The Bonnyville Jr A Pontiacs have continued their win streak to eight after a close 5-4 finish over the Canmore Eagles at home. The win Friday came with more of a struggle then the team would like to see.
Assistant Coach Mark Jensen says an early penalty was a factor behind the close score, “We came out and took an early penalty, got down one on the penalty kill right away. It wasn’t the ideal start for us, but we fought back quick and had a strong finish to the [first] period.” After 30 minutes the Pontiacs were down 2-1, with a goal from winger, Kyle Hehn, #26.
“From there we started to take over and play the game more.” Jensen feels the score doesn’t reflect the game, as the Pontiacs game out on top play-wise, “the score was a little closer than we feel the game was.” Even though the boys pulled out a win, Jensen feels there’s some improving that can be done, “it wasn’t our strongest performance by any means, maybe not prepared as we have been for this game.” It’s a common occurrence when a team gets on a win-streak, says Jensen, “it’s common when a group of kids this age get on a win-streak, sometimes they get complacent and we just need to remind them that you gotta prepare yourself the same way, every game, no matter who you’re playing. Whether it’s a north division opponent, or a south.”
Winger, Chad Hurtubise, #19, says the team may not have had their A game but they were able to finish the battle, “we had a slow start, we just couldn’t get our legs under us early. We dominated most of the game, their goalie played well and we started capitalizing on those chances. We found a way to win and that’s what good teams do.”
“Our line with Chad Hurtubise, Chandler Klein (#17) , Charlie Gawlicki (#28), those guys were buzzing tonight,” Jensen was particularly impressed by the line-mates’ performances, “taking pucks down low and Canmore really couldn’t take it away from them. So they took it to the net and started banging away, and got some success that way.”
In the second, Klein recorded a goal off Gawlicki and Hurtubise, a goal Hurtubise says came from a joint effort to pick up the rebounds, “all three of us went to the net trying to track a rebound and it ended up popping out to me. Me and Charlie [Gawlicki] took a couple wacks at it, but couldn’t get it. Then [Klein] put it in, which was good to see.”
Heading into the third the squad took a 3-2 lead with goals from centermen, Klein and Alden Dupius, #22. Dupuis goal came was a dual assist from line-mates, Captain Steen Pasichnuk, #89, and Ryan Rothenburger, #44. The Eagles were scoreless in the second.
The final period saw centerman Bobby McMann, #9, record an unassisted goal. The Eagles came back to score another, before the Pontiacs’ winger Rothenburger popped one in, off #24 Brad Bigsby, to make the game 5-3. The Eagles were able to put the puck in the net before the call of the game to give the Pontiacs a tight 5-4 victory.
The team recorded five goals, from five different players; which goes to show the depth of the players on the squad, explains Jensen, “look at our game winning goal tonight, it’s a rookie. Everyone was going to the net hard.”
Tonight the Pontiacs are home to the Calgary Mustangs tonight at 7:30 at the RJ Lalonde Arena.