There are only a few local minor hockey clubs left standing as the season starts to come to an end.
With league playoffs and provincial playdowns nearing a conclusion, Ponoka teams are beginning to pack up and put away the gear.
Just one team, the peewee Elks, remain with life left on the road to a provincial championship and even that is hanging by a thread.
The Elks played host to Wetaskiwin in the opening game of the zone final March 2 and fell by the score of 3-2. Game two in the two game, total goal series, and a berth in the provincials March 23 to 26 in Coronation, goes in Wetaskiwin tomorrow (Thursday) night.
Meanwhile, the bantam Moose saw its opportunity get washed away in an 8-1 loss in Lacombe March 2, losing the series by two after beating Lacombe 6-2 earlier in the week.
Two Lacoka teams — peewee and midget — are already in their respective provincial tournaments. The midget club captured the zone title Monday with a 3-2 victory in Ponoka with two goals from Danielle Blacklock and one from Zoe Lorenz-Boser. Meanwhile, the peewee squad will go in as the host team after losing the zone final to Innisfail. The girls won the opening game 4-2 in Ponoka Friday, but were blanked 3-0 in Innisfail on Saturday.
The McDonalds atom squad are into the North Central Minor Hockey League final after getting a 6-5 win in Coronation Saturday to take the best-of-three semifinal 2-0. Kian McLean scored his second of the game just over 1:30 into overtime for the victory. Daylan Owen also scored twice with Carter Karwandy and Dacian Heinz getting the other goals. Ponoka now faces Battle River in the final.
It will also be a league final appearance for the Servus Credit Union bantams after they won the deciding game of the best-of-three 7-3 in Maskwacis on Saturday. The club will take on Viking for the championship.
And, only one of Ponoka’s three top tier clubs will have more games to play after last weekend, with Moose going forward on the consolation side of the draw.
The Moose fell Saturday in Fort Saskatchewan 5-3, but ended up winning the series with an 8-5 victory at home Sunday.
Meanwhile, the Fountain Tire midget Wolves were dumped by Drayton Valley 12-2 on Saturday then 8-1 at home on Sunday in the best-of-three quarter final. Quinton Adam had both goals in Drayton Valley, while Jayden Hagemann score the lone goal on home ice.
The peewee Elks were knocked out of the consolation side of the draw after a heartbreaking 4-3 overtime loss to Battle River in Killam on Sunday. Josh David scored twice with the other from Wyatt Avery. Game one in Ponoka Saturday ended 3-3 with Avery scoring twice and Luke Simanton netting the other goal.