It was a tight game between two evenly matched teams when the Ponoka Junior Heritage Stampeders lost 5-4 to Banff in overtime during a home game on Saturday, Dec. 6.
Assistant coach Gord Thomas feels a large contributing factor behind the team’s loss was the lack of effort put in during the game. “They let go of it, the game plan was there.”
Thomas says the effect was spotty, there were moments of good effort in the second period and the beginning of the third. “It was on and off, there was no effort in our face offs when we needed them.”
“The first period was all Banff, we just chased the puck around,” he added.
A few bad penalties also proved detrimental to the Ponoka boys, but the game was not all bad. Going into the second period, Banff was ahead 2-0 but a few intense drives and good execution of plays near the Banff net pushed the Stampeders into a 4-4 tie by the end of the third period.
Thomas feels Banff is not one of the strongest teams to look out for in the league and the equal teams should have led to a different game.
“They outskated us. We didn’t skate with them, we followed,” Thomas explained.
The Stampeders are approximately halfway through the season and Thomas hopes the boys would have reflected that in their playing. “I wish the boys would get into the system and play like they want to win.
Goalie Zane Steeves also realizes the team got off to a slow start, but says the boys’ biggest strength was their refusal to give up. “We still came back. It sucks to lose, but we did get a point out of it.”
“We scored four goals, which is really good for us. We fought back in the third period,” he added.
Steeves says the team’s loss stems from a lack of preparation for the game. ‘They are a really young team, so I thought we should have been a little more physical.”
Overtime is not new territory for the Stampeders, says Steeves, so the experience is generally more positive than nerve-wracking. However, when Banff scored the game winning point, a five-hole goal, Steeves says the feeling of letting the team down is a hard to cope with.
The Stampeders’ next home game is against Stettler Lightning on Wednesday, Dec. 10 at 7:45 p.m.