Midget A Blues tie Edson after loss to Ponoka

The Stettler Legion Blues managed to pick up a point last weekend as they hit the road for two North Central Minor Hockey Association games.

The Stettler Legion Blues managed to pick up a point last weekend as they hit the road for two North Central Minor Hockey Association games. The Blues tied Edson 3-3 on Saturday after losing 4-3 to the Ponoka Wolves on Friday.

Blues assistant captain Chase Cooke of Castor scored the equalizer with five minutes left in Saturday’s game at Edson. Kieran Rost and Matt Sylvester netted the other Stettler goals, and Jordan McCallum blocked 33 shots. Matthew Komo, with two goals and an assist, figured in all three Edson goals, and Jesse Thompson recorded 21 saves.

“The (Stettler) team felt happy with the tie, as it seemed we couldn’t get much of a break with some of the (referee) calls,” said Blues co-manager and assistant coach Neil McCallum. “Over the past year, a real rivalry has developed between the two teams. It was Edson we faced in the (2013) provincial final, in which we won in the final few seconds. This season, we tied 1-1 here (in Stettler) and won 3-2 and, in our previous game there, we lost 4-3 on a goal we are sure went in after the buzzer.

“The game Saturday was a back-and-forth affair, with Stettler having a first-period lead only to see Edson come back with power-play goals on one 5- on-3 and another as a 5-on-3 just ended. Stettler tied it up before the second ended on a power play of their own. In the third, Edson took the lead again on a tipped point shot on their third 5-on-3 advantage. The Blues battled back and tied it up with 4:59 to go on a nice 3-on-2 rush. The final minutes saw lots of close calls, but nothing was decided.”

Stettler has a 9-12-3 record for third place in the South Division. Edson is second in the North with a 10-7-5 slate.

Ponoka (15-5-4) is second only to Innisfail (18-5-1) in the South Division.

“It was a difficult game (Friday), with the veteran-laden Ponoka team trying to intimidate the smaller, younger Blues team,” said Stettler coach/manager McCallum. “We were proud of our level of competitiveness and looking forward to seeing them in the playoffs.”

Rost, the Stettler captain, collected a goal and an assist against the Wolves. Cooke and Zach Werbowesky also scored for Stettler, while Jordan McCallum made 41 saves.

Kellyn Pritchard, with the lone third-period goal, scored his second goal of the game with 11 minutes remaining. Aaron Lamb blocked 21 shots.

Stettler wraps up the regular season this weekend. The Blues visit Rocky Mountain House on Friday and host Whitecourt on Saturday.

On Monday, the Blues head to Sherwood Park for the first game of a two-game, total-goal provincial qualifying series. Game 2 goes Feb. 21 at Stettler. The series winner advances to the provincials at Slave Lake.