Category: Local Sports

Red Deer’s Shae Demale to feature in Hockey Canada Summer Showcase

Shae Demale is officially a U SPORTS Women’s Hockey All-Star.

The Red Deer product was selected recently for the team which will play in the Hockey Canada Summer Showcase Aug. 2-11 in Calgary.

The event will feature teams from France, Japan and Russia alongside a pair of Team Canada squads. U SPORTS athletes will play in six games.

Demale, a science student at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, calls the opportunity super exciting.

“It’ll be really cool to be able to play at the Team Canada camp to show what I can do and see what the competition is like,” she says. “I’ve always looked up to this opportunity since I was young.”

On her rookie season with Saint Mary’s, she says she was given every chance to succeed.

“I got lots of playing time right off the bat, and I was able to score some goals this year and help out that way. Hopefully we’ll have more success this coming year with all of our new recruits.”

Demale was the Huskies’ leading scorer with 21 points (13G, 8A) in 28 games, also sporting a team best +14 rating on the way to an appearance in the Atlantic University Sport semi-finals.

The Lindsay Thurber grad previously played midget with the Red Deer Sutter Fund Chiefs before spending time with the Northern Alberta Xtreme prep school.

“I hope to show what I can do, succeed and hope that I can go back next year,” she says of the Summer Showcase, which is the first time she’s been on Hockey Canada’s radar.

“Also, I play out east so no one ever gets to watch. It’ll be cool to come back.”

All Summer Showcase games will be live streamed at HockeyCanada.ca.

Lalor continuing impressive year of baseball with Team Canada nod

One of Red Deer’s best and brightest young baseball players is once again set to don the maple leaf.

Kelsey Lalor, 21, who recently began playing with the Sunburst League’s Red Deer Riggers (men’s AAA), has been named to Canada’s national women’s team.

The squad will compete August 18-25 at the COPABE Women’s Baseball World Cup qualifying tournament in Aguascalientes, Mexico.

Lalor, now in her seventh year as a member of the national club, says representing her country never gets old.

“It’s always an incredible experience. Playing for your country is an irreplaceable feeling,” she says. “There’s not many people that get to do it. Getting to go back there now as one of the veterans, it’ll be fun for sure.”

This year marks the first time ever there will be the need for a Women’s World Cup qualifying tournament because there are more teams.

Lalor, who has already played in three World Cup tournaments, credits the growth of the women’s game to a number of things.

“It’s grown across the country and the world, and part of it is some of the exposure,” she says. “When we go to a World Cup, the WBSC (World Baseball Softball Confederation), our national team, the US, Australia, do such a good job of promoting.”

Canada is number two in the WBSC Women’s Baseball world rankings, and came third in last year’s World Cup in Florida after defeating the USA in the bronze medal game.

Andrea Lee leads through three rounds at Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship

RED DEER – Andrea Lee (Hermosa Beach, Calif.) shot 3-under-par 69 at Red Deer Golf & Country Club on Thursday and heads into the final round of the 106th Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship with a three-stroke lead.

Lee held a share of the lead after the opening round, but fell to second after 36 holes. The No. 2-ranked golfer on the World Amateur Golf Ranking sunk four birdies in the third round, moving herself to 10 under for the tournament.

“I played really solid today and had a good front nine,” said Lee. “On the back, I just stayed really patient. I made nine straight pars and played steady golf. It’s a really tough field and a lot of top amateurs are out here competing, so it’s always fun and exciting to be out here.”

After roaring into the lead with a first round of 6 under 66, Lee was quiet in round two, shooting 1 under. The USGA has committed to send at least two players to both the Canadian Men’s and Women’s Amateur Championship since 2017, and Lee’s play at the 2019 edition of the competition is a direct result of that commitment.

Round two leader Jennifer Chang (Cary, N.C.) shot even-par, leaving her at 7 under for the tournament.

Brianna Navarrosa (San Diego, Calif.) remained in third place, four back of Lee, with a round of 2 under.

The low round of the day belonged to Therese Warner of Kennwick, Wash. Warner shot 4 under 68, moving into fourth position at 5 under for the tournament.

The low Canadian heading into the final round is 12-year-old Michelle Liu of Vancouver. Liu was bogey-free in round two, but carded 1 over on Thursday, sitting in a tie for sixth.

The final round of competition will see the first groups tee off at 7:30 a.m. from holes No. 1 and No. 10.

Full scoring can be found here.

(Golf Canada)

Canadian Women’s Amateur underway at Red Deer Golf & Country Club

Canadian Women’s Amateur underway at Red Deer Golf & Country Club

Becky Martin believes her best is yet to come at the Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship after carding an opening round 74 (+2) at the Red Deer Golf & Country Club.

“There are good scores out there for sure,” said the Medicine Hat native, who sat eight strokes back of Californians Zoe Campos and Andrea Lee, who led at the time of publication. “I think I just need to wait for my moment where I’m hitting the ball good enough that I feel confident that I can go for things.”

VIEW THE FULL LEADERBOARD HERE

After putting together an opening-nine 34, sitting one shot off the pace and tied for third at the time, Martin struggled on the back-nine. She came in with a birdie-less 40, finishing with a bogey on the par-4 18th.

Despite a less-than-ideal back-nine, Martin says she’s proud of how she’s positioned herself among some of the best amateur golfers in the world.

“I’ve been putting extremely well (lately) and I did today, which saved me a bunch of strokes,” she continued. “I was not very confident iron-wise, but it’s the first day. You kind of get some of the jitters out and see how it goes.”

Canadian Women’s Amateur underway at Red Deer Golf & Country Club 1Becky Martin

Martin is also wearing the provincial colours after claiming the Alberta Women’s Amateur Championship two weeks ago at The Ranch Golf Club in Acheson. On top of the individual competition, she’s in charge of Alberta’s Inter-Provincial team alongside Calgarians MacKenzie Baustad and Stephanie Chelack.

The three ladies sit third following the first round, four shots back of Quebec in the lead at +4. The second round will serve as the final round for inter-provincial team play, with the third and fourth round reserved for individuals who survive the cut.

Martin says there’s a little more pressure as Alberta’s top player at the event, considering the team format involves taking the best two-out-of-three scores on each hole.

“The first player should count the majority of the time just like in college golf,” she added. “I think it starts with me. If I can pull down the number, someone else can pull down as well, and you’ll never know where you’ll end up.”

While there is obvious pressure in competing in such a prestigious event, Martin says she’s doing her best to soak up the experience and enjoy herself on one of Alberta’s nicest courses.

“It’s not just a game, but it’s a game,” she said. “I don’t need to create this super crazy idea where I have to become someone I’m not and I’ve never been, and try to play the same as I have.

“It’s challenging not to get caught up in all of it, but you also have to recognize that it’s a big deal.”

RELATED: A swing reconstructed: Martin among the best despite irrepairable nerve damage

(With file from Mitch Bach, CHAT News Today)

Sylvan Lake Yettis win provincial lacrosse title

The Sylvan Lake Yettis are Jr B. Tier 2 provincial lacrosse champions.

The Yettis claimed the championship with a dominant 13-3 win over Sherwood Park Titans on Sunday in Fort Saskatchewan.

The Sylvan Lake squad started their weekend by claiming the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League South Division title with a 14-7 win over High River. Zachary Daniels paced the Yettis with four goals while Joel Hollingsworth had a hat trick.

Saturday, Eric Taylor scored six goals in a 13-8 win for Sylvan Lake over the Lakeland Heat 13-8 to move to 2-0.

The Titans edged the Yettis 5-4 in the final round robin game of the tournament before the two teams met again in Sunday’s final where Sylvan Lake came out on top.

Members of the Sylvan Lake Yettis include: Andrew Barnes, Kien Bowen, Zachary Daniels, Austin Gallant, Ethan Hanson, Joshua Koger-Ebertz, Eric Nikolai, Joel Hollingsworth, Colton Harnack, Dawson Hilla-Hartt, Tristen Hess, Vitaliy Kravchuk, Braydon McLaughlin, Adam Sylvester, Noah Sinclair, Sam Stacey, Khale Skinner, Eric Taylor, Cameron Tubbs and Tristan Tubbs.

Head coach Cal Thudium guided the Yettis this season. Team staff also include Arnold Bowen, Justin Moltzahn, Brady Thudium, Hunter Thudium, Anthony Pickering, Pat Hanson and Hunter Thudium.

Roller hockey squad plays well, comes up short at NARCh

The Red Deer Rival Hydrovac Snipers are home from a week in California competing against some of North America’s best roller hockey teams.

RELATED: Snipers ready for best of the best at roller hockey championships in California

At the North American Roller Hockey Championships, or NARCh, in Irvine, the team was knocked out in the quarterfinals. They lost 3-1 to the Pure Maple Elite squad, a group also from Canada.

In round robin play, the Snipers did very well going 2-1-1 in the 18U Platinum division.

Parker Thompson reaches podium three times in Toronto

Parker Thompson may be the busiest road racing driver on the continent.

Since March, the young Red Deer native has raced 27 times in four different series. Challenging for championship titles in both open-wheel race cars and sports cars, Thompson has shown incredible skill and versatility.

That was most evident this past weekend when Thompson raced in both the Indy Pro 2000 by Cooper Tires series, and the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge Canada series as part of the Honda Indy Toronto event.

With four alternating races, Thompson demonstrated an adaptability seldom seen in motorsports. In an incredible performance, he earned three podium finishes and the Yokohama Tires Hard Charger award. The result puts an exclamation mark on his accomplishments so far this year, and further reinforces his status as one of the continents top young drivers.

Competing in two series during the same event presented a variety of challenges not typical of most race weekends.

“There is a lot of work and preparation that goes into every single session we do on the race track,” shred Thompson. “Balancing two different series this weekend would never have been possible without incredible support from my teams, Abel Motorsports [Indy Pro 2000] and Sports Car Boutique [IMSA GT3 Canada].

“Getting the maximum out of two very different cars was a tremendous challenge. The Porsche GT3 Cup Car, and the Tatuus PM-18 Indy Pro 2000 car are not only very different in size and handling characteristics, but they also require a very different strategy and approach during race action. Going back and forth between vehicles, and jumping straight into race pace really tested my concentration and ability to remember key markers and set-up notes for this very unforgiving Streets of Toronto track.

The first of three podium finishes came with Abel Motorsports in Indy Pro 2000, where Thompson maneuvered his way from starting seventh up to a third place finish.

Race two in Indy Pro 2000 featured a relentless duel between Thompson and championship leader Rasmus Lindh. Thompson would make a final pass in turn three of the Toronto street course, and hold off Lindh for the remainder of the race to earn a second place finish.

In GT3 Cup Challenge Canada, Thompson began Race 1 from seventh position after a heavy rain prior to race start created conditions that challenged a variety of drivers and teams. Thompson executed four passes in the first seven laps on his way to another third place finish.

In Race 2 of GT3 Canada, a rare mistake from Thompson saw his Porsche make contact with a tire wall in turn eight. Continuing the race from the back of the field, a lengthy yellow flag resulting from a crash allowed Thompson to rejoin the main group and eventually finish fifth.

“This was probably my most stressful weekend of racing ever, but I’m overjoyed by our results,” Thompson shared. “In these two highly competitive series, I always feel blessed to stand on the podium. Doing that three out of four times this weekend feels like a huge achievement.”

This incredible weekend marked the 100th race of Thompson’s young career. He has earned 55 podiums and 26 race wins in those 100 races since 2015. In 2019, he has won a third of his races, and placed on the podium more than three quarters of the time.

After one weekend off, Thompson will resume his busy schedule on July 26 with three consecutive race weekends in Indy Pro 2000, IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge Canada, and the Canadian Touring Car Championship. He is currently second place in overall championship standings for Indy Pro 2000 and GT3 Canada, and he is leading the Canadian Touring Car Championship GTS standings.

(With file from Parker Thompson Racing – Quentin Osborne)

Snipers ready for best of the best at roller hockey championships in California

The competition will be stiff, but the Red Deer Rival Hydrovac Snipers inline hockey team believes it has what it takes to perform well at a tournament in California this week.

The event is called NARCh, or North American Roller Hockey Championships, and takes place July 14-21. The Snipers’ division (18U Platinum) doesn’t get underway until the 17th.

Manager Glen Carriere says making the trip is a special occasion for his players.

“One of the reasons we’re doing this is because it’s the boys’ last year they can play inline in Alberta,” he says. “We figured as it’s their last year, we’d want to go down there and give them one last chance to win the tournament.”

The Snipers don’t play in a league, but won both tournaments they entered this spring, including their own Battle on Wheels, and the Men’s Western Nationals where they played against adult teams.

Cade Mason, a defenceman for the Snipers, is looking forward to giving it all he’s got.

“I am so happy to be going with all my friends and teammates that I grew up playing with,” he says.

“If we stick with our game plan and play a strong possession game, then we will be able to compete with any team. Most of those teams play year round, so we will be up against some really great teams. We just have to be very smart and stay disciplined.”

The team from Red Deer includes 12 players, all of whom are from the city with the exception of their goalie, who is from St. Albert.

Three Red Deer players shortlisted for Alberta’s WHL Cup team

Three hockey players from Red Deer are among 32 born in 2004 who’ve have been shortlisted for Team Alberta U16 that will compete at the 2019 WHL Cup in Calgary.

Defenceman Kaiden Ellertson and forwards Nate Danielson and Tyler MacKenzie were selected based on their overall play throughout the Team Alberta scouting process, past Team Alberta programs, and at the U16 Summer Camp in Red Deer, July 2-7.

All three played last season for the Red Deer Rebels of the Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League and were selected during the 2019 WHL Bantam Draft – Ellertson and Danielson by the Brandon Wheat Kings and MacKenzie by the Medicine Hat Tigers.

“Once again, the entire Team Alberta staff was very impressed with the level of talent and competition at Summer Camp,” said Michael Kraichy, Manager of Team Alberta. “Now, the final push is on for these 32 players to show us why they belong on Team Alberta.”

The shortlisted players will be scouted with their club teams in the fall before 20 players are selected to the final Team Alberta roster.

The 2019 WHL Cup runs October 22-27 in Calgary.

Riggers stepping up to the plate after slow start

The Red Deer Riggers have turned things around following an inauspicious start to the Sunburst League season.

Since dropping four of their first five outings, the senior men’s team has reeled off five wins in their last six games to bring their record back to a respectable 6-5.

Over their winning stretch, they’ve averaged 6.2 runs per game while limiting opponents to 3.7 runs. In the opening five, they only scored 4.2 runs per game versus 5.0 per game against.

Jaret Chatwood, who plays shortstop and has now been with the team for a decade, says they’ve had to deal with higher roster turnover than normal.

“Everyone has had to find their role on the team, but we’ve clicked as of recently and things are starting to go our way now,” he says.

“Some guys are having to take a little more of a leadership role this year. Everyone’s starting to get their reps in and it’s been a really good middle of the season.”

Chatwood adds veteran guys like pitcher Davin Gulbransen have played their hearts out in getting the team back on the right track.

“He’s been really dialled in. Josh Edwards has primarily been a pitcher for us, but he’s had to come in and play first base and done a really good job there,” he says. “Shayne Court has been our rock out in the outfield. We’ve had a lot of our core guys take that extra step and we’re putting a good foot forward right now.”

The Riggers have just four games left in the regular season, and sit second in the Sunburst League standings. Remaining home games are July 16 and July 23 at Great Chief Park with first pitch at 7:30.

Ahead of the playoffs to determine a provincial champion, the club will host its 39th annual tournament at Great Chief Park July 26-28. This year’s event will feature a home run derby for the first time.

Admission to regular season games is free.