Beavers gnawing closer

The Budget Beavers are in
phenomenal form in the 2010 WestTel Adult Roller Hockey League.

Budget sits atop the table at 5-1
heading into Tuesday night’s week seven encounter with the CDMS Islanders in Kings
Sports Centre at 8pm.

Their only loss of the season came
last week to defending champions the MEPCO High Rollers. Budget lost 8-2 as
captain Mark Missal and star contributor Chris Moser failed to register a

Outside of that the stats have been
awe-inspiring for Budget. Like last year they top just about every offensive
statistic. They feature the league’s top scorers in Missal (23 points) and Tim
MacDonald (22 points).

Defensively the Beavers have been
just as good. They’re the only team (along with MEPCO) to prevent a team from
scoring 10 goals or more in a game this season. Budget also boasts the top
goalie at present in Ryan Vanderwal (with a league-best 82.1 save percentage).

Like with other sports numbers can
only say so much about a team. As Moser states the biggest aspect behind their
early success is team chemistry.

“It’s a whole team effort, more so
than in years past” Moser said. “Ryan is one of the best goalies in the league
and has been the last couple years. Our defense is one of the best right now.

“Our team is just more even and we
have sound players all over the rink. Everyone has played their best every

Captain Missal points to Budget
retaining most of its players from last season as a big reason for the team’s
cohesive play.

 “Everyone is an attribute to the team,” Missal
said. “I prefer it with fewer changes. It keeps our chemistry together and
allows us to have continuity. For example Tim, Rob Leadbetter and I have been
in roller hockey together from the start.”

Leadbetter’s experience is
certainly paying off so far. The unsung hero already has six assists (second-most
on the team) and five goals on the year. However, as Moser and Missal state, he
isn’t the only Beaver building a name on the rink.

“For sure a couple guys have stood
out so far,” Moser said. “Rob, Brian Chapell and Martin Wilson have been steady
in defense. Brian is our only new person on the team as he played with CDMS
last year.

“Tim, Mark and I have been in the
top five scoring the last couple years and we (more Mark and Tim than me)
continue to score lots of goals. Then there’s Jamie Lyon, who has missed a few
games. When he’s been out there he’s been on point.”

Missal concurred with Moser adding
that defensemen Joe Jewitt and Alex Falconer also deserve recognition.

“Joe and Alex were new last year
and they have been solid defensemen throughout their time with us,” Missal
said. “I’ve been really happy with both of them. They’re a big reason why our
sponsors are happy and supporting us in roller hockey every year.”

Even with such positive vibes the
Beavers know they are in for a tense battle going forward. MEPCO are only a
game behind Budget at 4-2 and face the Beavers one more time before the playoffs
(on April 27). MEPCO were in a similar spot last year before winning the league
outright. As Moser says they’re well aware of that.

“We’ve had a couple of tough games
on the whole,” Moser said. “A lot of teams are more balanced. CDMS has actually
impressed me the most. They made some great pick-ups and can beat anyone

“We tend to thrive on adversity but
I’d like to see us improve how we start games. If we can start a game and play with
the lead the whole time then we’ll really be on point.”