The Bonnyville Sr. Pontiacs hosted their home opener six games into the season on Saturday at the RJ Lalonde Arena. Welcoming the Eckville Eagles for a crowd pleasing nail biter of a game; which saw back-to-back action end in an overtime 5-4 decision for the visiting club.
“We’re almost in December and this is the home opener,” laughs Head Coach of the Sr. Pontiacs, Brad Paice, “it’s nice to get back home, on our ice, in our barn, in front of the home crowd. Playing on the road is never easy; especially in senior hockey. Guys are working, it’s a tough schedule, with families. In order to get a full line up, every game on the road is a task.” The team had a 4-1-0 record going into Friday’s game.
Eckville’s Ian Munro started the scoring in the first period, just before the halfway mark. It took a good five minutes, but the Pontiacs responded with a shorty from Devon Kalinski. Lucas Isley and Kurt Franklin recorded the assists in the goal, to make it tied at one. “We were fortunate enough to get a break,” captain of the team, Lucas Isley says the club had some penalty troubles in the first that contributed to the need to battle, “it’s just not disciplined hockey we were playing”. The team took four penalties in the first period, while the Eagles remained out of the box.
The Eagles capitalized on another Pontiacs’ penalty 10:10 in the second period, with a goal from Jeff Clazie. The Pontiacs gave the crowd something to ledge on, waiting until the last minute of play to put in the tier, from Denis Cadrin, assist to Dallas Desjarlais. The Pontiacs continued to serve time in the box, but it was Eckville who racked up the penalties in the second period.
It was on the power play that the Pontiacs got their go-ahead in the third, Devon Kalinski from Craig Wowk and Lucas Isley, made it a 3-2 game. The club advanced further with a short handed, and the hat trick goal from Devon Kalinski from Jordan Fuder. The Eagles came back to close the gap with two goals (Brendan Lamb & Jeff Clazie); ending regulation 4-4. The crowd was alive in overtime, with only 3 minutes left, Brendan Lamb of the Eckville Eagles got the game winner; 5-4 final score.
He’s one of those guys you can always say he’s going to show up. No matter what, Devo shows up! – Brad Paice, Head Coach of the Bonnyville Sr. Pontiacs on Devon Kalinski’s hat trick.
“It was a mental lapse, from a few guys and it cost us some extra points at the end of the game. We have a short memory, we have a game next weekend, so we’re going to let this one burn,” Coach Paice says he won’t dwell too much on the loss, rather look ahead to next weekend. “We know that we have that mental lapse, and we’re not going to beat teams like Eckville if we do that.”
The Sr. Pontiacs hit the road again for a Saturday game in Daysland, before returning to the RJ on December 15th to take on Whitecourt. Catch live coverage of the Sr. Pontiacs’ home games on Lakeland Connect, thanks to Rapid Response Energy Services, Double R Heavy Duty & Thinkwerx.