Rappel firefighter program eliminated

Masha Scheele

The provincial government announced it will cut an elite firefighting program whose members have trained in Hinton for decades.

The Rappel Program (RAP), part of the Wildland Firefighters, has been around since 1983 and currently employs 63 highly trained firefighters. These firefighters jump from helicopters directly into areas where fires have started in order to contain blazes from spreading.

Split into nine crews based out of Hinton, Whitecourt, and Lac la Biche, they actioned a number of initial attack fires in the past year, according to Logan Mahoney, RAP firefighter.

Mahoney has been in the rappel program for six years, four as a member and two as a sub leader.

In the last year he became a certified spotter and also assisted with recruit training for the past two years. As an initial attack resource, crews were sent all over the province to be pre-positioned in the event of a new fire.

Crews also did tours on large scale campaign fires in Slave Lake, Peace River and High Level, where Mahoney said they were able to cut helipads to provide access to get boots on the ground in isolated locations on the fire.

“Because of these cuts, we’re looking at 63 less firefighters, and nine less specialized crews. This is detrimental when we are seeing longer fire seasons, and more fires each year,” said Mahoney.

The program currently makes up about 13 per cent of the province’s seasonal firefighter force. 

Adrienne South, press secretary of Agriculture and Forestry, stated that roughly 1,000 seasonal part-time wildfire personnel are hired each year in Alberta and will continue to be hired, with approximately 500 of those being boots on the ground.

“For the rappel program, 98 percent of their time was already spent fighting fires on the ground.  They have been deployed on hundreds of wildfires, but in the vast majority of cases, there are other ways for firefighters to arrive at those wildfires,” she said.

The 63 rappel firefighters can re-apply to other programs, such as 272 Helitack positions, and 160 Unit positions

West Yellowhead MLA, Martin Long, stated that this program was used in less than two per cent of Alberta’s wildfires, and the elimination of the program will not take away from the fact that fires are put out by the boots on the ground in coordination with the heavy equipment and aerial suppression.

Unsure of where the two per cent figure came from, Mahoney stated that in his experience he has rappelled onto well over two per cent of fires he was sent to.

“I have worked on close to 80 fires, in both Alberta and the United States. I would estimate that I rappelled onto around 20 per cent of the fires I’ve worked,” he said.

Mahoney stated that the rappel crew saves valuable time that would be spent walking in while a fire can become more intense, harder to control, and more expensive.

Hinton’s Training Center has trained all members of the rappel programs, but they will no longer offer the program going forward.

Experienced members go over the previous fire season each spring and prepare to work with new recruits at the centre.

“Continuous training is a priority of the rappel program and these two months spent in Hinton are incredibly valuable for our training,” stated Mahoney.

Each spring they work on their rappel recertification, involving refreshing emergency procedures in the rappel tower and doing a number of live rappels. 

This recertification also includes ancillary, or secondary, procedures such as cargo deployments and extractions which are an asset only provided by RAP, explained Mahoney.

“Because of our high retention rate, the training provided by senior members of our program is exemplary,” said Mahoney.

Long stated that the centre will not see any staffing cuts as a result of the elimination of the rappel program.

“The training facility in Hinton is used by Agriculture and Forestry as well as a number of other organizations throughout the year. The centre is used for training several firefighting and support positions, and that will continue to be the case going forward.  No staffing changes are expected at the training centre,” confirmed South.

Mahoney explained that without all the current RAP members and new recruits attending the school this spring, the school will be down 80 people over two months.

“Every recruit also goes through the members initial fire training put on by the school, which is apart from the rappel training. This also means that there will be roughly 30 less students a year which is roughly the size of a class,” stated Mahoney. 

Throughout their stay at the Hinton Training Centre each year, the members also host a charity run and film festival to raise thousands of dollars for local charities. This was their way of giving back to the community.

The Hinton Training Centre did not respond to questions from The Voice on what would happen to these fundraising initiatives.

The aftermath of the Mountain Pine Beetle means communities like Hinton are more vulnerable to wildfires and this program was one form of protection for the community.

“As you know, Mountain Pine Beetle, its elimination and the protection of communities across the region is a main focus for me. Communities affected by MPB, like all communities at risk of wildfire, will continue to have firefighting resources positioned accordingly in response to the level of hazard in the area,” stated Long.

Besides the loss of the rappel program, changes are also being made to detection tower infrastructure. Currently, all 126 lookout towers in Alberta will remain in place, stated South.

“We are finding better ways to utilize our lookout towers. That includes using cameras, satellite imaging/aerial surveillance and infrared technology,” she stated.

The towers will be strategically staffed depending on where wildfire risk exists.

Alberta reconsidering Daylight Savings Time

Masha Scheele

The province recently put out a survey asking Albertans their opinion on abolishing the time change. The survey’s two options included keeping the time change or adopting daylight savings time (DST) all year round, not providing an option for those who would like to see a switch to permanent standard time.

Minister of Service Alberta, Nate Glubish, explained that the decision to only have an option for DST is due to the growing movement towards DST in other jurisdictions.

The same conversation about the time change was held in 2017 when NDP MLA Thomas Dang proposed to put an end to it, but it was voted down.

Glubish stated that a lot of the feedback from that consultation came from the business community with operations across multiple jurisdictions and time zones who felt there was a real danger in acting in isolation.

“Ultimately, [they said] don’t be the only province to do this, but now that there are so many jurisdictions moving in this direction, there is similarly a danger of inaction in isolation or moving in the opposite direction of other jurisdictions,” he said.

He added that there is some great value in being in sync with other jurisdictions who have chosen to stick with DST and that the survey is only the first step in the process.

In Canada it is up to legislation in each municipality to decide on the use of DST.  

Currently, some locations don’t follow the DST schedule of their provinces and territories, according to the Government of Canada website. 

Most of BC observes the time change to DST each summer, except for part of the Peace River Regional District, Fort Nelson, and Creston, which observe standard time year round. 

A few areas in Nunavut, northwestern Ontario, northeastern Quebec, and most of Saskatchewan also remain on standard time throughout the year.

MLA Martin Long stated that while the government has not ruled anything out entirely, the standard practice for most jurisdictions considering a change, is to move to remaining on daylight savings time year-round. BC tabled legislation to move to DST permanently in October, while Yukon private member’s bill to move to DST permanently tabled in November. 

Looking south of the border, all but three states within Alberta’s time zone still observe DST in the summer only.

Arizona uses standard mountain time all year round, according to the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology, while Nevada passed a bill in 2015 to make DST permanent and Oregon passed a bill in 2019 to move to DST year-round. 

There are also other states outside of Alberta’s time zone that have adopted DST all year round.

If DST is adopted all year-round in Alberta, Hintonites won’t see a sunrise until 10:03 am on Dec. 21, the shortest day of the year, but get to enjoy a few more rays of sunshine until sunset at 5:33 pm.

“Albertans are used to working in the dark, we have very little daylight hours in the winter months,” said Glubish.

If Alberta chooses to standardize on daylight savings time, the province would spring forward one more time and then stay in that timezone thereafter. 

When kids are coming home from school or parents are driving home from work they’re going to have an extra hour of daylight at the end of a long day, added Glubish.

“I think it’s important to consider, yes we have a limited amount of daylight in the winter, we have to make the most of it and that would be the outcome of standardizing on DST,” added Glubish.

Glubish added that the survey will determine what Albertans would like to see happen with the time change, even though it doesn’t include all the options.

The survey will be online for another two weeks before results will be determined.

Glubish concluded that he can’t presuppose what the next steps will be and didn’t state whether the province would revise the survey to add another option.

“I think it’s important to hear all of my constituents’ concerns before committing to supporting any changes. I know that any changes we move forward with will consider safety, and support the hardworking Albertans,” said Long.

Feedback collected will help to inform the government as changes to existing legislation are being considered and Long encourages his constituents to submit their feedback to alberta.ca/daylight-saving-time-engagement.aspx. 

Local talent shares musical journey

The Journey Into Christmas, held over two days Nov. 22 & 23 at The Performing Arts Theatre of Hinton, included a performance from Charmaine Stinson.
Masha Scheele Photo

Masha Scheele

All but one local artist returned for the second night of Journey Into Christmas, a production that showcased Hinton’s talent in two music-filled nights.

Instead of preparing to sing O Holy Night and Where Are You Christmas? for the second time on Saturday, Nov. 23, Charmaine Stinson packed up and drove down to Vernon, BC for another type of performance.

In Vernon, she sang in a workshop hosted by Frédérik Robert, one of Canada’s top vocal coaches. Robert is originally from a small community in Alberta and now works for the Vancouver Academy of Music.

Alongside many of Robert’s accomplishments he has coached singers for TV and film including Disney and the show Motherland: Fort Salem.

“We each sang for him and then he spent about half an hour with each student and we all learned together,” said Stinson about the experience.

“He really works on helping you to have more strength in your singing without increasing the sound. His whole thing is that you don’t have to be louder to be better.”

Stinson believes that ongoing training is extremely important for success in any craft at any level.

She added that if she finds a workshop that is within eight hours of her home, she will always try to attend it and that there is always something to learn from a new teacher or workshop.

“Frédérik Robert, the man is an incredible teacher and to be able to spend time with him is a privilege and a very unique opportunity,” said Stinson.

Stinson explained some of the techniques she learned from him to further project her voice and credited her choir teacher in Hinton, Christina Oliver, for using similar techniques.

“Christina Oliver also teaches the choir to do this too. I give Christina some credit that way because she has some strengths in teaching as well,” said Stinson.

Stinson began her vocal training seven years ago with Melina Moore of Valley Vocal Arts and Big Apple Productions, when she lived in Vernon. Even though she moved to Hinton around four years ago, she is still involved in Valley Vocal Arts and often returns to Vernon to attend vocal workshops.

“I’ve done a few auditions in the Okanagan and I always come back and realize how well I’ve been trained by Melina Moore. Melina Moore really is the catalyst in my music and the strengths of my singing and how I started,” said Stinson.

Before Stinson started vocal training, the most singing she did was in her own home, singing along to music. Now, she’s performed on multiple stages, been part of theatre productions, and took on a small role in an independent film called Red Tomatoes.

She claims that singing also opened up doors into the world of acting, she’s played a part in the series I’ll Keep You Safe, as well as short films Remember Me and Without Mime or Reason.

She continues to be passionate about performing and actively pursuing and participating in as many opportunities as possible.

Going forward, her goals are to find a new agent for representation in film and tv and to audition for roles in music, musical theatre, and acting that allow her to be a stage performer, a place she said she truly loves to be.

School divisions lose three grants

Masha Scheele

The provincial education budget remains stable at $8.2 billion, but according to both school divisions in Hinton, the reallocation of grants to address the previous year’s shortfall, as well as increased enrollment across the province this year, has resulted in a negative financial impact.

The 2019 Alberta budget shows a number of grants pulled and reallocated back to school boards including the class size funding of $1.8 million, classroom improvement grant of $550,000, and school fees reduction grant of $375,000.

Both of Hinton’s school divisions, Evergreen Catholic Separate Regional School Divison (ECSRD) and the Grande Yellowhead Public School Division (GYPSD) are affected by a hiring freeze due to cuts and the 274 per cent increase to property insurance.

Calculations by the (ECSRD) following the provincial budget announcement indicate they are now faced with a reduction of approximately $2.7 million. 

It is a shortfall that comes directly from funding intended for classrooms. 

The province allocated a one-time transition grant of $837,000 to offset the shortfall, but this doesn’t compensate for the full impact of the loss of three major grants.

On top of this, the removal of the insurance cap will raise property insurance from $200,000 to $550,000, said Tim Fafard, principal of St. Gregory Catholic School.

The province stated that the changes to the current funding model are in response to Alberta’s K-12 population continuous growth, complex needs and growing costs. 

École Mountain View School has had to release a recently hired educational assistant and canceled another educational assistant posting, according to an email issued by principal Kurt Scobie on Nov. 13.

“As a school, we will be adjusting our services to the best of our abilities within this new financial reality,” stated the email.

Fafard added that the ECSRD has been able to pool all surpluses from the district and school levels to offset the decrease in funding provided by the provincial government.

Staff and students within that division won’t see a reduction in service levels for the remainder of this current school year, stated a release by the ECSRD.

“As we have been able to off-set the cutbacks for this year, no immediate staff reductions will take place. As the provincial budget has been set to reflect no increases for the next three years, we know that it could potentially mean more than a 10 per cent cutback to our school budget. This would equate to fewer teachers and educational assistants being able to provide the necessary supports that our students require,” said Fafard, adding that St. Gregory won’t be able to accurately assess the effects of cutbacks until the new funding formula is released in the spring.

Daniel Burkinshaw, principal of Father Gerard Redmond Community Catholic School, said that his school will be affected similar to those in the GYPSD.

“We are waiting for the government to release their new funding formula in February/March before making any decisions regarding staffing and/or changes to programming,” said Burkinshaw.

Glen Allen, principal of Harry Collinge High School (HCHS) stated that he couldn’t comment on the implications of the provincial budget on the schools’ operations, but expects the division to release additional information as they learn more about the budget.

“Based on what the government has announced publicly, the funding for education will not increase over the next four years. I have projected enrollment increases for HCHS over that time,” he said.

He added that HCHS and the school division have worked very hard to prepare a balanced budget for the current school year. 

A sentiment echoed by both school divisions is that future budgets will be impacted without any educational funding increases in the next four years, but what that will exactly look like is still uncertain.

The province stated in the budget document, “Budget 2019 will use the 2019-20 school year as a transition year for the current funding model.”

It also reads that in consultation with the minister, school authorities can spend their own-source revenue and reserves generated from surpluses of prior years. 

Inquiries made to Crescent Valley School about how operations may be affected were not answered by The Voice press deadline.

Tentative deal pulls CN workers off the picket line

Aaron Kidd (left), Mathew Moore (middle), and Alvin Lim (right) stood on the picket line during Day 3 of the CN strike in Hinton on Nov. 21.
Masha Scheele Photo

Masha Scheele

Teamsters and Canadian National (CN) reached a tentative agreement to renew the collective agreement for more than 3,000 conductors, train persons and yard workers on Nov. 26 after a weeklong strike.

Details of the tentative agreement will not be released until the members have had a chance to review the document first, stated a release by Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC), the union representing the strikers.

The picket line was moved to Hinton on Day 3 of the strike after spending the first few days in Jasper.

Pointing at a table filled with donated coffee and food on Nov. 21, CN conductor Travis Saunter said, “The community supports us, this is all from people stopping by. They bring us coffee and pizza. The honks are awesome, and people bringing by coffee, it’s nice to see the support that way.”

Strikers weren’t concerned about pay rates, but pegged safety and quality of life at the top of  demands.

“Bottom line on this strike is that it’s actually not financially driven, they actually offered a pay raise above inflation and the union declined it. The pay raise isn’t what we’re after, we want a better quality of life. Travis and I are visitors in our own home,” stated Evan Mcwhinnie, a locomotive engineer based out of Jasper who stood on the picket line in support of the conductors.

He added that they spend more of their time on trains in Edson, Edmonton, Blue River, and McBride BC, than in their own homes.

Within two hours of a call, they have to be on the train where they’ll spend the following 12 hours en route to a location. Once there they often have to wait for another 14 hours before turning back for another 12 hours. Mcwhinnie added that sometimes they only get 10 hours in between shifts to spend time at home with their families.

“We want better rest for the guys that are on the rails and running the trains, so we can have a better quality of life and be at home,” he said.

On Nov. 25, TCRC released a recording of a CN supervisor ordering a fatigued conductor to continue working for several hours.

The conductor did not move the train and was suspended for 14 days without pay as a result of the incident on Oct. 19, 2018 in Ontario. 

Saunter added that the strike helped put pressure on the situation as Quebec was slowly running out of propane reserves.

TCRC reported that the propane shortage in Ontario and Québec appeared to be largely manufactured by CN as more than 1,800 locomotive engineers and over 600 supervisors could continue to operate freight trains every day. 

Some of the issues TCRC bargained for included safety, time off provisions and lifetime caps on benefits.

Council to reduce budget by $1.6M

Masha Scheele

Council requested a new report and recommendations on the 2020 budget from town administration, including a taxation requirement reduction of at least $1.6M.

This direction came out of the fourth and final scheduled budget meeting between council and administration on Nov. 25.

The report is set to come back by Jan. 30, 2020 and in the meantime administration will prepare an interim budget for 2020 to allow for additional time to review and discuss budget 2020.

“We have the ability to pass an interim budget that keeps the taxation at the current level without any increases,” stated Mayor Marcel Michaels.

Michaels added that if administration sees the need to approve certain items that have implications in the first quarter of 2020, they have the ability to bring that to council before a budget is approved.

Council also gave a direction to fully offset any reductions to reserve contributions by capital project cancellations.

This means that for any reduction in reserve contributions, a project of that value would have to be cancelled within the five year capital plan. 

If this is used as a strategy to offset the tax increase, capital projects would be removed, stated Carla Fox, director of corporate services.

“Because council has moved to try and reduce the budget by $1.6M, this gives an additional tool to be able to achieve that $1.6M in savings. If it’s necessary to reduce the amount of money transferred into reserves, we can do that without damaging the end balance of the reserves by cancelling capital projects that would’ve otherwise drawn those reserves down,” said Coun. Albert Ostashek.

At the beginning of the meeting Michaels reminded council that they could share their own input during the meeting, and that they could move In Camera at any point.

At one point Coun. Trevor Haas brought up a potential area to cut services, but CAO Taylor Martin reminded him, “If you’re talking about reduced levels of service, you’re talking about staff in most cases, maybe it’s legal and maybe it’s land.”

He advised council to discuss these things In Camera.

Administration brought some new information regarding the service levels and a recap of the tax rate implications to the meeting, but did not present on the information as per request of Michaels to keep the meeting concise.

Multiple councillors stated that they would like to know what the new information included, and Coun. Dewly Nelson added that he would have preferred seeing a report with the new information to look at ahead of the meeting. 

Fox explained that the new information on service levels was simply to help council understand the information they had already received.

During budget presentation on Wed., Nov. 20, CAO Martin Taylor had stated that administration would bring back suggestions to the next meeting and reminded council, “Some of those ideas if they are about land, legal, and labour will be In Camera.” 

Fox added during the Nov. 20 meeting that administration understands council won’t have all the answers and that admin will make some suggestions.

“Presenting you with 16 or 12 per cent is not what we’re trying to do here, we’re telling you that we’re at a crossroads, we need help, and we want to do this together so that you are also coming up with the ideas in the service area issue,” said Fox on Nov. 20.

At the following meeting on Nov. 25, administration did not present ideas to cut the budget in certain areas throughout the public portion.

To further discuss options on how to cut down the budget increase, council moved to the In Camera portion, and once they were done they postponed an earlier tabled direction for the next 2020 budget report and recommendations to include at least one third of the recommended cuts to be from operations.

Town prepares to take over golf course asset

Masha Scheele

After discussing what kind of role council will play in how the Hinton Golf Club (HGC) is operated long-term, council decided to pursue an “ASH” style operating model in 2020.

As the name implies, this option is similar to the arrangement of the Arts Society Hinton (ASH) and the PATH Performing Arts Building.

This means the town will enter into a long-term partnership with the Hinton Golfing Society  in the management and operations of the HGC.

Coun. Albert Ostashek explained that ASH runs the PATH on behalf of the town and the town offers financial assistance if they need help to cover expenses.

The manager of the asset in this model is hired by the nonprofit organization, just like councillors were in support for the golf course.

According to the report presented at the standing committee meeting on Nov. 26, financial support and greater oversight of the board could be provided through council-appointed members to the society. 

The Golf Club manager and all other staff would report to the Society, with wages for the manager advanced by the Town, and potentially reimbursed through revenue collected throughout the season. 

CAO Martin Taylor added that they would need some time to recruit and hire a manager.

After some debate over how much funds council should approve to get the HGC running in 2020, council recommended $80,000 for operating funds into the 2020 season with administrative recommendations for ongoing conditions oversight and support by the Town of Hinton.

“$80,000, that could be for them to open their doors, they can start paying their bills. They have bills coming in, they still have to pay for power, they still have to pay for gas, it’s not just to hire a manager,” said Taylor, who suggested the number based on conversations with the society.

This money will go towards payment of utilities, upkeep and maintenance of the clubhouse and other buildings, insurance and security of the property, as well as a golf club manager of the building.

A manager will be hired by the society, instead of hiring a manager through administration.

“Ideally, I want the next five years of this have it be transitioning further away from the town rather than further into the town. I think the society has been dealt a few tough hands,” said Coun. Dewly Nelson, referring to the clubhouse, consulting advice, and leasing challenges.

The town will be paying $158,000 in yearly loan payments, and in return they will have a tangible capital asset.

“The additional [funds] for a manager is a taxpayer investment, paying wages that the town is never going to see a return on,” stated Coun. Ostashek.

“I have no doubt in my mind that the Hinton Golfing Society can operate the golf course in a feasible manner when they are subsidized at that kind of rate.” 

He added that citizens might have issue with that subsidization of an asset which nobody asked to purchase, with a questionable future and return, and one the town got stuck with due to an agreement made in 2016.

Council also recommended proceeding with an appraisal for the HCG, including all assets, and associated costs to be included in the draft 2020 Budget.

Members of Hinton’s Golfing Society made administration aware of its poor financial projections in June 2019, which was followed by a letter to council in October indicating that the society was no longer able to manage its financial commitments after the end of the month.

Currently, the balance owing on the Golfing Society Loan is $1,349,997. 

According to the town’s report from Nov. 26, a transfer of assets between the Hinton Golfing Society and the Town of Hinton is being reviewed and a cheque of $129,867.67 was issued to the society to support payroll, accounts payable and other financial commitments.

Following an in-camera Special Meeting of Council on Oct. 29, Council approved the transfer of assets from the HGC to the Town of Hinton and a conditional advancement of up to $250,000 to the Hinton Golfing Society. 

Around The Rink: Nov. 28

Kayden Hollett of the Hinton Minich Oilfield bantam squad makes a hit during league play Nov. 23 against Vegreville. Hollett had a power play goal in the 5-3 loss.
Masha Scheele Photo

Tyler Waugh

Bantams Lose Close Games

The Hinton Minich Oilfield bantam 1 hockey squad came close in a pair of weekend home games, but found themselves on the wrong side of contests against Edson and Vegreville.

Seth Bardarson scored with 8:07 remaining in the second period to give Hinton a 3-2 lead over Edson on Nov. 22, but Edson responded with a pair of goals before the end of the period to take a 4-3 lead it wouldn’t relinquish despite Hinton firing 19 shots on net in the third period. Nathan Burkart and Zachary Puchailo also scored for Hinton, while Owen Tredwin, Keegan Fellows and Kevari Green added assists. Riley Clark made 28 stops in net.

Hinton spotted Vegreville a 4-0 lead the following day before goals by Ryland Chabot and Fellows cut the lead in half at 4-2. The score was 5-2 when Kayden Hollett scored a power play goal with 2:32 remaining to make the final 5-3. Ethan McPherson had two helpers while Noah Coss, Landon Legary, Rylan Koch and Burkart had one assist each. Gavin Gomuwka made 12 stops in net for Hinton. 

Hinton is scheduled to host Fort Saskatchewan on Nov. 30 at 5 pm.

Peewees Drop Two At Home

The Hinton Gus’s Pizza Gladiators peewee hockey squad took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Marek Lehoux early in their Nov. 23 home game against Slave Lake, but then gave up eight unanswered goals between the first and second periods and couldn’t recover in an 11-6 loss.

Lehoux completed his hat trick for Hinton, while Grady Hollingsworth, Sutter Hill and Tye Fellows also scored. Tristan Tymchyshyn had two assists and Justin Bartziokas, Lehoux, Hill and Hollingsworth added one assist each. Aizik Gomuwka made 24 saves in net.

Hinton outshot Camrose 50-39 the following day, but only Corbyn Donkin and Bartziokas would score in a 6-2 loss. Morgan Thomas and Luke Hore had one assist each and Gomuwka made 33 stops in net.

Hinton hosts Edson on Nov. 30 at 12:15 pm and Barrhead on Dec. 1 at 9:15 am.

Heat Double Up Drayton

The Hinton Alstar Heat peewee hockey squad doubled up Drayton Valley by an 8-4 score on Nov. 24 to earn a split of two weekend home games.

Hinton and Drayton were even at 4-4 in the third period when Jacob Thompson scored a pair of power play goals 20 seconds apart to give Hinton a lead it wouldn’t surrender. Joshua Sorenson, Austin Kile, Ethan Viney, Lucas McDonald and Aiden Durocher also scored for Hinton in the win. Sorenson and Kile had two assists each, while Jared Carré, Jack Blinkhorn, Wyatt Malo, Thompson, Viney and McDonald had one assist each. Carter Lehoux and James McKay combined for 18 saves in net.

Hinton gave up a goal with 3:27 remaining the day before to lose 4-3 against Barrhead. Barrhead had built a 3-1 lead going into the third period but goals by Kile and Malo, his second of the game, pulled Hinton even for a short while. Viney, McDonald and Sorenson had one assist each for Hinton an McKay and Lehoux combined to make 18 saves.

Hinton hosts Athabasca on Nov. 30 at 2:30 pm and Whitecourt on Dec. 1 at 1:15 pm.

Warriors Battle To A Tie

The Hinton McDonald’s Warriors atom hockey squad got a goal from Burke Dammann with 8:01 remaining in the game to earn a 5-5 tie in the second game of a home doubleheader Nov. 23 against Drayton Valley.

Cohen Moulun had a pair of goals, and Ryker Hollingsworth and Blake Batog had the other Hinton goals, while Deacon Barnes and Lucas Robertson had one assist each and Brayden Benson made 29 stops in net.

Hinton got off to a rocky start in the first game of the doubleheader, falling behind 4-0 and 5-1 in what would be a 7-4 loss. Hollingsworth had the hat trick for Hinton, while Robertson got the other goal. Moulun and Batog had one assist each and Treyton Matheson made 22 saves.

Hinton hosts Thorsby on Nov. 30 at 10:15 am and then again Dec. 1 at 11:30 am.

Nighthawks Fall To Knights

The Hinton McDonald’s Nighthawks atom hockey team couldn’t solve the visiting CR Knights in a pair of home losses Nov. 23. 

Hinton started fast in the second game, building a 4-0 lead in the first 20 minutes before the Knights stormed back with four unanswered goals of their own in the second period. Forrest Kilthau gave Hinton a 5-4 lead early in the third period with his third goal of the game, but the Knights scored three more for a 7-5 final. Griffin Lepage had a goal and two assists, Ty Kapatch had Hinton’s other goal and Kai Brettner, Axton Aspell and Ryker Richie all had one assist each. Rogue Smith and Brayden Daniels combined for 32 stops in net for Hinton.

In the first game of the day the teams were deadlocked at 2-2 after the first period, with Kapatch and Kilthau scoring for Hinton, but the Knights exploded for five unanswered goals in the second period to build a lead they wouldn’t surrender. Chase Jahnke scored for Hinton in the third period to make it a 7-3 final. Lepage had a pair of assists for Hinton, while Sidney Repecka, Ryker Michie and Brettner had one assist apiece. Smith and Daniels combined for 24 saves in net.

Xtreme Take Two

The Hinton Xtreme U16 ringette squad sit atop the standings after winning a pair of road games Nov. 23 in Beaumont and Spruce Grove.

Kaydence Hollingsworth scored late to give Hinton a 5-4 win over Spruce Grove to open the day. Kyara Bishop scored a pair and Alyssa Klaver and Kennedy Davy also scored for Hinton. Maya Callihoo and Emily French had two assists each and Gracey Kempin had one.

Bishop had a pair later that day in a 7-2 win over Beaumont. Ella Kempin, Bryn Dammann, Brielle Goupil, Hollingsworth and Callihoo had one goal each, while Morgan Rushfeldt had three assists.

T’Wolves win streak ends at 14

Tyler Waugh

All good things must come to an end, and the Hinton Timberwolves saw a 14-game winning streak halted with a 5-2 defeat Nov. 23 against the Cold Lake Hornets.

Cold Lake used the home-ice advantage to score five-straight goals to open the game and kept Hinton off the score sheet until only 7:12 left in the game.

Jamahl Eakett and Dorian Hall scored for Hinton, and Mario Decapite had two helpers in the loss.  Goalie Kolter Pawlick made 11 saves in net for Hinton before being pulled in favour of Carter Wickson, who made 20 saves in relief.

Hinton opened the weekend set in Cold Lake with a 5-1 win fuelled by an Eakett hat trick and one goal each from Dimitri Buttazzoni and Hall. Decapite had a three-assist game while Logan Arsenault and Brendan Auger had one helper each.

Adam Robertson made 22 stops in net for Hinton in a win that extended their streak to 14 games.

Hinton had not lost since a 6-3 home loss to Edson back on Oct. 13.

Cold Lake improved its record to 4-9-0-1 on the season, good enough for fourth in the Provincial Division Standings. 

The Timberwolves, despite the road loss, still sit atop the Provincial Division standings with a 17-3 record, ahead of Edson, which has four games in hand. Hinton will look to start a new win streak when the Barrhead Bombers come to town Dec. 1. Barrhead sits last in the division standings with a 2-11-1 record. Puck drop is at 2 pm.