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Ponoka’s atom 2 takes on the Bashaw Stars

Ponoka defeated the Stars atom squad in a relatively close 5-3 finish
Ponoka Vantage Physiotherapy goalie Ethan Malterer goes in for the save as Bashaw Star’s Tucker Lourance tries to find an opening Nov. 19 in Ponoka. The Vantage team ended up winning a relatively close game 5-3. Photo by Jeffrey Heyden-Kaye

Ponoka’s atom Vantage Physiotherapy faced off against the Bashaw Stars in a relatively close contest.

Playing at home Nov. 19 Ponoka seemed to have the game secured against the Stars with a solid 5-0 lead with about 18 minutes left in the third period.

For the Ponoka atom squad, the team’s ability to find holes in the Stars’ defence ensured that strong lead with goals from Reed Sutley (2), Finn Nelson, Carter Buller and Eli Richter.

Ponoka head coach Chris Palechek said if it wasn’t for Ponoka’s goalie, Ethan Malterer, the score would have reflected differently in the game. “It was a lot closer game than the score reflected.”

He added that he looks forward to playing Bashaw again in further games.

In the third period, seemingly out of nowhere, the Stars appeared to wake up from their slumber. On a power play with 15 minutes left, Rhett Sterner found an opening and sunk the puck. This rejuvenated the Stars to further push for more goals.

A minute later, Sterner scored his second and the team found some stride in its game against Ponoka.

Stars’ head coach Steve Pierson was pleased with the third period. “Our team wasn’t skating very well in the second and they kind of fell asleep.”

“We reminded them just what we do at practices and that’s what they brought with them in the third,” said Pierson.

It was during the third period that Bashaw’s passing and positioning showed, which helped the team in its performance against Ponoka.

Pierson said the other difference for his team is managing a larger ice surface. In Bashaw the surface is quite a bit smaller and plays happen a lot faster.

Despite the momentum gained in that third period it wasn’t until three and a half minutes left that Bashaw scored again, this time from Taylor Fankhanel, putting the score at 5-3. At this point however, Ponoka had kept enough pressure on to secure the win.