By Stephen Dafoe
Morinville – Interdivisional rivalries were put aside Jan. 7 for an afternoon of hockey featuring the best the Capital Junior Hockey League has to offer. Players who have been battling it out all season to raise their teams in the CJHL’s ranks joined forces along eastern and western lines for two contests: a rookie game and the main event All-Star game.
Morinville, who held onto the top slot in the Western Division prior to the Christmas break, supplied four players and two coaches in the All-Star game as well as three players in the Rookie game. Coaches Scott Rodda and Alan Fraser lead the Western Division All-Star team which included Morinville Jets Dalen Paul, Brad Miller, David Hauptman and Nick McRae. The west’s rookies included Jet rookies Tyler Kampjes, Brady McCorriston and Troy Roberts and were coached by Beverly Warriors coaches.
The All-Star afternoon started with a rookie game with a Western Division team taking on the Eastern Division team, each playing in home or road jerseys of their respective team. But the jerseys were not the only colour on the ice. The game saw 60 minutes of vibrant hockey from both sides that could not have been more evenly matched.
After trailing the west 3-1 at the end of the first period, the western rookies ended the second frame tied 3-3 in goals and 27-27 in shots with their eastern rivals. The final frame remained tied until the final four of the contest. With 39 chances apiece, the Eastern Division team pocketed their fourth at 3:51, a goal the west was unable to answer.
All-Star Game also close
While the east took the day in rookie action, the west emerged dominate in the All-Star contest. The Western Division defeated the Eastern Division 7-5.
The west ended the first period leading the east 5-1. Morinville Jet Dalen Paul, who leads the league in goals this season, opened scoring for the west. The west’s next three goals were scored within 70 seconds midway through the frame.
But where the west dominated the opening frame, the middle one belonged to the east. The East Division scored four goals to the West Division’s single entry, bringing the contest to 6-5 in the west’s favour.
The final period saw neither team rippling the other’s mesh until the final four minutes of the game when Derek Johnson of the Edmonton Mustangs scored his second of the game, a shorthanded goal that advanced the West Division to 7-5.
The day’s celebration of league hockey continued with a dinner and dance at the Morinville Community Cultural Centre, hosted by the Morinville Jets.
Below is a photo gallery of shots from the two games. Click on a thumbnail to see full-size image, then use mouse wheel or arrow keys to navigate gallery.