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Redvers Rockets win provincial U13 hockey title

Redvers defeated the Watrous Hawks in both games of the provincial final.
The Redvers Rockets celebrate after capturing the provincial U13 C championship.

REDVERS - The recent run of success for minor hockey in Redvers continued this season.

The Redvers Rockets won the provincial U13 C title last month after defeating the Watrous Hawks 2-0 (5-3, 5-3) in the best-of-two provincial final.

Coach Dana Carlsen said the Rockets had excellent depth throughout the season, and then they added four players – two forwards and two defencemen – from Carlyle, which only enhanced their team. According to Carlsen, those players from their Highway 13 rivals fit in nicely with the Rockets, both on and off the ice.

"We had really good goaltending. It was our backbone, especially down the stretch," said Carlsen. "The last couple of games, we got outshot, and our goalies did darn good in net for us."

The players were thrilled to win the provincial title, especially after all of the hockey they played during the regular season, provincials and league playoffs. 

"It's a grind. There's two practices a week with the kids, and all of that hard work," said Carlsen. "It was very rewarding in the end for that to happen."

The Rockets opened with a win over the Esterhazy Flyers. Redvers won Game 1 10-6, but lost 6-4 in the next game, so the two teams had to play a tie-breaking mini-game, which Redvers won 2-0.

Redvers didn't lose again in provincials. They won 2-0 in respective series against the Carnduff Red Devils, the Wawota Flyers and the Wynyard Monarchs to reach the provincial final. 

Carlsen noted Carnduff gave them a really good series, and he told a couple of the coaches afterwards that it was too bad it couldn't have been a best-of-seven clash.

"It was definitely exciting hockey to watch, back and forth," said Carlsen.

Most teams they played had two lines, he said, but Redvers had three strong lines and lots of good defencemen after adding players from Carlyle.

"We didn't seem to wear down where teams running the two lines, in the third period of games, they would wear down," said Carlsen.

Carlsen noted that after they won the provincial final, Hockey Sask president Kelly McClintock told them he was impressed with how they were able to get every kid into the game for shifts, rather than having a few players sitting on the bench.

The Rockets knew they had a strong team from the start of the season. They finished first in the Moose Mountain Minor Hockey League with a 17-3 record, and reached the league final, which they lost in three games to Carnduff.

"We were hoping to be right in there for a championship run, and we fell short on the league, had a bad injury at the wrong time, but the kids played well. We're proud of them," said Carlsen.

The Rockets will have seven or eight players eligible to return next season. The majority of the team will move up to the U15 level.

"The U15 team was really strong this year as well, so they have the potential to have a really good run next year," said Carlsen.

In the past decade, Redvers also won the provincial U18 D championship in 2018, 2019 and 2022, and the U15 C title in 2016. Carlsen said the kids are willing to stay in the community, and Redvers Minor Hockey has good coaches, volunteers and support from the community.