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Peewee Stamps just miss tournament title

Squad falls in final to strong team from Calgary
Carter Buller of the Stampeders drives the front of the Clive net before sliding the puck around the goalie and into the net in the second period Jan. 24. Photo by Jordie Dwyer

The Ponoka peewee Stampeders came up just shy of winning their home tournament over the weekend.

In the final on Jan. 26, Ponoka were up against a tough squad from Calgary Northwest and ended up on the wrong side of an 8-6 score.

Despite that, Stampeders head coach Mark Richter was pleased with the way his club played.

“Calgary was tough, well-coached and played a good passing game,” he said.

“They jumped to an early lead, but we never gave up. From a fan’s standpoint, it was definitely entertaining.”

The road to the final began on Friday night (Jan. 24) with a huge offensive display on both sides, with Ponoka defeating Clive 14-7.

“Typically, we don’t score that much, but I like to think our team plays similar to the (Edmonton) Oilers in the 1980s,” added Richter.

”We have a strong core of second year players who like to shoot and that usually translates into trading chances with the other team.”

Ponoka took on Calgary Simons Valley in the semifinal on Jan. 25, playing what Richter described as the best game of their season in hanging on to win 7-6.

“We played a solid team game with everyone chipping in by knowing their roles. We let up in the last few minutes and that’s why it got a little too close for comfort,” he said.

Richter added the club’s focus has been keeping down the number of shots and goals against, but that with such an offensive-oriented club, it will take some time.

“The good news is we have been seeing improvements in this since focusing on it,” he said.

Carter Buller, left, watches this shot from the point get tipped by Lucas Busat and then slide past the Clive netminder to increase the Stampeders lead in the second period. Photo by Jordie Dwyer
Lennon Buffalo gets take down by a Clive player, resulting in a penalty, during an attempt to gain the offensive zone in the middle frame. Photo by Jordie Dwyer
Carter Buller has the puck knocked away on his way to the net by a diving Clive defenceman, taking away one of the many scoring chances for Ponoka in the game. Photo by Jordie Dwyer
Matias Czapp lets loose a slap shot from the slot in the second period, which wound up going wide of the Clive goal. Photo by Jordie Dwyer