The Fort Saskatchewan Bantam AAA Rangers bounced back from a couple of early losses, but it was too little too late.
Competing at the North West Calgary Athletic Association (NWCAA) Rocky Mountain Classic over the weekend (Nov.8-11), the Rangers fell in the 'B' final, 1-0, against Sherwood Park.
Fort Sask was tested from the get-go as Red Deer scored four unanswered to defeat the Rangers 6-4. The Fort got into penalty trouble against Delta Academy Green and it showed on the scoreboard in a 5-0 loss Friday morning (Nov.9).
"I thought we executed pretty well, but we had a couple of mental lapses. With everything on the line in a tournament that big it just takes a little bit of time to reel it back in," said head coach Mat Conlon.
Needing a bounce back performance less than three hours after the Delta game, the Rangers knocked off the top team in the AMBHL south, the Calgary Bisons, 4-1. Rhett Melnyk had two of his four total goals in the win.
Saturday morning (Nov.10) against OHA Penticton, the Fort grabbed an early lead and never looked back, defeating the academy 4-3 in the 'B' side semifinals.
"They're coached by three ex-NHLers so I think everybody was just kind of naturally fired up for that one," said Conlon.
In the 'B' final, the Rangers ran out of gas, losing a defensive battle 1-0 against the Sherwood Park Flyers.
Up front, Jayden Joly led the way with six points in five games. In goal, Conlon had high praise for Carson Burkart who had a .913 save percentage in his three games played.
"I thought he was fantastic, he just got better and better. Burkart has been fantastic for us and you can see his confidence growing every day."
The Bantam AAA Rangers sit with a record of 8-2-1 in league play.