A busy week of hockey saw the Ponoka Stampeders with two wins and a loss.
First game of the week was Dec. 13 at home against the Red Deer Vipers who are sitting top in the Heritage Junior B Hockey League standings. Ponoka lost 9-3 to a tough offense.
At the start of the first period it was clear the Stamps were in for a tough game with strong passing from the Vipers. By the end of the first period the Stamps were down 5-0.
Despite this large deficit the Stamps rallied in the second with Nate Higgins sinking a puck 12 seconds in. That goal was following shortly after at the 1:36 mark by Braden Klessens bringing the score to a manageable 5-2.
However, the Vipers were ready to play and scored about six minutes later. Klessens managed to score another for Ponoka just after eight minutes. This was all the Stamps could do against the Vipers who managed to score three more goals.
Shots on goal were 42 by Red Deer and 26 by Ponoka.
The rivalry between the two teams was definitely felt in this game with several game misconduct and checking to the head penalties handed out to players on both teams.
Next up the Stamps played Three Hills in an away game Dec. 15 with a solid 6-3 win.
By the end of the first period the game could have been anyone’s with the teams tied at three. Taite Opdendries managed two goals while Jaycob Sayler scored the other. Where the Stamps really shined was in the second and third periods.
Jonathan Kelly and Nate Higgins scored one each in the second and then Higgins capped it off in the third. This was a relatively clean game with only one Thrashers player getting docked for fighting.
Shots on goal were 53 by Ponoka and 38 by Three Hills.
To close the weekend the Stamps played at home against the Blackfalds Wranglers squeaking by with a 4-3 win.
Despite playing a team with a 14-9-0 record, the Stampeders showed their abilities on the ice. Coming into the third period Ponoka was down 3-2. Scorers at this point for Ponoka were Sayler and Walker Guthrie.
It was in the third period that Ponoka took control of the game, preventing the Wranglers from scoring. With just over two minutes into the third period Jordan Sears scored giving the team a tie and a boost to morale.
It wasn’t until seven seconds left in the game, however, that Ponoka secured the win. Kieran Bulloch scored the winning goal, which gave the Stampeders a record of 6-12-2 putting them above the Three Hills Thrashers in the standings.
Ponoka hopes to close out 2017 with another win playing at home Dec. 23 against the Three Hills Thrashers. Game time is set for 8:30 p.m.