Ponoka’s U-14 Storm boys hosted their Stettler counterparts on Wednesday, May 14 and lost to the visitors 4-2 in an intensely contested game.
The game started with a shock for Ponoka boys when the Stettler offense scored within a minute of the kick-off with a long shot from outside the penalty area. As the local boys were reeling from the impact of the first goal, the visitors scored another one within the first ten minutes, taking a 2-0 lead.
It was after that second goal that Ponoka defense started to pull themselves together and started to get organized and assist each other in confronting Stettler attacks. The effort appeared to pay off with Ponoka offense making their first appearance in front of the Stettler net towards the middle of the first half.
While the Storm players were putting in all the effort, the superior dribbling and ball control skills of the visitors deprived the hosts from the chance to keep the ball in their possession. Using their ability to organize better on the pitch, Stettler scored two more goals as the halftime break approached.
But Ponoka boys were not in the mood to give in and they finally struck within the last two minutes of the first half when they were awarded a penalty and the players went into the break with scoreboard standing at 4-1 for the visitors.
The second half of the game was an entirely different story. Helped by the change of the goalkeeper, Ponoka boys kept attacking the Stettler net wave after wave, maintaining possession most of the playtime. Their attacks allowed the Storm to win several corner kicks, creating scoring opportunities. In one of those positions, a Stettler player stopped the ball from going into the net by hand and was sent off by the referee, who awarded the hosts the second penalty shoot of the game. The penalty was successfully converted and the game ended with the 4-2 score in favor visitors.
U-14 Storm currently stand second from the bottom in the league and they play their next home game on Wednesday, May 21 against Rocky Mountain House.