Pontiacs fall short 3-1 at the RJ Lalonde Arena
The Bonnyville Jr A Pontiacs’ win streak has ended after a loss to the Brooks Bandits Friday night at the RJ Lalonde Arena. Head Coach of the Bonnyville Pontiacs, Rick Swan, said quite frankly the team was not as prepared as he would’ve liked.
“We just didn’t come with the physical preparation and investment that’s required to play against a top team,” Coach Swan says the Brooks Bandits were able to keep the Pontiacs shots down and scoring opportunities to a minimum, “we’ve been really successful offensively.” With no scoring in the first period and only 11 shots on net between both clubs, Brooks 7 & Pontiacs 4, Coach Swan says the Bandits took control of the Pontiac’s strong offense.
The Bandits Arnaud Vachon from Tyrell Mappin opened up the scoring 3:00 into the second period, while Ryan Piche was serving the last nine seconds of a tripping penalty. “It may not have been the results we wanted, but I think it’s a real learning opportunity. We can grow from it.” Coach Swan says other teams are coming into the game looking to take out the Pontiacs, “we’re the top team, we hadn’t lost in eight games. Our guys have to recognize there’s a tremendous amount of responsibility to shoulder when you’re a first place. You have to know teams are coming in and bringing their very, very best. Your preparation has to be rock solid.”
Opening the third period, Brandon Whistle put in an unassisted goal on Bandits’ goalie, Mitchel Benson. It would be the sole Yak goal of the goal, with two more Brooks’ goals to close out the last 20 minutes of play. Cale Makar and Nic Hamre collected the points on the last two goals for the Bandits, to make it a 3-1 final.
“These are Jr A players, who don’t have to go to school, they don’t work full time. Their only number one responsibility that they need to be accountable for, is to be ready,” Coach Swan says he’ll be reinforcing coming to the rink prepared with the squad. “If they want to be a top tiered team in the Alberta Hockey League they need to know that these teams are going to come out [against them] and they’re going to bring their best games.”
The Bonnyville Pontiacs face the Okotoks Oilers tonight at the RJ. WIN your way in through LCN!