July 17th, 2024

Cubs fall against Bisons, beat Ponoka

By JAMES TUBB on October 31, 2023.

Medicine Hat Cubs forward Jacob Hazzard loads up for a shot in the first period of the Cubs' 10-0 win Sunday afternoon at the Kinplex over the Ponoka Stampeders.--NEWS PHOTO JAMES TUBB

jtubb@medicinehatnews.com@ReporterTubb

The Medicine Hat Cubs split their weekend in seesaw fashion.

The Cubs lost 7-1 Saturday night against the now Southern division leading Okotoks Bisons before beating the Ponoka Stampeders 10-0 Sunday afternoon.

Okotkoks continues to haunt the Cubs who have lost to their division rivals in the South finals for the last two seasons. Head coach and general manager Randy Wong says they failed miserably against the Bisons and allowed them to gain momentum while the Cubs couldn’t grasp any.

“They beat us to the pucks, they beat us to the battles and we just didn’t play well against them and that’s disappointing,” Wong said. “But the guys understand what to do and we have to make sure we can execute that.

“We’ll get another chance mid-November to go there and play against them. So we said to our staff, we want to be a good team and we got schooled on what it takes to be a good team. So if the guys take that to heart, it will be fine. If they come in there and we’re ready to compete against them next time, that’s all we can ask.”

Brady Mahar had the Cubs’ lone goal against Okotoks and Dominik Jagielsk made 40 saves in a game where Medicine Hat was outshot 47-25.

Sunday’s bloated win wasn’t a surprise even though anything can happen in junior hockey, and the Cubs weren’t looking to hand Ponoka their second win on the season.

Darnell Glasgow and Kyle Woolridge each had hat tricks and both Jacob Hazzard and Perret Harty totalled a goal with three assists. Caleb Garrecht added a goal and an assist and Jesse Klimosko rounded out the scoring with a goal of his own. Jamal Shaw and Josh Drefs recorded three helpers each and goaltender Tyler Wakelam turned aside all 20 shots he faced for his first HJHL shutout.

“We have played them once so we knew what kind of a result it was going to be so it was a matter of making sure they don’t get into any bad habits,” Wong said. “We were able to play some guys who don’t normally play, which is nice in these games to give them some experience and that’s part of it, too. Get guys reps and get them in the game to make them feel good about being part of the mission accomplished here, because they played well, they really competed hard when they got an opportunity.”

Coming off the 1-1 weekend, the Cubs’ record sits at 9-2 as they trail Okotoks by two points. While no loss is wanted, Wong says there is some value in Saturday’s loss if learned from and they can apply next time.

“Unfortunately we don’t get a chance to evaluate ourselves until that next time, so we can only hope that was a big learning lesson to understand what it really takes,” Wong said. “Some guys maybe thought they knew what it takes but we got schooled a bit on what it really takes. So we’ll go into Okotoks and fire it up again to make sure we’re ready to compete and battle in that game.”

The Cubs’ next shot at Okotoks is Nov. 17 on the road. Before then, they head to Strathmore on Saturday to face the Wheatland Kings before hosting the Three Hills Thrashers on Sunday at the Kinplex.

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