Both peewee hockey teams battled for Ponoka last weekend during their home tournament that saw them both make their respective finals.
The peewee Elks made it to the A final Nov. 27 while the peewee Quality Paint made it to the B final, but both had a struggle that cost them the gold medals.
The Elks were undefeated in the round-robin with a strong showing in all three of the team’s tournament games. The team beat out Drayton Valley 3-1, St. Albert 5-2 and Wetaskiwin 5-4 to eventually play Drayton Valley once again.
A short bench and a game earlier that same day may have contributed to the loss for the Elks, who were sitting in a relatively strong position in the second period. With a 4-2 lead, the Elks were in place to defeat Drayton Valley once again,but two successive goals 16 seconds apart late in the second tied the game up.
Just over three minutes later, Drayton Valley continued their scoring action with another two straight goals in a short period of time to put the home team behind 6-4 at the end of the second. A final Drayton Valley goal in the third secured the team’s win at 7-4.
Coach Steve Street said the team played well the whole weekend, but came up a bit short in the finals. “A few breakdowns led to that.”
Despite the final score, he was pleased with the overall performance. “They showed a lot of heart. We are a smaller team and we had a few guys that were hurt.”
“I’m pretty impressed with what we accomplished with the guys that we had.”
With a busy hockey weekend, a win can go either way. The Elks’ first game against Drayton Valley was the opposite, with the home team fresh and Drayton already having played one game. “All those sorts of things come into play.”
He praised parents and sponsors for ensuring a fun tournament.
For Quality Paint, a 2-1 record during the round robin secured the team’s chance at the B title. The team defeated Strathcona 5-2 and Stony Plain 6-1, but lost to Glen Lake 6-5.
As chance would have it, Quality Paint players ended up playing the same team they lost to in the final.
Despite a closer gap in the round robin, Glen Lake was ready for the final defeating Quality Paint 11-3. Coach HarleyShoemaker said fatigue started to show, adding that Glen Lake had a few tricks to the game.
“They had a little forecheck. They came prepared today and our guys were holding back a little bit,” he explained.
Despite the season being early, Shoemaker said the team has shown strengths in protecting the net and creativity in passing when crossing the blue line. He looks forward to the rest of the season and seeing his team grow.