As the Pontiacs head to Fort McMurray to face the Oil Barons tonight, Assistant Coach Larry Draper says the atmosphere among the squad couldn’t be better thanks to the leadership of Captain #89, Steenn Pasichnuk and Assistant Captain, #9 Bobby McMann.
“Our leadership group, head by Steen Pasichnuk and Bobby McMann, have done a great job,” Assistant Coach Draper explains, “they’ve got the guys dialed in and focused. From our standpoint, the coaching staff, we couldn’t ask for it to be any better.”
Draper says Coach Rick Swann, trainer Tara Cook, Assistant Coach Mark Jensen, and he have been working on a variety of aspects, of the game, to prepare the Pontiacs for the Oil Barons, a team known to Bonnyville as being tough, with games often becoming very heated. “We do what we’ve always done,” Assistant Coach Drapers describes the training the squad is put through when preparing for games, “right from the start the boys play with the framework of our structure, we don’t change that.” There are off-ice elements involved, “Coach Swann talks to the boys about good sleep and hydration and nutrition,” Draper says the team is encouraged to be proactive with their health, “talking to the trainer, Tara, about any concerns they have about their health or injuries.”
The exhibition season serves as a great opportunity for the coaching staff to analyze the line ups and move players around, explains Draper. “Tonight we have eight rookies, or newbies, we’re taking a look at the new guys tonight to see if they’re able to manage playing at this level.” The Pontiacs have a few more exhibition games before they head into the regular season; including a home game Friday, September 4th at 7:00 pm at the RJ Lalonde Arena and an away game Saturday at Whitecourt verses the Wolverines. The Poniacs have a 1-2-0 record in the exhibition season thus far.
Regular season kicks off with the home openers on September 11th, 2015 when the Yaks welcome rivals the Lloydminster Bobcats to town for 7:30 pm.