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Words matter. We swear – Jasper Bearcats back on the road

by John Wilmshurst | special to the Fitzhugh

Sick. My kids use this word all the time and it confuses me.

To me sick means unwell, ill, bad. Not anymore. Sick means great, unreal, fantastic. Maybe its time for me to replace my OED with an Urban Dictionary and get with it. But I’m old and there are too many words with double meanings that I thought I understood but I clearly don’t.

Last weekend, words played a big role in the Jasper Bantam Bearcats’ two-game road swing through Mill Woods and St. Albert.

During the warm-up on Saturday’s game against the southwest 531 Oil Kings, the team Jasper defeated by a goal the previous weekend, Jasper’s goaltender Kelan Polard had to pull out. His ankle was sick and although he tried, he wasn’t able to play. Without a dressed backup goalie, d-man Dylan Dekker stepped up, put on Polard’s gear and went between the pipes. Sweet.

As brave as Dekker was, he was overmatched by the Oil Kings and they quickly built an insurmountable lead. This didn’t deter him as you could hear his enthusiasm from the stands. Indeed, Jasper was able to get a couple back as Baden Koss buried both a trademark coast-to-coast goal in the opening frame and a backdoor feed from Sebastian Golla in the final frame, but it would not be nearly enough. Jasper would lose 9-2 in the end, but the outcome was overshadowed by some on-ice use of unambiguous and inappropriate language that tends to show up in lopsided matches. Fail.

On Sunday, the Fawcett brothers rode in to the rescue. If you’ve seen any PeeWee games this year or recall from last year’s coverage, Donovan and Dexter Fawcett are standouts on the Bears. With Don an ace between the pipes, and Dex a solid forward they were great fit for injured Polard and Dana Angebrant, (whose name means “unavailable for the weekend” in German). Coach Jim Koss made the call and the Fawcetts dressed for the Bearcats against Sunday’s opponents, the St. Albert Rangers. Epic.

Don had some bad luck in the early going, with the Rangers able to pinball in a goal to take the lead. Golla caught the Bearcats up, collecting a great pass from Owen Kearnan and wrapping it around. Although St. Albert would regain the lead before the opening period, Don’s confidence was rising and the sledding would get tougher for the Rangers. Fly.

On the strength of outstanding O-zone pressure and backchecking by forward Lucas Oeggerli, neutral zone battling by Camas D’Antonio and Liam Crozier and solid D from Aidan Deagle and Jacob Bartziokas, Jasper dominated the middle frame. But it took call-up Dexter to equalize about 5 minutes before the buzzer. All he needed was a loose puck in the blue paint, the toughness to be where it’s greasy and an active stick to get Jasper’s second, and tying, goal. The second period ended knotted at a deuce. Nasty.

The Bearcats continued their dominance in the third period, helped by Don who was “lit” in net. He absorbed a dozen shots in the final 411 of the game (quick maths) and made it look easy. The Jasper forwards had some spectacular chances, but it was up to the defense to make it happen. Six minutes in, Dex fed it to Bartziokas at the point and he ripped a bomb past the Rangers’ goalie to give Jasper their first lead of the game. Despite some power play opportunities and a pulled goalie for the final minute of play, St. Albert was not able to tie it up. Bartziokas’ goal would stand up as the game winner and Jasper skated away with a 3-2 victory. Wicked.

As good as the Fawcett boys were – 2 points and 2 shutout periods – they will go back to the PeeWees. Job well done boys, you had a GOAT game. The Bearcats nevertheless look forward to Angebrandt and Polard’s return. There are no games scheduled for this weekend, but that may change. If games happen, I’ll be there, and you can read about it here, and don’t forget. Words matter.

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