It’s that time of year where minor hockey teams from around Alberta gear up for a run at the provincial championship.
Things are no different for the Ponoka Minor Hockey Stampeders, although one squad already has gotten the opportunity.
The bantam Stampeders were entered into the ‘D’ category this season in Zone 4, and with no other clubs to face off against. As such, the team received an automatic berth into the championship. The 2019 provincial tournament is slated for Three Hills March 14 to 17.
As for the rest of the local teams, the McDonalds atom Stampeders began its trot in the ‘C’ category with a 6-2 in Lacombe on Jan. 26. The second game of the two-game, total goal series was slated for Jan. 28 in Ponoka, but the score was unavailable at press time.
Meanwhile, the midget Stampeders are slated to take on Thorsby in ‘C’ category play. However, the schedule for the opening round series had not been announced at press time.
The peewee Stampeders are not being left out as Hockey Alberta has not yet published the draw for that division.
On the girls side of things, the Lacoka bantam Warriors are facing an uphill battle in the ‘A’ category following a 4-1 loss in Red Deer on Jan. 24. Game two in the series will go in Ponoka on Feb. 6 with puck drop at 6 p.m.
Meanwhile, the peewee Warriors will take on Rocky Mountain House in ‘B’ category action with the Warriors to host game one Feb. 5 (6:30 p.m. puck drop). Game two is scheduled for Feb. 14 in Rocky.
As for the midget Warriors, they received a bye into round two and await the winner of the ‘B’ category first round series between Maskwacis and Rocky Mountain House. The games in that series go Feb. 1 and 5. As an added bonus, the winner of the second round series will get a berth into the provincial tournament, since Leduc is the host this year.