Red Arrow
Tuesday March 27th, 2012  
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Story
Herald Contributor photo
Members of Crowsnest Pass Pee Wee Thunder enjoy
the thrill of winning a provincial championship.
 
After a stellar season, the Crowsnest Pass Pee Wee Thunder squad were crowned Hockey Alberta Provincial champions on Sunday, March 18th in Black Diamond, making them the first team to bring home the banner in more than 40 years.
The team beat out each of the five teams they went up against over the course of the Hockey Alberta Provincials Pee Wee D Tournament on March 17th and 18th, concluding with a 9-4 victory over the Mayerthorpe Mustangs in the finals.
“This is a huge accomplishment for this group of players,” coach Rory Snider told the Pass Herald last week.
“To be able to play in the Provincial tournament against the best teams in Alberta is a milestone that most hockey players never get a chance to do.”
To start off the weekend, the team took on the Oyen Bees, winning 4-1.
The first game on Saturday morning saw the Thunder defeat the Lamont Hawks 7-2.
The next game on Saturday resulted in a 5-3 victory over the Clive Blackhawks.
The team then faced off against the Delburne Outlaws in the semifinals on Sunday morning, winning 4-3, before defeating the Mustangs in the finals.
“The team had an exceptional tournament,” said Snider.
“Each player played to their own strengths and kept things simple, which has been the key to our overall success this season.”
Snider commended each player for their hard work over the weekend, as well as the entire season leading up to provincials.
He noted that there were great plays both offensively and defensively in each game, adding that the players worked well together, as they have every year since they started.
“We had different players that stepped up in key moments of every game we played,” he said.
“We are very fortunate to have great depth all the way through our lineup.”
 

Snider added that the support of the more than 60 Thunder fans who attended the tournament played a major role in the team’s success.
“To see the families and friends who travelled to Black Diamond to cheer on this team was amazing,” he said.
“Thunder fans must have filled up three-quarters of the bleachers in the arena, creating an unbelievable atmosphere.”
“Our players fed off of this incredible energy and this tremendous support by these great fans was a major reason for the team’s success.”
The sweeping victory at provincials was just one of the highlights of the team’s season, which saw the team achieve many of the goals which they had set early on, including finishing first in the Spud League A Division and being named Zone 5 champions.
The team headed into Spud League finals this past weekend in Pincher Creek and Crowsnest Pass with a season record of 36 wins, five losses and two ties.
“They have reached three of their goals as of right now and will be playing for the fourth this weekend,” Snider said last week.
“They are a determined bunch and are ready for this challenge.”
Results of the weekend’s Spud League finals were not available at press time.
Snider added that the team has had tremendous success every year that they have played together, noting that they were Pre-Novice High Country League Champions in 2006, Spud League Novice A Division Champions in 2008, and Zone 5 Atoms Champions and Silver Medal Provincial winners in 2010.
“Growing up, I played on some very good hockey teams and my first Provincial tournament experience was with this group as a coach two years ago,” said Snider.
“This group of young men can hold their heads high as they have been to this prestigious tournament twice, winning a silver medal and gold medal, solidifying them as champions.”
“There are not many hockey players that can say that.”
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