The Bonnyville Pontiacs started the season on Friday. Both this games this weekend were against rival Lloydminster. Lloydminster took the season opener 4-2, with the Pontiacs winning their home opener 4-0.
Young line up tight to open season
“Last night, you know first game of the season, we could have easily came out of there with a win. [Lloydminster] played well last night. Tonight it’s our turn in the R.J. Lalonde Arena in front of what will hopefully be a packed house. After seeing them once last night, four times in the pre-season, and number six tonight I think we should see some tempers flare.” Assistant Coach Neil Langridge said pre-game of the Pontiacs home opener.
In the season opener Friday, Mark Gray opened the scoring for the Lloydminster Bobcats. The score was 1-0 going into the second. Daniel Rybarik extended the Bobcats lead to two 1:53 into the second. Brayden Goulet netted the opening goal of the season for the Pontiacs. The moment was short-lived as the Bobcats pushed their lead to 3-1 going into the third. PJ Morrocco cut the Bobcats lead to one with a powerplay goal just three minutes into the third. Things looked good for the Pontiacs, but it was a situation unfamiliar to some young guys. The Bobcats Zach Webb took advantage of some Pontiac nervousness, and scored the clinching goal 23 seconds after Pontiacs goal. The Bobcats won the game 4-2.
Pontiacs bounce back at home
Losing to start the season was sure to start a fire in the Pontiacs game. The Pontiacs faced the Bobcats for the second straight night. The two rivals were determined to prove a point.
In the first period, The Pontiacs controlled the pace of play. Derek Brown opened the scoring for the Yaks. Joel Ray would add another for the Pontiacs headed into the first intermission. The Bobcats pushed back in the second period, but the Cats couldn’t score.
“Started out really strong in the first period. Couple of penalties, but our PK weathered the storm. We gotta stay out of the book against these guys. If we stay five on five, we’ll be just fine.” Newly minted Pontiacs Captain Charlie Gawlicki said in the second intermission.
Just fine the Pontiacs were. The Yaks stayed out of the box in the third, and added two more goals. Brandon Whistle, and Derek Brown both scored powerplay goals to push the lead to 4-0. That would be the final score for the Pontiacs over top of the Bobcats. They now both sit 1-1-0 on the season. Sandro Silvestre recorded the shut out for the Bonnyville Pontiacs.
From the Coach point of view
“You gotta play this game with emotion. If you can recharge, you can create that positive energy in terms of what you want to accomplish out there… One thing we want our players to know this year is that this is our house. It’s difficult to play against when you build the character of your team as hard to play against here.” Head Coach Rick Swan said post-game.
From the GM point of view
“When the season is over there’s a tremendous amount of work put in to get to this point right here. We changed much of our board, and the direction of our organization… If our vision is to be the best junior A organization in the country, we have to make sure we look at it from a whole perspective. We think we’re going in the right direction.” GM and Head Coach Rick Swan explained post-game, “