A lengthy break proved a tough hurdle to get over for the Lacoka Reds Sports midgets.
The Ponoka-based female midget squad lost a pair of games over the weekend, the club’s first games of 2018. The girls last played on Dec. 16, a 4-2 loss at home to Leduc.
In hopes of getting their legs underneath them, the girls faced off with Irma of the East Central Female Hockey League in an exhibition game Saturday night at the Ponoka Culture and Recreation Complex, ultimately falling by a score of 5-1. That was followed on Sunday afternoon Rocky Mountain Female Hockey League contest — a 3-1 loss to visiting Whitecourt that marked the club’s fourth straight league loss.
Jaymee Klinger scored the goals for Lacoka on the weekend.
In the Whitecourt game, the visitors dominated early with the locals hanging on to head into the first intermission scoreless despite being outshot by a two to one margin. The second frame saw a lot closer checking, leading to a few more penalty calls and Klinger’s powerplay marker just over eight minutes in.
Neither side could capitalize with the man advantage the rest of the period, however Whitecourt would tie the game three minutes into the third while short-handed.
Two minutes later, it looked like Whitecourt got the lead when Lacoka goalie Camryn Grant was beat on a deke. That didn’t last as the referee — following a consultation with the linesmen — waved off the potential goal after not seeing the puck actually cross the goal line.
That seemed to pick up the Lacoka girls spirits and they put the pressure on Whitecourt, forcing their goalie into a number of great stops.
Unfortunately, Whitecourt would pot the game winner with just less than five minutes left on a scramble where Grant couldn’t corral the loose puck. The visitors would ice it with an empty-netter with over a minute to go.
Lacoka head coach Ron Klinger explained the girls played fairly well on the weekend, but that the turkey legs got the better of them against Irma and that Whitecourt has a fast team that can be hard to defend.
“The girls are doing good so far, though we seemed to have dropped a bit lately,” he said.
“When they do the things they are supposed to and the girls kick things into drive, we play well and are a force to contend with, but we also didn’t get some breaks,” said Klinger.
“They are a good group and the third year players are setting a good example for the younger girls. This year has been a transition too, as this is the first time that several of the girls have had a new coach, so there has been some adjustments for them and for me.”
Klinger is hoping this weekend will help the team get back into the groove as they will play host (in Lacombe, game time 8:30 p.m.) to Leduc this Friday, who sit in third place only two points up on Lacoka.
Buck shots — Other weekend female action saw the Lacoka bantams fall 4-2 at home to West Central Saturday then earn a point in a 4-4 tie against the same squad in Sylvan Lake and the Lacoka peewees lost at home to 3C’s 3-1 Saturday before drawing 4-4 in Stettler Sunday. On the boys side, the Fountain Tire midgets lost 6-4 to CNN in Bon Accord and the bantam Moose were bombed 16-3 in Tofield then returned home and edged Smoky Lake 3-2.