In, what voice of the Bonnyville Pontiacs’ Robb Hunter described as, “one of the most exciting games of the year”, the Bonnyville Jr A Pontiacs have fallen short 5-4 to the Srpuce Grove Saints. Head Coach, of the Pontiacs, Rick Swan, says he was very impressed with the way the team played and how they generated chances against one of the toughest teams in the AJHL.
“Especially with five key players out of the line up,” Swan explains.
- Zach Mills, day-to-day with an upper body injury
- Brandon Whistle, day-to-day with a lower body injury
- Ryan Smythington with 5-6 weeks with upper body injury
- Brinson Pasichnuk CJHL Prospects Game
- Ben Mack Game Misconduct from January 16 game vs Camrose Kodiaks
Coach Swan says there was some elite scouts in the audience at Friday’s game, “I had some NCAA coaches come up and say, ‘hey, that was a great game and you guys have a great team.'” Spruce Grove opened the scoring in the first with two goals from Nicolas Correale at 6:21 and 17:23. Correale would go on to get a hat trick with the third goal coming from him and for the team in the second. But, not before Bonnyville was able to put two in, Ryan Piche scored on the power play, from Steenn Pasichnuk at 1:24 of the second and Derek Brown from Chad Hurtubise and Chandler Klein at 7:48.
The Pontiacs closed the second with another goal to make it a 3-3 game. Gen Bryshun would get the goal, with Piche and Hurtubise picking up points. “I was a little frustrated, as a coach, because I felt like we just handed them two goals [in the first].” Coach Swan says it was the early goals that the Pontiacs never truly recovered from, “if we would’ve played Pontiac hockey we don’t allow those mistakes to come back and haunt us. With a team like Spruce Grove, and really any team, as we move forward with playoffs, if you give them those types of oppotunities to capitalize offensively, they’re going to come back and haunt you.”
Josh Borynec took the lead in the third with an assist from Captain, S. Pasichnuk, but the victory didn’t hold, the Saints put two quick ones in at 12:38 and 13:07 to win the game 5-4. “We’re going to look at the glass being half full and we’re going to look at getting back to the drawing board, so our hockey club can look at minimizing those mistakes. Certainly, get to be the team that we really like,” states Swan.
There were some standouts from Friday, says Swan, notably Alden Dupuis, “who has a raspberry on his cheek because the guy’s working hard, all the time and standing up to their biggest guys.” S. Pasichnuk had a great game, as well, says the Coach, “putting it out and working hard.” Bobby McMann had a stellar performance, says Swan.
Our best players were out best players. Knowing that we have a collective group, willing to work as hard as they are. We can’t have passengers in order for the Bonnyville Pontiacs to achieve the kind of success that we want. -Rick Swan Head Coach Jr A Bonnyville Pontiacs
The Bonnyville Pontiacs next action is Saturday night against the Olds Grizzly’s. The Pontiacs will retire Mark Letestu’s jersey with a special pre-game ceremony, be in the stands by 6:45 pm to ensure you get in on all the action! Win tickets on LCN.