Bonnyville advances to second round after two wins on the road
The series started out interesting for the Pontiacs. A 2-1 loss in game one to the Crusaders put the Pontiacs behind the eight ball early. Bonnyville would respond to take the series 3-1.
Game three in Sherwood Park saw the series begin the night at one game apiece. Bonnyville was looking for offense that hadn’t really been seen in the first two games of the series. They would get it. Sherwood Park struck first shorthanded on a goal by Ryan Rebelato. Bonnyville would answer back on a Mitchell Oliver goal to even it at 1-1. The Cru would score another in the period and take the lead into the intermission. Ryan Piche scored a hat-trick in the second period, and Sherwood Park would score twice on the powerplay. It was a 4-4 game headed into the third period.
The Pontiacs took the lead 25 seconds into the final frame. PJ Morrocco scored the goal. Jesse Zaharichuk scored the Crusaders’ third powerplay goal of the game to tie it just less than 10 minutes in. Derek Brown put the game away for the Pontiacs. Ryan Symington added an empty netter to make the final 7-5.
“We won the game. We’re up two games to one, and the fans must have loved it because it was almost last shot goes in wins.” Pontiacs Coach Rick Swan said.
Game four was again in Sherwood Park on Monday night. The Pontiacs had a chance to clinch the series. Ryan Piche and Derek Brown would jump start the Yaks to a 2-0 lead just two minutes and change into the first period. Chase Torontow and Koletrain Wilson struck back for Sherwood Park to even the game at 2-2 headed into the locker rooms after the first. Symington netted his second in as many games to give the Pontiacs the lead. They would cruise the rest of the way, putting up two more goals (Podgorenko, Piche) to win 5-2.
“I know it’s difficult to ask them to do, but to be resilient enough to go through those aches and pains, and do whatever they can for the team… It’s a team effort.” Coach Swan said of the gutty series win.
Next up for the Pontiacs…
The Pontiacs clinched the series 3-1 in Sherwood Park with the 5-2 victory. Bonnyville will now face the Fort McMurray Oil Barons. The series begins Saturday in Fort McMurray. The Oil Barons are coming off a first round bye after finishing first in the North Division.