Ponoka Stampeders, with one win and one loss in back-to-back home games over the weekend, are left with nine games to go in the regular season with still a chance at making it to playoffs.
At the end of last weekend, the Stampeders had four more points over Stettler Lightning, the only other team they are in competition with for the last playoff spot, with nine wins compared to seven and a potential chance, the first in quite a few years. Currently the Stampeders sit sixth out of seven and if they keep that position, they will make it to playoffs.
Ponoka’s first game was against the Three Hills Thrashers Saturday, Jan. 9 at home showing their desire to win by taking the lead 3-0 by the end of the first period. Austin Ancion, Mik Doell and Nate Higgins claimed the goals in that first period.
Ancion’s goal was during a power play. Both teams managed to keep the penalty minutes down in the first with six in total for the Thrashers and four for the Stampeders.
The second period proved just as strong with another three goals for Ponoka with and Higgins and Doell scoring their second goals, Higgins’ being on power play and Jaizen Threefingers completing the tally. However, the Thrashers put on the pressure and netted two of their own to bring the score 6-2 at the end of the second.
Teams were disciplined in the second with a total of 6 penalty minutes, two for Ponoka and four to Three Hills.
In the third period, the Thrashers were able to hold Ponoka from scoring while managing two for themselves but it was not enough and Ponoka won 6-4. The Stampeders managed to keep their penalty minutes to six while the Thrashers had 16, 10 of which were due to a game misconduct.
The Stampeders’ second game against the Coaldale Copperheads the next day proved less fruitful with a 6-1 loss. Kwyn Hiebert scored Ponoka’s only goal. This game proved a challenge for both teams for penalties with a total of 159 minutes between the two teams.