The Bonnyville Jr A Pontiacs took the Grande Prairie Storm to the final minutes of the third to skate away with a 4-3 win at the RJ on Thursday. It was a tight game that got very heated in the final minutes, with star player Brinson Pasichnuk taking a game misconduct for fighting after the buzzer.
Assistant Coach Mark Jensen says the first period was where the squad shined most, “we controlled most of the play, had some chances.” The board didn’t light up in the first 20 minutes of play, but coming hard outta the gate in the second, Grande Prairie’s Luke Mahura lit it up, at 1:12. The scorekeeper didn’t need coffee to keep him awake after that, the Pontiacs answered back less than a minute later at 2:02 with a beauty of a welcome back present from Captain Steen Pasichnuk. Chandler Klein picked up his first of two assists of the evening on that goal, Carter Rhine also added to his growing point streak.
Jensen says the team keep the intensity going throughout the second, “we came out with the same fire we had in the first, we were able to capitalize.” The Pontiacs tallied up two more goals quickly, at 5:28 from defenseman Bryan Gerstenfeld (Klein and Alden Dupuis assist) and 6:14 from Brandon Whistle (Kyler Hehn assist). Grande Prairie were able to get another one in from Mahura mid-period at 11:52.
“We made some key mistakes in our zone,” says Jensen, “they got a few goals and we’re in a tighter hockey game then we should be.” The game got a little rougher in the second, a scuffle at 11:27 between the Storm’s Josh Zablocki and Pontiacs’ Erik Donald ended with both in the sin bin, Zablocki for head-butting and Donald for slashing. B. Pasichnuk spend some time thinking over his actions after a roughing penalty that would last into the third at 18:21.
In third, it was Grande Prairie who opened up the scoring once again, Brenden Wagner popped one in at 9:53. It was also Grande Prairie who set the tone for the final 20 minutes to be a rough one, at 3:27 Ian McLellan spent 12 minutes in the box for a checking from behind penalty lead to a game misconduct. Tensions rose after B. Pasichnuk scored at 14:03 off Bobby McMann to capture what would be the game winner.
That wasn’t the end of the fun, at buzzer B. Pasichnuk and GP’s Landon Vollman dance around the rink and both were handed game misconducts and five for fighting. “Definitely, not the prettiest win and we can sit here and dissect it all we want, but we gotta go home and regroup.”
That’s what we came here to do, get two points – Mark Jensen Assistant Coach Bonnyville Pontiacs
The 4-3 win was a celebration for goaltender, Josh Williams, who turned 18 on Thursday. The young net minder, who’s has never celebrated his birthday with a game before, says there were a couple goals he would like do-overs for, “but the team played hard in front of me and we were able to get the win and that’s all that matters.”
At the game the Pontiacs welcomed the Peewee Renegades as a way to congratulate the football club on their recent Provincial Championship. Jensen says the whole team was happy to have the club in attendance,”it was nice to have the Renegades here and once again congrats on the win. We thank them for coming and hoping that program they built through the Renegades, Bandits, and Voyageurs they continue to have success and show Bonnyville what winning’s like and the Pontiacs will try to follow suit!”