Ponoka Stampeders once again found out Tuesday, Dec.16 when they lost 5-2 to Stettler Lightning that the pressure on the opponents’ net has to be crowned with a finishing shot if they are to win games in the highly competitive Junior Heritage Hockey League.
In their second fixture in less than a week, Stampeders and Lightning locked horns at the Stettler Recreation Centre and unlike in the previous game, they displayed great enthusiasm and passion from very early on in the game.
Stampeders appeared to be the dominant side of the game in the first five minutes of the first period, but while they kept the pressure on the Lightning goalie with many shots, it took the hosts only one break from their defense to score their first goal in just the second minute. Despite ongoing Stampeder attacks, Lightning scored another two minutes later taking a 2-0 lead. Ponoka boys, for their part, responded through Teagan Colonna about 30 seconds later reducing the gap to one, but Lightning put another number on the scoreboard before the end of the first period.
In the second period, it was Lightning’s turn to play the role of the dominant party and they almost set up camp around the Stampeders net for extended periods. They continued to put pressure on the Stampeders even at times when they were short handed and they were awarded for their efforts by two more points against only one response coming from the visitors, once again courtesy of Teagan Colonna just under three minutes from the end of the second period.
In the third period, Stampeders initially made a genuine effort to close the gap with the hosts but past the halfway point, they appeared to have resigned themselves to the outcome as the tempo of the game declined noticeably and final buzzer went off without any score being added to either side’s points.
Stampeders were scheduled to play two back-to-back away games, first against Blackfalds on Sunday, Dec. 21 and versus Red Deer Vipers on Monday, Dec. 22. As Ponoka News went to print early due to Christmas schedule, the scores of the games were not available at press time.