The Bonnyville Sr Pontiacs opened the regular season with a short bench and a shortfall to the Devon Barons, 7-6. Head Coach Neil Langridge says it was a tough to start the season, but he’s confident with a full bench the team will be able to compete with any other team in the league.
“It was a tough night,” Langrdige says of the game against the Barons, “we had three lines, a short bench. But, we still had a good effort from the guys. The next night in Mornville we ended up winning 6-1, we had a few more guys come out for the Sunday game. They really made the difference.”
“I have to give the Barons credit, they skated with us and competed the whole night, I think with a full squad they never would’ve been able to do that,” Langridge states.
The Sr Pontaics have quite a few former Jr A Pontiacs, which should help strengthen the squad, says Langridge, “around 10-12 are ex-Jr A Pontiacs, of the 20 or so on the team. The others are all ex-Jr A or college players from around the area.”
Langridge comes to the team with an impressive resume, he coached the Jr B Cold Lake Ice to four straight Championships, before joining the Sr Pontiacs last season as an assistant coach. This year he takes the reigns as the head coach. Langrdige helped the team finish top of the now disbanded Beaver River League in 2014-15, which had them compete at Senior Men’s Provincials, where the team took home the bronze medal.
The Sr. Pontiacs are now in the newly formed North Central Hockey League, Langridge says the new league will be a lot more competitive for the team, “it’s a good thing, we went from four teams to 12. We’re going to see teams that we’d never see before, unless we were in provincials. That means we’ll need a higher competitive effort every night. Our goal is to have that gold medal when it comes provincial team, but first we gotta try to win a new league that’s very unfamiliar for us.”
The Home Opener for the Sr Pontiacs is Saturday versus the Big Valley Oil Kings at 7:00 pm. The game will serve as the banner raising for the Battle River Championship from last season.
Sunday the Sr Pontiacs are home to Slave Lake at 4:00 pm.