Making it to playoffs for the first time in a decade is just one of the accomplishments the Ponoka Stampeders can be proud of in the currently ending season of 2015/2016.
To celebrate the season and recognize players, volunteers and board members, the hockey club held a season windup Friday, March 18. Club president Ken Kinley looks forward to the 2016/17 season after seeing how the team played this year.
While the Stampeders did lose both of their playoff games to Red Deer Vipers, Kinley suggests it is a positive start. “I hope we get the core guys back … I’m hoping for better things next year.”
He said there are only three players aging out and with a strong and dedicated coaching staff and board of directors, Kinley suggests it will be a season worth watching.
“After this year, I know it’s starting to work,” he said.
Players bought into coach Tyler Fiveland’s strategies and the communication between coaches and players appeared to mesh well.
The three players aging out this year are Tyson Crampain, who was also awarded the MVP title for the Stampeders: “He was just a leader all year long.”
Captain Cody Lemon and Braeden Grant are also aging out. Kinley says all three had letters and were leaders of the team. Seeing the relatively strong season compared to past years is another area that Kinley feels will boost players’ confidence.
Looking to the future, Kinley is excited for what the team can do and spring training camps have already been lined up.
Top rookies: Jordan Wombold and Carter Gendreau;
Top defenceman: Austin Ancion;
Top scorer: Nate Higgins;
Coach’s award: Kwyn Heibert.