STEALTH PREVAIL AS INLINE HOCKEY LEAGUE CHAMPS
by Marty Alexander
For the second time in the three years the Sherwood Park Stealth has been crowned playoff champions in the Alberta Menís Roller Hockey League (http://www.amrhl.org/). They defeated the Edmonton Backhanders on June 28th in the final game of the best-of-3 series by a score of 4-3 at the Russ Barnes Arena in Edmonton.
The team is comprised of the following 1992 born players: Clark Adcock, Graeme Alexander, Jeremy Cowan, Michael Figgures, Bret Lewis, Shayne Maloney, Danny Rudd, Sammy Spurrell and Brayden Stauch. Rylan Gaudet served as coach this year and Tommy Nixon was the teamís backup goaltender. Seven members of the Stealth played for Team Alberta Inline in 2009 and 2010. Nixon is a member of the 2012 Team Alberta Inline.
The Stealth faced considerable adversity going into the final game against the Backhanders. They had previously lost Rudd to a knee injury for the last round of playoffs. Then starting goalie Figgures sustained a collar bone injury in game two the previous night, setting the stage for 17-year-old Nixon to backstop the Stealth to victory.
The Stealth opened the season at the Alberta Adult Ice Breaker in Edmonton in early April, compiling a 4-0-1 record on their way to winning the tournament. They followed this up by capturing the gold medal at NARCh Alberta Regional Qualifier event in Red Deer in mid-May.
During the regular season, the Stealth compiled a 11-4-0-1 record, finishing fourth in the 13-team league. They followed this up with 6 wins and a single loss (to the Backhanders) during three playoff rounds.
In 2010, the Stealth were also victorious in their inaugural entry in league play, finishing fourth during the regular season and going 6-1 in the playoffs. The Stealth seem to rise to the occasion. Considering their age and the competition they have faced, two playoff championships in three years constitutes a remarkable accomplishment.
The Alberta Menís Roller Hockey League constitutes the most elite level of competition of its kind in the province.