It took 19 tries before the Ponoka Stampeders managed a shootout win against the Wheatland Kings.
Playing host to the Kings Oct. 23 the junior B hockey club looked like they had the game in the bag after being up 4-2 at the start of the third. However, the Kings were not dissuaded and they proceeded to find opportunities in front of the net.
A goal early in the third put the Kings in an ideal spot to tie it up and with several key penalties against the Stampeders, the Kings managed to tie it with 1:31 left in the game.
Had the Stamps maintained their discipline, the game might not have gone to a shootout.
“Stay outta the box.” That was coach Tyler Fiveland’s comment on the penalties in those last minutes.
“We blew a three goal lead based on dumb penalties,” he added.
At one point it was four against three with two Stampeders out for penalties and the Kings kept getting closer to the net.
Fiveland added his praise of the Stamps’ defenders, however, saying they did a better job keeping the puck away from the goal. There were fewer chances in front of the net than what the Kings were used too.
With a minute and a half left in the game, both teams put in extra time to score but couldn’t make it.
Enter overtime play. After a short break the Stampeders and Kings played a relatively clean over time period, working the puck and passes to gain the upper hand.
Stamps’ goalie Robert Michetti saved the team a few times in those brief five minutes making key saves right in front of the net.
“Our goalie bails us out a lot,” said Fiveland.
With nothing showing for points, the teams went into a shootout. Wheatland took the puck first but Michetti was ready, the 16-year-old goalie held strong putting the Stampeders in a good spot to win.
However, a sure thing it never was. Strathmore goalie Brady Hoover was equally up to the task of defending his net. Chevazz Rabbit, second up to shoot, managed to sneak one by putting Ponoka up by one.
Right after, Kings’ Kristian Ayoungman responds with a slow deke and ties it up.
At this point it was shot after shot with Michetti managing to save the rest of the attempts at his net. It was only after the 19th try that Brendan Scott, his second shot attempt, was able to squeak one by to secure the 6-5 win.
Ponoka’s other two games of the week came out with a loss; the Stamps were shut out by Mountainview 12-2 Oct. 21 and then suffering a 5-3 loss at home to Airdrie Techmation Thunder. Michetti managed to save 47 of the 52 shots against the net against Airdrie, said Fiveland.
The team’s next two games are one away and one at home with an away game Oct. 28 against the High River Flyers and then Oct. 30 at home against the Cochrane Generals. Puck drops at 2:30 p.m.