Daniel Aitken keeps control of the puck Dec. 17 during a bantam Moose home game against Bashaw. Ponoka won 3-1. Photo by Jeffrey Heyden-Kaye

Ponoka’s bantam Moose take a win at home

Ponoka defeated the Bashaw Stars Dec. 17 in a close contest.

A win at home put Ponoka’s bantam Moose in a strong position in its Tier 3 division.

Playing against the Bashaw Stars Dec. 17, the Moose had a relatively tight game with success coming in the third period with a 3-1 win.

With no score on either side of the rink after the first period, both teams were ready to make something happen on the ice. It was the Stars that took the first step, scoring five and a half minutes of play. It wasn’t until just over 10 minutes later that Ponoka scored courtesy of a goal by Levi Busat, with an assist from Ashton Bandet.

At the end of the second period it was anyone’s game with a 1-1 tie.

Despite the goal in the second, passing was stronger in the first.

“They came out that same way in the first. There was a lot of passing,” said coach Zach McClaflin. “We just kind of lost it in the second.”

Things changed in the third period with the Moose looking to guarantee a win. At this point the team played a stronger game passing at the right moments.

Those passes helped Ponoka find openings in the Stars’ defence. At almost four minutes into the third period Zach Rausch scored with Busat and Tyler Shoemaker grabbing the assist.

McClaflin said clear passing can change the results of a game relatively quick. “When they play as a team we win as a team so it’s nice to see.”

To guarantee the win Busat scored his second goal with an assist coming from Austin Griffiths and Sam Evans.

Improvements on the ice bring other benefits such as player and team growth. McClaflin said seeing the development occur over the season is something coaches are pleased with. “The boys worked hard and hard work pays off.”

“It’s always nice to see the kids’ game improve in any way shape or form,” he said.

Ponoka took in 35 shots on goal while the Stars took in 22.

This win put the Moose in a strong position with a 6-2-1 record, sitting just behind Tofield who is undefeated in the season.

Ponoka Minor Hockey

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Two Ponoka bantam Moose players watch on as the Bashaw Stars’ goalie manages to save the puck under heavy pressure Dec. 17. The game was relatively close with Ponoka taking the lead in the third period. Photo by Jeffrey Heyden-Kaye

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