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Saturday , 16 October 2021

Pontiacs will face Whitecourt in first round after best regular season in franchise history

Image provided by http://gamereadyphotography.com. Isaac Saniga crashes the net and scores the game’s first goal against the Whitecourt Wolverines on Sunday. The Pontiacs won 8-2.

The Bonnyville Pontiacs have broken a franchise record for most wins in a season reaching 41 victories after two routes this weekend.

The team finishes second in the AJHL North Division (41-15-4) and will face the Whitecourt Wolverines (21-36-2) in the first round, which is believed to start Thursday at home.

“We felt a little bit better after our last loss, even though it was our 5th in a row, just because times we showed glimpses of the team we were for our first 53 games,” said Coach Rick Swan following Friday’s 8-1 win over the Lloydminster Bobcats.

Bobcats and Wolverines

The Pontiacs got back to their winning ways after a five-game losing streak plagued them down the stretch in February and knocked them from first place this weekend.

Sunday was a preview of the Pontiacs first-round series where the Yaks might’ve just set the tone with an 8-2 win.

Lucas Thorne had four points and Marc Benoit scored a hat trick and capped off his season leading point totals at 64 (32 goals, 32 assists).

Benoit and captain Grayson Constable each finish with a point-per-game or higher season stats.

The team appears to have worked out some frustration. In fact, Swan said the team practiced for the Frustration Cup and abandoned all structure and drills after Wednesday’s loss to Spruce Grove.

The Pontiacs are 6-0 against Whitecourt this season.

Young d-man may get a look

A local defenseman playing in Lloydminster may be called upon to suit up for the Pontiacs this post-season.

AJ Macaulay filled in for the suspended Matt Monk and injured Luke Albert, registered a point, and was given starting ice-time to begin the game.

Swan said that the Pontiacs will be respectful of Macaulay’s team and his coaches, but did not rule the possibility that Macaulay could play for the Yaks this playoffs.

“We want him with us as much as we can. He’s going to be a big part of our future. You just look at how simple he plays the game with his high hockey IQ, he’s just like a veteran player and we really appreciated him being up here this weekend and we’re really excited for what the future holds with him in the lineup with the Bonnyville Pontiacs,” said Swan.

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.