CHIEFS WIN - The AAA Optimist Chiefs took out the Edmonton Canadians 8-3 on Sunday. Todd Colin Vaughan/Red Deer Express

AAA Optimist Chiefs pull away from Edmonton 8-3

Coach Doug Quinn looking for ‘defensive structure’

AAA Optimist Chiefs Head Coach Doug Quinn is hoping to have his team “peak at the right time”, after an 8-3 win over the CAC Gregg Distributors Edmonton Canadians.

Despite the lopsided score, which saw the Chiefs score four goals — including two from Brett Meerman — in the third period, Quinn felt his team could have been more disciplined defensively.

“I am always looking at how well our team is playing as far as team structure and the defensive zone goes,” Quinn said. “We gave up a lot of quality scoring opportunities and really gave up some bad goals.”

Quinn said it was positive that his team started picking up the scoring load, but was disappointed that his team had slow starts to all three periods — which included Edmonton scoring the first goal in both the first and second period.

“I truly believe if you are going to do well in the playoffs, you have to play really strong defence and minimize mistakes,” he said. “I thought this weekend we made a lot of mistakes even though we came out with two wins.”

The Chiefs would lead 2-1 in the first period, with Adam Heindel and Rylan Burns notching the Chiefs goals, and the second started firmly in Edmonton’s favour.

“We didn’t have a particularly good first period and then we came out in the second after we talked about it and the first shift we turn it over and get scored on,” Quinn said. “I told my team, sometimes it is hard to play well every single game and sometimes I think we were looking at the standings and thought this was going to be easier.

“There is never any easy games and you have to come and play everyday.”

Hunter Leslie, Deegan Mofford, Cade Mason, and Sean Michalevich would score the remaining Red Deer goals.

With the Chiefs sitting in first place with 54 points and one game remaining in their schedule — Quinn is hoping to duplicate their success from earlier in the season.

“I thought after the Mac’s Tournament we struggled for a few weeks and then I thought we played some really good games. We had some great weeks of practice,” he said. “Maybe I am always looking for more but I thought this weekend we maybe took a step backwards.”

He added, “We have come a long way from where we started”.

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