Home to the Storm
The Bonnyville Pontiacs returned to action on Tuesday night. The Grande Prairie Storm paid a visit to the RJ Lalonde Arena for the Pontiacs third game. Coming in the POntiacs sat 1-1-0 on the season, and were hungry to get above .500. The Storm put up a battle, but the Pontiacs prevailed 3-2.
The Pontiacs came out firing in the first period, but couldn’t crack Storm goaltender Charles-Olivier Levesque. The boys managed 15 shots on Levesque, but he stood tall and turned all of them away. Noah Walters solved Sandro Silvestre for a 1-0 lead 8:32 into the first period. The Storm fired nine shots on goal in the first.
“[It was] pretty sloppy. I mean we knew Grande Prairie was gonna come in here hot. We have to be ready, and pick it up in the second.” Brandon Whistle said in the Lake City Coach First Period Intermission. “Our execution, passing, structure, everything is off. So we got to bring it out in the second.”
Powerplay strikes in second period
The Pontiacs got a powerplay with 10 minutes to play in the second period. PJ Morrocco showed some veteran leadership, and steered the Pontiacs into a tied game with his goal 10:52 into the second. Kirby Proctor, and Derek Brown picked up assists on the PP goal. The lead was short lived, as six minutes later the Grande Prairie Storm struck on a powerplay of their own. Zachary Okabe picked up the goal for the Storm. The game sat 2-1 Grande Prairie headed into the final frame.
“It was good. Like you said, we’re out-shooting them. If we keep getting pucks to the net, and working hard, it will come. No rush here, we’ve got twenty minutes. Just work hard, and get it done.” New defenseman Kirby Proctor said in the second intermission.
Four minutes into the third period, the Pontiacs found the life they were looking for. PJ Morrocco scored his second on a pass Derek Brown, and Charlie Gawlicki. The Pontiacs wanted the game more as the third period progressed. Shots were 17-2 in the third period. The Pontiacs got a scary / lucky break when Jonothan Hader was assessed a five minute major for high-sticking with 2:30 left in the game. The Pontiacs had their chance to end the game on a big powerplay goal. Once again, Derek Brown and PJ Morrocco hooked up for another goal. Brown’s goal stood for 30 seconds, and the Pontiacs held on to win 3-2.
Not the same Storm
“They’re not the Grande Prairie Storm of the last couple of years. They worked hard, and you can see why Fort McMurray had such a tough time with them. We obviously had to earn it today, but we stuck with the process, and didn’t get flustered at times… I was proud of them because it’s early on, and we’re showing character early on.” Head Coach Rick Swan assessed post-game.
The Pontiacs will visit the always pesky Spruce Grove Saints this Saturday at 7:00 p.m. at the Grant Fuhr Arena.