The Bonnyville Sr. Pontiacs are making their way to Daysland to meet the Northstars in the first of many road games to come. In fact, the Sr. Pontiacs won’t return to Bonnyville Ice until December 12th.
The game in Daysland serves as the Northstars home opener, Head Coach of the Sr. Pontiacs, Neil Langridge hopes to ruin the occasion by capturing the win in Daysland’s barn. “Last year, we had quite a bit of success against them,” explains Langridge. Daysland is one of the only teams to join the Sr. Pontiacs in the North Central Senior Men’s Hockey League from the now disbanded Battle River Hockey League. “There’s quite the rivalry building between us. This is their home opener, we’re looking to spoil the festivities for them.”
The Sr. Pontiacs have been a force this season, with only one loss under their belts, they lead the North Division with 8 points. The team they lost to, the Devon Oil Barons, are leading the South Division with 10 points. “We were a little bit short benched that game,” explains Langridge. At the start of the season, some players hadn’t fully committed to the team with school and work commitments. Now that the players have arranged their day jobs to it their passions, hockey, the Sr. Pontiacs have been successful in their four games following the meeting with Devon.
“No excuses, it was a wake up call. Since then we’ve outscored our opponents by a pretty high margin,” states Landridge. Bonnyville’s success rate this season includes a 6-1 win versus Mornville, 11-2 over Big Valley, 13-2 over Slave Lake and their latest game against Tofield 8-0.
“We’ve played about half the league and still have half to see,” Langridge says not knowing most of the other teams, and having never met them before is, “kinda nice. It’s uncharted territory for us.”
There are a few teams that the team will have their guard on for, including Westlock. On the 28th, the squad meets the Warriors, who won the North Central League Championship last year and met Bonnyville in Provincials at the Bronze medal game. Bonnyville ended up taking that game and the medal after a hard-fought battle.
There’s still going to be teams that we’re unfamiliar with and it’s going to be fun to play them – Head Coach Neil Langride
“We don’t look too far ahead of the schedule, one game at a time and go from there.” The Sr. Pontiacs play Daysland tonight, then travel to Slave Lake next Friday. The boys return to the RJ December 12th versus Westlock at 8:00 pm.