Alberta midget D championship late last month.
The all-Kitscoty team of 13 skaters and one goalie plus four bantam-age call-ups dropped their opening contest of the March 23-25 tournament in Taber, Alta., but the dogs won out the rest of the way to take home their first provincial banner.
The Pitbulls final win came courtesy of a 5-3 score against the Oyen Bees at the Taber Community Centre on March 25. The game marked a rematch of their tournament opener, a penalty-filled defeat to the Bees two days earlier, and the Pitbulls’ third game in less than 24 hours.
“We got ahead from the start and never looked back,” said Pitbulls coach Ricky Paul, noting the kids simply ran on adrenaline by that point. “It was a full effort and a character win. The second and the third efforts were the differences in the game.”
Paul said the team powered past their North Eastern Alberta Hockey League (NEAHL) rival St. Paul Canadiens 6-5 in a two-game total-point zone playoff series to earn a spot at the provincial championships.
He noted the Canadiens had their number during the regular season, but his boys once again proved they play their best when everything is on the line.
The Pitbulls tournament win was the team’s third of the season following an undefeated run at a mid-November competition in Airdrie, Alta., and another unblemished go at their home Gordon King Memorial Tournament in early January. The victories compliment the team’s overall 16-4-3 record this year in the NEAHL.
“All year with only 13 skaters and one goalie,” said Paul. “We do have to credit our players, our fans, our parents, our families and our community because it was solely Kitscoty.”