Ponoka’s Fountain Tire midget hockey squad is sitting pretty good in the Northern Alberta Interlock Tier 3 league.
A tough home game Jan. 31 against Redwater Rush almost dropped their points, but Ponoka rallied to ensure a tie game rather than a loss. The game ended 5-5 but it was in the second period that the Rush really shook Ponoka.
At the start of the second period, Ponoka was up 1-0, but some sort of fire woke in the Redwater team, which managed to score five goals just in the second. Three of those goals were later in the stanza with Ponoka scoring one in between. Rush scored two more later in the second period, bringing it to a 5-2 game.
Coach Ryan Raugust said the slow start may have been due to three weeks off. “Our timing was little off,” said Raugust.
During the second period break, Raugust spoke to the players and had them focus on staying out of the penalty box.
That was all Ponoka needed to hear, scoring three goals in the third to tie it up and no penalties for themselves. And all three goals were made during power plays.
“They came out with fire under their skates,” said Raugust.
“It’s always an entertaining game when they’re playing.”
That second period was indeed a challenging one, enough for the coaching staff to pull goalie Jace Jacklin and put in Tade Tonneson. Jacklin had 21 shots with 17 saves and Tonneson saved 13 of the 14 shots on goal.
Raugust added his praise for both goalies for playing strong games overall.
Scoring for Ponoka was Levi Busat in the first with assistance from Ashton Bandet and Tristan Johnson. In the second Colter Bresee scored with assistance from Hunter Busat. In the third period Tristan Johnson scored with assistance from Jared Bussiere and Colter Bresee, and the last two were scored by Jared Bussiere, with assistance first from Colter Bresee and then from Bresee and Levi Busat.
After the Jan. 31 game, the Fountain Tire Stampeders were sitting with a record of 11-1-3 and 25 points, tied for third with Viking while New Sarepta had 26 points and Edson had 30. Ponoka sits at the top of its south division.
Ponoka did play the Maskwacis Hawks on Feb. 3 and won, but the full results were not available at press time.