The Swift Current Ardens have won the league the last five of the past six years and there are many reasons for that. The Ardens proved why they will be a top competitor to win the league once again this year after shutting out the Central Cyclones 10-0 on Tuesday afternoon at Sunningdale Field.
Although the Cyclones were shut out, the coaching staff felt like they executed what they wanted to at the beginning of the game and that was one major positive, knowing how dominant the Ardens can be on the pitch.
“Our game plan coming in was not to worry about Swift and what they can do. We just wanted to concentrate on our game and the things we have been working on in practice,” stated Angus McIntosh, co- coach of the Cyclones. “I think we did. The first 10 minutes were as well as we played all year, by a long shot. I was really proud of the way they came out and tried to control the ball and not let Swift Current play their game.”
Eventually the floodgates opened and Cassidy Andres scored six goals for the Ardens, Kelsey Therrien scored two and Kristie Klevgaard added a lone goal.
That pressure that the Cyclones applied in the opening 10 minutes of the game frustrated Swift Current, as they weren’t happy with their start.
“We were trying to focus on better passing and we started not too well at the beginning of the game, but as it went on, I thought we were making better decisions,” said Dale Perry, head coach for the Ardens.
The Ardens are a younger team this season, but playing in the Moose Jaw league has allowed many of the Grade 9 players extra playing time and getting them comfortable with the play.
“The one thing we do get is the Grade 9s coming in get early confidence. When we play really tough games, the Grade 9s already have confidence because of playing in this league,” said Perry.
The Cyclones will continue to work on some areas, both on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball.
“We want to work on controlling the ball, making sure we aren’t giving it away. We do make some mistakes and working on our first touches and sending our strikers. We want to work on some basic offensive plays,” said McIntosh. “Defensively, I think we’ve been playing well, but there are still some things we want to work on. We have lots to do in a short period of time.”
Perry stated that the Moose Jaw league is usually competitive and some teams give the Ardens some tough games.
“To a certain extent, I’m not sure if we get enough…I think we help the Moose Jaw teams by showing them what can be done,” he stated.
Swift Current is using the league to focus on different areas and work on different strategies and tactics as they build towards provincials.
“Weyburn is definitely a challenge and one or two of the other Moose Jaw teams are usually a little stronger, but this year, for some reason, it seems to be less of a challenge than it normally is,” said Perry.