It wasn’t the kind of parade the Ponoka Stampeders wanted to be party to and it cost them.
Five straight goals, including three powerplay markers in a span of three minutes and 10 seconds in the middle frame, left the Stamps galloping to catch up in what turned into a 6-4 loss in Three Hills Sept. 23. The loss pushed Ponoka to the bottom of the Heritage Junior B Hockey League standings, winless in a pair of contests so far.
The pain was made worse by the fact the three special teams goals were the only times Three Hills capitalized with the man-advantage on nine attempts, while the Stamps only cashed in on one of their five powerplays. It was that one goal that opened the scoring with Taite Opdendries getting the visitors on the board just five and a half minutes into the game.
Unfortunately, Three Hills gained all the momentum by getting the tying goal with just 45 seconds left in the first period then carried that through to the second putting away their three powerplay goals — the first coming just before the five minute mark, another just over two minutes later followed by the last one only 54 seconds after that.
With just under four minutes left, the home side would make it 5-1 before the Stamps’ Nate Higgins scored less than a minute later to stop the bleeding and then got his second of the night with about 1:30 remaining in the middle stanza to get them within striking distance.
Ponoka ended up getting dinged for 11 minor penalties, while Three Hills was hit with seven, though one of those was simply a case of sending a message as it came at the end of the game.
Stamps head coach Tyler Fiveland said the club played a pretty good game for 45 minutes, it was that they kind of forgot there was a second period in this one.
“We played great in the first and should have had two or three goals, but we just couldn’t finish,” Fiveland stated in an interview Monday.
“In the second, we decided we had a better chance to win if we played shorthanded. Their powerplay killed us. We took some bad penalties and they made us pay.”
The third was much like the first, according to Fiveland, with the team not giving up and getting some good scoring chances though unable to bury them.
“All of our offense came from one line, but our other lines had good chances. It’s a learning curve for the young guys, but we showed we can dominate a team. We just need 60 minutes from everyone,” he added.
Hoof prints: The Stamps once again take to the road this weekend as they are in Coaldale on Saturday to play the south division leading Copperheads, who are unbeaten in four games so far, followed by a date Sunday in Medicine Hat versus the Cubs, who have yet to win in four tries. The home opener for the Stamps is Oct. 8 at 8 p.m. when they take on the High River Flyers.