Ponoka’s bantam hockey team finished second in their second tournament of the season. They also lost in the finals at the first tournament.
“They played really well the first two games. The last game there was just a lot of bad bounces,” said coach Pete Hall, referring to the team’s loss to Athabasca.
“There were pucks bouncing into our nets off sticks, off butts, off knees,” he added. “It was nobody’s fault; I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Despite not being able to beat the second-place stigma, Hall is pleased with the way the boys played. “The first two games they just played well as a team. We were really rewarded our second game.”
“The second game our goaltending was outstanding,” said Hall. But he also credits the success to a team effort.
Although Ponoka lost to Athabasca, Hall isn’t disappointed.
He feels Athabasca played as a strong team and earned the championship finish.
Ponoka also has more 13-year-old players than 14-year-old players, while most other teams had several more bigger, older players. “Sometimes they’re just outmatched physically … They’re beating my expectations for sure,” said Hall.
During the last game Hall was impressed with the effort each player put forth, especially Logan Abrassart and Braeden Korchinski. Despite the team’s loss, Hall said it was the best game those boys played to date.
“I hate to single out individuals but they went at it and played hard.”
Hall was also impressed with the parent efforts that went into make the tournament a success.
Hall received a lot of compliments from other coaches on the organization of the tournament. “That had nothing to do with the coaching. They (the parents) worked hard all weekend and put in a lot of hours to make this thing work.”