The Bonnyville Jr A Pontiacs suffer a 4-2 loss to the Camrose Kodiaks in their first game back home, at the RJ Lalonde Arena, in over a month. If you were to keep your eyes off the scoreboard, one would think the Pontiacs took the win; however sometimes what happens on the ice, doesn’t translate on the scoreboard. Head Coach, for the Pontiacs, Rick Swan, says the penalties got to the boys, who outshot the Kodiaks 33-23.
“We can’t create the success that we want and strive for, when we spend that amount of time in the penalty box,” the Pontiacs tallied up 52 minutes in the box. Including two ten minute game misconducts, one from Trygve Many Guns 3:55 in the second, that included a five minute major for fighting and another from Gen Bryshun 30 seconds left in the game, that came with a five minute major for hitting from behind. Bryshun’s fate, in regards to suspensions, is unknown at the time of this publication. “We know we have to be more disciplined, after the whistle and before the whistle,” says Coach Swan.
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The first period got underway until 16:25, when the Kodiaks’ Eddie May put in a goal. The Pontiacs skated off the ice at the buzzer with 10 shots on net, against Camrose’s Patrick Gora. As for the Pontiacs’ netminder, Robert Jacobson… he took on 12 shots on net, letting on one goal to close the period 1-0 Kodiaks.
The penalty box’s rotating door opened and closed for the Yaks the most, with 25 minutes of cooling off time handed down to the boys. “With all that, we competed hard. We worked hard. It was never non-negotiable tonight, it was never a question (whether the team wanted the win),” Coach Swan says had the team been more disciplined in regards to penalties, surely there would’ve been a different outcome. Affiliate for the Pontiacs, Garin Butler answered the Kodiaks two minutes into the second from Riley Smith to tie up the game; however amidst all the drama, penalty-wise, Camrose’s Joseph Tambasco managed to put in the go-ahead and the Kodiaks maintain the lead out of the second.
We can’t play AJHL hockey in the penalty box. – Rick Swan Head Coach Bonnyville Jr A Pontiacs
The third opened with power play goal from Camrose’s Josh Zablocki, while Ryan Symington was in the box for elbowing. The goal was followed up with an unassisted goal from Camrose’s Ryan Hartman to give the Kodiaks a 4-1 lead at 12:27. Just over a minute later, Alden Dupuis, with help from Derek Brown and Mitchell Oliver close the gap a little for the Pontiacs, on the power play. His efforts weren’t enough to rally the troops into taking the game; which closed 4-2 in favour of Camrose.
“We were positive on the bench, we competed hard, we killed, a heck of a lot of penalties. Overall, we know that we can fix the penalty situation. The players understand that that’s something that we can’t do.” The squad is back on the road for a Sunday afternoon game against Fort McMurray. “We’re going to take the positives with us,” Coach Swan says, “we’ve got a good group of guys and we had a better response (against Camrose) in regards to our emotions and physical play.” The club will be carrying the positives with them to take on the Oil Barons, Sunday at 2:00 pm. Watch for the post-game reports thanks to Lake City Coach.