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Red Deer Battle On Wheels - Rivalries Intensify

June 13, 2018

written by Cole Heintz

As we move to our third tournament of the year we go back north to Red Deer for the Battle On Wheels where we will see some of the best AAA/AA teams compete. Teams will be testing their rosters to see how they all stack up to each other in preparation for Western Nationals. The first games start slowly as each team feels each other out, testing speed and grit seeing where they have the upper hand. Then as if someone had flicked on a light switch, the pace of the game speeds up and teams begin to play at full potential. The teams of all ages trade scoring opportunities and as the games play out it turns into a battle of turnovers. Each team is trading positional hockey and transitional breaks are a blessing that provide an instant scoring chance.  As these chances are created throughout the game the defensive play of the teams are tested and goaltenders given the opportunity will hopefully make the big save to give their team a much needed momentum boost. Hard fought battles are put on display as each team is trying their best to get the win to start their weekend off right.

The weekend is now in full force as with teams are now jumping from one game to their next trying to make sure that they are giving themselves their best chance to make it deep into Sunday. As Saturday rolls on everybody is making their push to secure their spot. The teams playing the possessional game are rarely giving each other odd-man rushes ensuring that everybody is accounted for and showing that man to man hockey is one of the best strategies in roller hockey for defense. The day comes to an end with teams pushing and showing their skills and teamwork. Some teams are now looking to be bubble teams and have a must-win game on Sunday morning to secure their spots in the playoffs.

Now comes the big day, championship Sunday as the first games of the day are the must-win games with the bubble teams coming into it focused and ready to play as this is do or die hockey. As the games start everyone is on the edge of their seats and everyone knows that the smallest mistake could mean that they won't make the playoffs. Only one team will come out on top reminding everyone to leave it out on the floor. As the game ends teams either look to their next game or think about what went wrong. With the semi’s finishing up the matchups for the finals are set.

As the pucks drop you can tell the intensity is there for every team, and that everyone is pushing through fatigue and exhaustion. The players know whats at stake and they are now playing their best hockey, the mistakes from game 1 and 2 are a rare occurrence. Back and forth the action goes with each team trading chances and matching goal for goal. The games play out and soon after helmets and gloves hit the ground as they have done it, they have won their weekend. The arenas fill with cheering as their crowd celebrates for them and the players scream with excitement after their big win. But the celebrations are temporary as in two short weeks its time for the Western National Championships and the biggest glory is now up for grabs

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