It was a rough week for the Ponoka Stampeders, who found new ways to wind up on either side of the scoresheet.
The Stampeders had a three-game homestand last week where they wound up with a loss, an overtime loss and a shootout win. They fell Nov. 9 to Blackfalds 5-4 in overtime, then got doubled up 6-3 versus Medicine Hat Nov. 12 before getting past Coaldale Nov. 13 in a 5-4 shootout.
Stamps head coach Tyler Fiveland thought his club played well in each game, but penalties were a problem in the first two.
“Against Blackfalds we played well, but didn’t stay out of (the penalty) box in the first. We kept fighting back though and got it to overtime for a point,” Fiveland stated.
“We controlled most of the game against Medicine Hat. We out-worked, out-shot and out-played them, but couldn’t get any bounces.”
Fiveland added there were a few questionable penalty calls in the final 20 minutes of that game, but stated his team never quit despite things not going their way.
Credit for the lone win last week, according to Fiveland, goes to goaltender Zeke Leuck and the rest of the team’s never-say-die attitude.
“We really out-played Coaldale and they had a long bus ride, so we were able to make them skate,” he said.
“We led after one and then chased them the rest of the way, but we controlled a lot of the play. The boys never gave up and finally got some bounces to go our way all because the guys did the little things right. Zeke also gave us every chance to win.”
Versus Blackfalds, Ponoka was slow to start with Jordan Sears scoring for the Stamps who were outshoot 16-7 and down 3-1 after the first. Walker Guthrie and Nate Higgins scored in the second to tie it, only to be down a goal in the third.
That forced Fiveland to pull the goalie in the final minute while the team watched Higgins dance through a couple defenders to tie it again with 25 seconds remaining in the game.
Unfortunately, a turnover behind the net handed Blackfalds the win with just 6.3 seconds to go in the extra session.
Goals from Sears in the first and Chevazz Rabbit in the second put the Stamps up 2-1 on Medicine Hat, but the visitors notched the next five in spite of Ponoka putting 49 shots on net. Roenick Minde had the Stamps third goal on the night.
The club’s lone victory over Coaldale Nov. 13 was another of the come-from-behind variety with Kacey Straub opening the scoring with Toran Corbier getting a goal in the third before the big comeback. Jacob Sayler got a powerplay goal with just under six minutes left in the period and 13 seconds later Cheyden Rabbit scored to tie it. Taite Opdendries would get credit for the game winner in the shootout.
Hoof prints: The Stamps play just once this week, on the road in Okotoks on Friday, with their next home game on Nov. 23 versus Airdrie.