INNISFAIL – The Atom A DQ Flyers set their sights on the final game.
The Innisfail DQ Flyers were victorious in their annual Atom A Tournament at the Innisfail Arena Dec. 8 to 10.
They beat the Spruce Grove Knights 13-3 in the final Sunday afternoon to take the tournament undefeated.
“We played them (Saturday). It was a hard-nosed game and it was a real battle,” said Ryan Dodd, head coach. “We stuck with the same game plan. We came out hard and kept our feet moving and looked to get that advantage early.”
“The boys were pumped to be in the finals and that was the one goal we had going into the weekend, was to play the final game,” he added, noting the team’s success in the tournament last year.
“This is a great team builder, having your home tournament this time of the year,” he said. “It helps bring these boys together.”
This year’s tournament welcomed six teams from across Alberta, including those from Airdrie, Beaumont, Rocky Mountain House, Calahoo, Spruce Grove and Innisfail.
The tournament again collected donations for the Innisfail and District Food Bank.
In their opening game Friday evening, Innisfail beat the Airdrie Lightning 11-2 and took Game 2 against the Spruce Grove Knights by a score of 9-6 on Saturday. They shut down the CR Knights 9-2 in the semifinal Sunday morning before facing Spruce Grove in the final.
Playing in the Central Alberta Hockey League, the Innisfail Atom A DQ Flyers began their season in late October, said Dodd.
“We’ve yet to really find our stride in the league. We’re playing Tier 1 again this year so it’s a challenge, but it’s a challenge that the boys really wanted to have,” he said. “Coming into this tournament we were trying to find some chemistry with each other and we’ve juggled our lines around,” added Dodd, noting five returning players and several new faces on the team this season.
“As we keep building it’s like climbing a ladder. You just keep going one step at a time,” said Dodd.
“(Winning) is the result of hard work and that’s what we’re trying to teach the kids. You want to work as a team, play as a team and work for each other.”
Ryan Dodd, head coach
“The boys were pumped to be in the finals and that was the one goal we had going into the weekend, was to play the final game.”