Putting a bunch of horses in a tight space can sometimes explode and that’s exactly what erupted on the ice in Ponoka as the Stamps played its first game of 2019.
The Stampeders and the Mountainview Colts out of Didsbury combined for 161 penalty minutes — just six of those coming in the first period — in a raucous contest Jan. 2 at the Ponoka Culture and Recreation Complex that was a runaway for the Colts from the outset.
Mountainview capitalized on its 21 shots in the first to take a 2-0 lead and followed that up with another just eight minutes into the second.
Then to coin a phrase — that’s when the fighting started — as there were a few get-togethers that ended up with both squads having a pair of players sent to the showers and more sitting for a significant time in the sin bin.
Despite all of that Ponoka’s Devin Anderson, courtesy of some great stick-handling while standing all alone in front the Colts’ net, gave the Stamps some life by scoring with just over eight minutes remaining in the middle frame.
The level of play though didn’t improve much as the continued battles after the whistle had each side maintaining parades to the penalty box.
The Colts regained the two-goal lead late in the second then notched a pair in the third, where each team decided early on to get out what was left of their aggression.
On the positive side, Ponoka’s netminder Brandon Clark turned aside 43 shots, while the Stamps could only muster 23 at the other end.
The annual Heritage Junior B Hockey League all-star contest will go Jan. 6 in Airdrie and will feature one Stampeders player — the club’s top scorer Keiran Bulloch.
Bulloch, Ponoka’s captain who has notched nine goals to go with nine assists in 23 games this season, will be part of the north division squad that will include five players each from Airdrie and Mountainview, three each from Red Deer and Stettler plus two from Blackfalds and one from Three Hills.
For Bulloch, the honour is great because of the recognition it shows for his dedication and hard work this season.
“It’s quite the honour and pretty sweet to go, especially being the only one,” the captain said.
“This also shows putting everything in pays off like showing up to the rink everyday, competing hard and trying to do the best you can every time you step on the ice.”
As for the rest of the season, Bulloch knows that the Stamps can compete with any other club if they all do their part.
“Playing as a team, standing up for each other and do everything we need to each game. We just have to put all of the pieces together and play a full 60-minutes, which is something we’ve struggled with at times” he stated.