Image: Game Ready Photography.
The Bonnyville Sr. Pontiacs bid for a North Central Hockey League title begins on Saturday.
After the regular season wrapped up last weekend, the Sr. Pontiacs finished the year with a 2-12 record. While it wasn’t the mark the group was necessarily hoping for, they do get to erase the past against the Lacombe Generals in a best-of-five series.
“We’ve seen Lacombe’s lineup twice. It was the same lineup, so we know what we’re up against,” said coach Corey Wandler approaching the matchup.
The Generals boast a record of 11-1 this season and earned the first President’s Cup as the NCHL’s regular season top team overall. Known as a well-rounded offensive club, they don’t have a top-10 scorer, while the Sr. Pontiacs have two.
Denis Cadrin has led the way offensively with 4 goals and 16 assists this year, while Lucas Isley has been the top trigger man with 12 goals, almost one-per-game.
One area that Bonnyville could find success is through special teams. The Sr. Pontiacs have surrendered the fewest goals while shorthanded in the league (8) and are top three on the powerplay as well.
“We’re going to need depth. Hopefully we can get a full D core in and a goalie that’s going to give us timely saves. Our special teams have been good all year. We’ve been top 3 in special teams all year on both sides,” said Wandler.
“The biggest question is, their starting goalie didn’t play the two games against us. He played in every other game and he’s running with a 2.42 GAA.”
Bonnyville will host Game 2 on home ice on Sunday night at the RJ Lalonde Arena. Puck drop is 7pm. If the Pontiacs can force a Game 4, the series will shift back to Bonnyville on Sunday, February 13.
Round one schedule:
- Game 1 at Lacombe | Saturday, Feb. 5
- Game 2 in Bonnyville | Sunday, Feb. 6, 7:00pm puckdrop
- Game 3 at Lacombe | Saturday, Feb. 12
- *Game 4 in Bonnyville | Sunday, February 13 4:30pm puckdrop
- *Game 5 at Lacombe | Saturday, Feb. 19
Games 4 and 5 if necessary.