Despite an early scoring frenzy, the Imperials just couldn’t hang on to their lead in their matinee game against the Sedgewick Sabres.
A rescheduled game, puck-drop was at 3:15 p.m. on Jan. 15 at the Stettler Recreation Centre in front of a full house.
The Imperials kicked off scoring early, with forward Adam Ternes notching the first goal of the game, and his third of the season, 22 seconds into the opening period. Devan Shanks added another marker less than four minutes later. Brenden Tucker marked the third goal of the game, and fourth of the season, just before the halfway mark of the period.
Sedgewick took one penalty in the first, a two minute holding call against forward Dean Brodie at the 14:45 mark. The Imperials took three penalties in the period, the first was against JJ Fournier at 14:45, also for holding. Brett Mulbach hit the penalty box a couple minutes later, at 11:37 for a hooking call. Defenceman Austin Stahlberg hit the box for two minutes with six minutes left in the period.
Total shots in the period were 12 for the Imperials and 10 for the Sabres.
Heading into the second period, the Sabres began gaining ground, first with a goal by defenceman Nick Dunn, notching his third of the year, at the 11-minute mark, which was followed by a power-play goal by forward Kyle Sanders, scoring his tenth of the season, at the 8:09 mark.
Penalties in the third period were all Stettler. Forward Kieran Rost went off for two at the 9:25 mark for slashing, and Brett Mulbach ended up with a pair of penalties at the 1:40 mark. Mulbarch had two-minute minor for head-conduct plus a 10-minute game misconduct.
Shots ending the second period were 18-8 in favour of the Sabres.
The Imperials got on the board again just over two-and-a-half minutes into the third period with a goal by Kieran Rost, who scored his sixth goal of the season.
However, the Sabres answered back, with a goal by Dalton Zemanek, a mere 14 seconds later, again reducing Stettler’s lead to one. The Sabres scored again five-seconds later, tying the game, with another goal by Sanders. At the 14:35 mark the Sabres struck again, this time with a goal by Evan Armstrong, allowing his team to take the lead for the first time in the game. The Sabres struck again at 7:21 with a goal by Clay Lang. Zemanek finished the scoring at 1:08, sinking an empty-net goal.
The only player to take a penalty in the third period was Sabre Clay Lang, who picked up two-minutes for slashing at 11:31.
Shots on goal in the third were 19-12 in favour of the Imperials, with a total shots of 40-39 in favour of Sedgewick.
The final score was 7-4 for second-place Sedgewick. Stettler dropped back down to fourth in the standings.
The next home game is Jan. 20 when Stettler tries to get back in the win column against the sixth-place Hughendon Jets. Puck-drop is at 8 p.m.