Last weekend’s results for the Ponoka Stampeders may look like the same old loss after loss, but if you look closely, their game continues to show improvement.
At the end of the weekend the Stamps had a record of 4-12-0. While the wins seem small compared to the number of games played, there are more wins in this season than in the previous three seasons combined. The Stampeders showed in their Saturday, Nov. 14 game against the High River Flyers that they are playing better.
Despite losing 4-1, players were moving faster than before and were making key plays to get the puck closer and closer to the net.
There was some intense movement early in the first period with the Flyers taking two goals and keeping the Stampeders from scoring any. There was little action and no other goals in the first. However, in the second period, Ponoka seemed to come out of a dream and made several attempts on goal.
Things were looking up for the Stampeders who had a player advantage against the Flyers but quick action earned High River a third goal before Ponoka was able to capitalize, but Cody Lemon still managed to put one the scoreboard bringing the game to a 3-1 for the Flyers. Shots on goal showed Ponoka was making every effort to score. The Stampeders outshot the flyers 40-33.
The devil is in the details, however, and the only thing holding them back from a win against the Flyers was to get past their goalie. The Stampeders’ only goal was assisted by two players: Kacey Straub and Tyson Crampain. For the Flyers, three of the four goals were unassisted.
Ponoka also kept their penalty minutes down with 33 total penalty minutes compared to 52 for the Flyers. Details of the Sunday, Nov. 15 game against the Red Deer Vipers were not available at press time, but the Stampeders lost a relatively close 7-5 game.
Points went back and forth with Ponoka scoring four in the first period. Red Deer scored four in the second period but with two minutes left Ponoka scored their fifth and last goal. The Vipers came back in the third period and scored the three more goals to secure the win.