It was a good weekend for the Ponoka’s McDonald’s Atom A squad as they managed to clinch their first victory of the season.
In the first of their two games at home last weekend, the team hung on to beat Blackfalds on Friday night (Nov. 20) by a count of 7-6, but couldn’t keep that momentum going and were doubled up 8-4 by Clive on Sunday, Nov. 22.
Ponoka head coach Chris Palechek was really happy with the team being able get a mark in the win column.
The scoring went back and forth in the opening 20 minutes with the visitors notching the first goal just over two minutes in, followed only seconds later by one off the stick of Ponoka’s Luke Simanton – his first of three on the night.
Blackfalds would regain the lead 10 minutes later, but Jakub Palechek would get Ponoka back on even terms with a powerplay goal with less than five minutes left in the first period.
Ponoka would get the momentum heading to the intermission by taking a 3-2 lead on a goal by Wyatt Avery, who jammed home a loose puck on a scramble in the Blackfalds goal crease with just two seconds remaining in the frame.
Jaiden Bandet scored to put Ponoka up by a pair about two minutes into the second period, only to have that advantage disappear on a pair of Blackfalds goals late in the frame.
Simanton got his second goal about five minutes into the third to put Ponoka up 5-4. Blackfalds would tie it two minutes later, but Avery would get a short-handed goal with a little more than seven minutes left to regain the lead.
Simanton got his hat trick marker, and the eventual game winner, with just under two minute remaining in the game.
Ponoka got a scare though, as Blackfalds got within one in the final minute, but that would be as close as they would get.
Sunday’s match up with Clive was the complete opposite, with the visitors taking charge from the first puck drop.
Clive outscored their hosts 4-1 and 3-2 in the first two periods on their way to the victory. Simanton would again earn a hat trick for Ponoka while Bandet scored the other goal.
The Atoms will have this weekend off before hitting the road for two games versus Blackfalds and Forestburg.
Results from other Ponoka teams in action over the weekend included the Lacoka Bantam female team remaining unbeaten in seven games this season with a 3-1 win versus Leduc; Calnash Trucking Atom B squad falling 8-6 to Lacombe on Saturday, Nov. 21. The Peewee A Elks were dumped 8-3 in Blackfalds, the Bantam Moose lost 8-4 in Sylvan Lake and the Lacoka Peewee female squad came out short losing 3-2 in Warburg.