The Bonnyville Pontiacs had a tough start to the regular season, the boys are 1-4-1 going into week 3. Assistant Coach Larry Draper says don’t let the stats fool you, the guys are ready to take on the Wolverines tonight in Whitecourt.
“We didn’t have a stellar weekend, that’s for sure,” Draper says of the two out of three games losses the team experienced over the weekend. However, he was impressed by the fact that the Yaks took the Wolverines to OT, whereas in the pre-season they fell 6-1 to the same team. The first week and a half saw the team hit the ice six times, against tough opponents, Lloydminster, Spruce Grove, Whitecourt and Grande Prairie. Despite the losses, Draper says the coaches were able to use the weekend the gauge the team’s performance, “in the end, it has shown the coaching staff where we’re at and where we need to get to.”
Going into the weekend, voice of the Pontiacs Robb Hunter, stated that a win versus Grande Prairie was important for the team’s morale, Draper had to agree with that, “it’s important, for young people especially, to have something to measure their game by. Winning that hockey game helped them. They said, ‘ok now we can win, we can play in this league.’ and I think that helped them.”
The team’s new goaltender, Oliver Charest, is a force, says Draper, “he played in all three games, that’s looking good.” 20-year-old Charest comes from Quebec and when the team heard he was available they scooped him up. “He’s new to the league, we got word he was available and we brought him in for a two-week trial.” So far the trial has been going very well, says Draper, “it looks like he’s gonna stick.”
It’s not just behind the net, says Draper, “we’re quite dynamic upfront, we got a lot of great forwards and I think we’re going to do well this year.”
The squad is loading on the bus at noon to head to Whitecourt tonight at 7:30pm. Friday the team is in Spruce Grove, hoping for a better outcome than what they’ve experienced against these teams so far this year. Saturday they’re home to take on the Brooks Bandits, a team they have yet to meet this year. Puck drops at 7:30pm at the RJ.