Five Ponoka hockey players can now call themselves champions.
Matthew Klimec, Landon Crier-Wagner, James Jansen, Jared Rice and Jordan Wombold — who all played with Ponoka Minor Hockey — were part of the Wetaskiwin Icemen Junior B hockey team that captured its second straight Capital Junior Hockey League crown.
The Icemen swept the Beverly Warriors in the best-of-five final, winning the title on home ice on March 21. Previously, the Icemen got by the Edmonton Royals in the quarter finals and the Edmonton Redwings in the semifinal. Making the run to the championship even greater was the team lost just once along the way, that being Game 4 against the Redwings.
What makes the title a little sweeter was the team finished first in the regular season with its best ever record in the franchise’s 26 year history — garnering 30 wins with just seven losses and one shootout loss.
For Iceman though, a provincial title wasn’t to be as the club lost its semifinal to Red Deer then fell to Beverly in the bronze medal game.
Wombold, Jansen and Klimec have now completed their junior careers and each received post-secondary scholarships at the team’s recent awards banquet. Wombold was also named, for the second year in a row, with the Icemen’s Jerry Green Memorial trophy in recognition of his work ethic on and off the ice.