The Bonnyville Jr A Pontiacs have secured 4 of the possible 8 points on their five-day road trip down south with w 4-2 win in Calgary Tuesday and a 6-1 win in Canmore Wednesday. Head Coach Rick Swan says mentality has a lot to do with the Pontiacs’ success.
“One of the challenges, we had before the guys at the beginning of the game, was that belief is an incredibly powerful thing,” Swann explains, “good players and good teams believe that if they do good things within a framework or a structure, they’ll get rewarded at the end of the day. We had a really solid effort from 20 guys, and 20 guys who made sure they bought into that framework of the structure.”
The structure, says Swann, “is executing quick and hard on the defense, so you have more opportunity to play on offense.” Wednesday was a perfect example, with the Yaks opening up the scoring at 9:50, Bryan Gerstenfeld from Gen Bryshun and Steenn Pasichnuk. The Pontiacs secured the lead at thanks to Ryan Piche from Chad Hurtubise and Ryan Symington at 18:22.
The way we played the game today, in terms of shutting down a potent offensive team, we really managed the offensive and defensive blue line and I couldn’t ask for anything more – Rick Swan Head Coach Bonnyville Jr A Pontiacs
The Pontiacs’ top line, Bobby McMann, Brandon Whistle, and Kyler Hehn didn’t light up the board in Wednesday game, however as Coach Swan explains, they held off the Canmore Eagles’ top line, which incidentally is the top line in the league. “The depth that we’re creating here, look at the Alden Dupuis and Steen Pasichnuk line contributing. You look at the Derek Brown contributing. You’ve got an opportunity for our depth to step-up here; especially when [other teams] are matching and trying to get our top line off the score sheet.”
Really that’s what play off hockey is. If we can try to stimulate and emulate play off hockey in November & create that depth, those are the kind of hockey games we’re going to win. – Rick Swan Head Coach Bonnyville Jr A Pontiacs
The second period was all about the Pontiacs, as well, Derek Brown (from Alden Dupuis and Erik Donald) was first on the score sheet in the period at 2:56 off a power play. Then at 17:19 Chandler Klein popped one in, from Ryan Symington and Brinson Pasichnuk.
Dupuis has had a successful road trip, thus far having racked up 4 points, including a power play goal in the third at 1:53 from Gen Bryshun and Ryan Piche. “With Alden, it’s a simple challenge,” says Coach Swann, “have fun, get a smile on your face and play your game. He’s close to being our best player, every, single night. He plays the game the right way and the points are going to come.”
I’ve been focusing on the structure of the game, not points – Alden Dupuis #22 Bonnyville Jr A Pontiacs
The Canmore Easgles were able to put up one goal in third, their sole goal of the game at 2:47 (Braden Saretsky from Coy Prevost and Braiden Doucette). The Pontiacs were quick to answer back at 11:21, the second goal from Dupuis from Steenn Pasichnuk and Brinson Pasichnuk.
“It’s definitely a team effort,” says Dupuis who notes the team was in sync during the penalty kill, which was successful in 10 or 10 minutes short handed.
There’s positivity on the bench & that helps a lot – Alden Dupuis #22 Bonnyville Jr A Pontaics
Dupuis says by focusing on his job, he’s seen results of hard work, now for some rest. “We knew we had the day off Thursday, so we gave it our all and played the best we could, and it showed.”
The Pontiacs continue their road trip to Brooks, where they will face Bandits Friday.