Jayden Hagemann

Jayden Hagemann

Minor hockey kicks off pre-season this weekend

Hockey season is underway for Ponoka Minor Hockey clubs with several teams starting their exhibition schedules over the long weekend.

Hockey season is underway for Ponoka Minor Hockey clubs with several teams starting their exhibition schedules over the long weekend.

The Fountain Tire Midget Wolves were on the ice twice hanging on for a 5-5 tie with Devon Oct. 7 then taking on Battle River Oct. 9 (result unavailable at press time).

Sam Neath, Josh Vold and Liam Buffalo scored for the Wolves in the first period, giving Ponoka a 3-1 lead. Jayden Hagemann made it 4-2 with two and a half minutes left in the second with a shorthanded effort. That was followed just 20 seconds into the third by another shorthanded marker by Lewis McDowell, only to see Devon comeback with a pair of goals late in the game to tie it.

The Bantam Moose were also in action this weekend, posting a pair of victories 10-6 Oct. 7 at home over Camrose and 6-2 on the road over Battle River. On Oct. 9, they hosted Daysland, but the result was unavailable at press time.

Meanwhile, the PeeWee Elks were in Bashaw Oct. 7 and earned a 6-6 tie, PeeWee Quality Paint defeated Maskwacis #2 11-6 on Oct. 8 and Atom Calnash fell to Battle River 13-1 also on Oct. 8.

This season will have a rather different look, as Ponoka and the rest of the North Central Minor Hockey Association (NCMHA) clubs will be playing against league contests with teams from across northern Alberta.

The NCMHA began talks a few years ago to play different competition, which has culminated this fall with teams in PeeWee, Bantam and Midget tier 1 playing a full interlocking schedule with clubs from the North East Alberta League, the 16-60 League and the Sturgeon-Pembina League.

All of the other divisions will feature a partial interlocking schedule, with teams in each of the four leagues playing select teams based nearby with those results counting in the standings.

However, teams will revert back to their league for the playoffs.