Aces face challenges and offer hockey masterclass all in one weekend

Krisi Marples/Courier Ryan O’Toole, no. 14, and no. 16, Andrew Antle, just doing their jobs on Sunday afternoon, Oct.28, at the Garcelon Civic Center. The Aces took the Edmundston Blizzard 3-0.

St. Stephen – “It’s tough because you can’t say too much, but then what else do you have to talk about because that was the game,” said Aces Associate Coach, Bill Rotheisler after Friday night’s game of questionable officiating.

“The coaching staff agrees with the sentiments of the home crowd,” said Aces Head Coach, Emery Olauson.

“That was a very frustrating game start to finish. What appeared to be one-sided officiating.”

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“It’s a frustrating game from the standpoint of trying to manage the game, which is ultimately our job. You had two dangerous hits, one resulted in a five-minute major for hitting from behind, that we ended up killing a four-minute penalty out of, because the player that got hit from behind to the tune of a major stood up for himself.”

Friday night the Aces met and fell 2-0 to the Yarmouth Junior a Mariners, and faced more than the struggle of playing the league’s first place team. Some questionable calls by the referees made for more challenges than the team had bargained for.

“We had another player with a concussion with another hit from behind. The dangerous hits seemed to be coming our way, and we ended up penalty killing a lot tonight,” said Olauson.

And penalty kill is certainly the theme of the night. The Aces spent so much (needless) time in the box, they almost needed bunks in with them to fit, and effectively lost a line.

“And it felt like there were some opportunities to even it up and that didn’t seem the intentions of tonight’s referee.”

But Olauson didn’t overlook who they were on the ice against.

“I don’t want to give Yarmouth zero credit. They came in here and did their job.”

And not wanting to dwell, Olauson found the lemonade from some sour lemons in the night overall.

“Great crowd. Probably one of our best crowds of the year. That’s what we need to focus on.”

Aces beat Emundston Blizzard 3-0, shutout for Joey May

After a tough night Friday, the Aces were able to shake it off, and were obviously ready to wow the crowd on Sunday afternoon as they met the Edmundston Blizzard, winning 3-0.

The game was almost a masterclass on how to play, and win a hockey game.

“They play like that, they’re going be tough to beat,” smiled Rotheisler after the game.

“Guys like RMac (no.23, Ryan MacDonald) played one of his best defensive games. He didn’t get a goal, and I don’t think he got a point – that’s winning without the asterix.

“They decided this game is more important than individual stuff,” he added.

“Evan White was good tonight,” said Olauson. “Everyone notices him when he has the puck, but there were some plays tonight like blocked shots and plays in the crease – he was just really good defensively too.

“You probably get sick of hearing Joey May did everything he possibly could, and that was the difference,” added Olauson.

“The guys were making sure they were doing the right thing,” noted Rotheisler.

“Just a concerted effort to get on top of our checks, and we forechecked really well,” said Olauson.

“We really played a positionally sound game. The things we could control we did.”

“We had our notepads out watchin’ too,” laughed Rotheisler.

“It’s what they’re doing out there that makes a difference. It’s their ability to go let’s do this – let’s put 100 per cent in.”

“We’ve beat everyone in our division now except the one below us (Grand Falls), the key is just finding it every game,” remarked Olauson.

“We weren’t lucky. The better team won tonight,” added Rotheisler.

“The reality is they know how to play,” said Olauson.

“When they do it for a full 60 minutes, they’re really hard to beat.”

“We’re happy with it,” Rotheilser smiled again.

“We’d do that next week.”

The Aces hit the home ice again Friday, Nov. 2, meeting the Amherst Ramblers with a puck drop at 7 p.m. Then they hit the road, heading to PEI for another meeting with the Summerside Western Capitals.