Keeping pace with three games in as many games, the Stettler Legion Blues hit their stride on the weekend.
The midget A Blues scored back-to-back wins on home ice — 5-2 over the Barrhead Steelers on Sunday and 8-6 over the Whitecourt Wolverines on Saturday — after falling 2-0 to the host Ponoka Wolves on Friday.
Although the 5-6 Blues are one game under .500, they knocked off the North Division leaders in Barrhead, which on Saturday defeated league-leading Innisfail 3-1 to hand the Flyers their first loss in 11 games this season in the North Central Minor Hockey Association.
Stettler sandwiched a pair of Barrhead power-play goals with five straight goals for a potentially breakthrough victory.
“It was probably the strongest game we played this year, with some big hits and a more consistent effort,” said Neil McCallum, the Blues’ assistant coach and co-manager. “Our scoring was spread around and it proved to our team we are a team to be reckoned with.”
Chase Cooke of Castor scored a pair of Stettler goals, while singles went to Zack Werbowesky, Ethan Rost and Quade Cassidy.
Jordan McCallum made 32 saves for the Blues, who fired a combined 31 shots at a pair of Barrhead goalies, Logan Branden and Dylen Starman.
Stettler outlasted Whitecourt in Saturday’s high-scoring contest.
“I’m not sure if we underestimated their 0-10 record, but midway through the second period, we were trailing 4-1,” said coach McCallum.
“After a timeout, we rallied with five straight goals to end the second (with a 6-4 lead). It was a sloppy 8-6 win, but it was a win.”
Rookie Matt Sylvester potted a goal and two assists for Stettler, which also got goals from Cooke, Werbowesky, Drew Cassidy, Quade Cassidy, Kieran Rost, Cody Ball and Ethan Rost.
McCallum blocked 22 shots in the Stettler net.
Logan Emery had a hat trick for Whitecourt.
Friday night at Ponoka, Wolves goalie Leeland Averill made 34 saves to shut out the Blues.
McCallum registered 21 saves for Stettler in a busy weekend between the pipes.
Kellyn Pritchard and Jordan Wombald each picked up a goal and an assist for host Ponoka.
“It was a penalty-filled affair in which we ended up coming out on the short side of a 2-0 game,” coach McCallum said.
“Our failure to score on two 5-on-3 chances was our undoing, and Ponoka scored on a power play and buried a 2-on-1 late in the third period.
“The positive we took from the game is that we didn’t let the bigger and rougher Ponoka team push us around.”
This weekend, the Blues face a tough test when they travel to Innisfail on Saturday for an 8 p.m. date with the high-powered Flyers.