On Tuesday, the Jr A Bonnyville Pontiacs recorded their first shutout of the season and the first shutout as a Pontiac for rookie goalie Oliver Charest. Oliver is a dynamic force between the pipes says Assistant Coach Larry Draper, “he’s really a great addition to the team and proved himself on Tuesday versus Whitecourt.”
Since acquiring Charest the team has come more alive and the pressure is off for the young guys on the team says Draper, “they know they have [Charest] there so there’s not that pressure of everything laying on them. They can mess up a little and he’s in the net to protect them.” Messing up is a part of learning and a part of the game, explains Draper, “the boys, especially the young ones, have to know that it’s okay to make a mistake and learn from that. Too much pressure can be bad for them.” Especially when you have as many rookies as the Pontiacs do this year.
Draper says the vets on the team are great at helping the young guys learn from their mistakes and evaluate game play, “it’s not just about them playing. We have great veterans on our squad and they help those young guys. Show them what they could’ve done different and help them evaluate their game.”
The Pontiacs picked up 17 year old goalie Josh Williams, who will serve as the back-up goalie, says Draper. “Both of our goalies are outstanding and you can really see what a difference they’ve made to the team.”
The Yaks had a rough start to the year, going 1-4-1 before meeting Whitecourt on Tuesday and taking the game 3-0. They travel to Spruce Grove tonight, the Saints have previously beaten the Pontiacs this season and are defending AJHL champs. Tonight’s game will be a true test of new goalie, Charest, and really give the Yaks an idea of where they stand in the league.
The Pontiacs will be home Saturday for a 7:30 pm game versus the Brooks Bandits at the RJ