The 6-2-4 Midget ‘AAA’ Optimists Chiefs had some divine intervention when Tanner Scott scored the winning goal with 1.9 seconds over the 11-0-1 Calgary Buffaloes, leading to a 2-1 Red Deer victory.
The first period was a grind-it-out affair, with neither teams able to capitalize on their chances. The best chance of the period came when Chiefs forward Noah Danielson found iron on a wide open net, with Buffalo goaltender and Medicine Hat Tigers prospect Garin Bjorklund was out of position.
The score would go into the first intermission locked 0-0, with the shots 8-9 in favour of Calgary.
It wouldn’t take long for the Buffaloes to find the net in the second when Jake Neighbors managed to put them up 1-0.
“There whole team is strong,” Quinn said. “They are one of the more talented teams. They have a lot of depth and speed.”
The Chiefs would battle out the period until Cade Mason finally found a way to tie the game at 1-1 with 7:45 remaining on the clock.
A strange moment occurred near the end of the period when Bjorklund had an equipment issue, which led to a quick substitution for Calgary. Their backup would not receive any warm up time and would have to go into the game cold with over a minute left in a Chiefs powerplay. Red Deer, however, would be unable to capitalize on the cold goaltender and Bjorklund was quickly inserted back into the game.
The game would head into the final frame tied at one a piece.
The third period would once again be a grind until about five minutes remaining when both teams opened the game up. With chances going both ways, the Chiefs would finally miraculously capitalize with 1.9 seconds remaining after Scott bounced the puck off the boards. The puck would hit the back of Bjorklund’s skate and trickle over the goal line—leading to the Chiefs final seconds victory.
“We got a bit of a lucky break,” Quinn said. “We talked about that earlier. Sometimes if you don’t have a play, just get it through and good things happen sometimes.”
Quinn was pleased with his team’s defensive effort.
“They have a really good offence but we have a really good defence,” he said. “We worked a lot over the last number of weeks on our defensive zone coverage. our forcheck was a lot better and I thought we limited their opportunities. Eventually I thought they got a little frustrated.”
The Chiefs improved to 7-2-4 in the win and would add the very first digit to the Buffaloes loss column. The win moved Red Deer into a tie for fourth place with the Calgary Royals in the ‘AAA’ AMHL Chrysler division.
“It was a really good game for us. We played really well and I was pretty excited when we scored at the end,” Quinn said.