Four local hockey players can now brag they were on the best bantam hockey squad in Western Canada. Jared Potter, Shayne Gwinner, and Josh Kluck of Drumheller and Dru Hickle of Hanna all play for the Airdrie Xtreme AAA Bantam hockey team. The Xtreme went 5-0 over the weekend beating out the top teams from Western Canadian provinces, becoming the Western Canada Champions. “The team really came together this year, we had lots of big names and we just worked our way up,” said Josh Kluck.
This was the perfect end to a stellar season for the team. They won the Southern Alberta Championships by beating out the Calgary Royals and then went to Edmonton and beat Southgate to win the Provincial Championship. This put them in the Western Canada finals, which was played out in Weyburn, Saskatchewan over the weekend of April 3-5. At the tournament were the Abbotsford Hawks, the Winnipeg Monarchs, the Warman Wildcats and the home team Weyburn Red Wings. They blasted their way through the round robin, winning each game by an average of 5 points. They met Abbotsford in the final and won 5-3. Potter was the second top point earning defenseman at the tourney, Gwinner was named to the All Star Line, and Kluck and Hickle both had solid performances. “The team really came together this year, we had lots of big names and we just worked our way up,” said Josh Kluck. Hickle said, “It’s been an awesome year, we have made a lot of miles, but the end result was worth it!” He would recommend it to any player who wants competitive hockey. All four have a bright future, and the season is not over for them yet. All four tried out, and were selected for the Alberta Cup. Over the weekend of April 23-25, they will represent the Central Thrashers in Calgary for provincial supremacy. Because of the Alberta Cup, they were not able to attend a number of AJHL camps. All four will be eligible for the 2009 WHL draft this spring. “The boys did really well,” said Blair Potter who attended the tournament. “There is only 19 kids in Western Canada who get their names on that cup.”