Yaks on a seven game losing streak after the weekend
After a week on the road, the Bonnyville Jr A Pontiacs brought it back to the RJ Lalonde Arena for a two-game weekend. Even with the backing of the home crowd, the Yaks weren’t able to secure a win in either game; falling 6-2 to the Okotoks Oilers, on Friday and then 4-2 to the Olds Grizzlys, on Saturday. The losses take the Pontiacs to a seven game losing streak and are just part of the rebuilding process, says Assistant Coach of the Pontiacs, Neil Langridge.
Game 1 vs Okotoks
World Jr A Challenge hopeful, Isaac Saniga opened up the game with a power play goal from Lucas Thorne and Nicholas Ormon. That was quickly followed up with another Yak goal, this time from Jaden York with Nicholas Ormon on the assist.With a start like that, fans were electrified at the RJ. It was short-lived, because before the end of the second period Okotoks would take the lead and continue to a 6-2 victory over the Pontiacs.
“It started exactly how we had planned,” Langridge says the team came out firing, “put everything on net and go to work. It worked, we came out with a 2-1 lead in the first until undisciplined hockey took over.” That’s been a theme for the club, explains Langridge, “I don’t even know how many penalties we got tonight, but it was our demise. You can’t put a team, as good as the Okotoks Oilers, on the power play [as much as we did] and expect your goaltender to bail you out.” Sandro Silvestre faced 35 shots during the evening, “I thought Sandro did everything to give us an opportunity to win.”
Okotoks went 2 for 9 on the power play, with the Pontiacs racking up 64 minutes in penalties.
Game 2 vs Olds
“It’s one of those games, where I can go into the [dressing] room and say, ‘we deserved a better fate’. We put 56 shots on net, to their 25,” Lanridge gives props to the Olds’ goaltender, Andrew Henderson, “he stood on his head tonight.” Adding that he felt the Yaks carried the momenteum the whole game, just couldn’t get the back of the net, “another undisciplined penalty at the end, gave them the opportunity to get back into the game.”
Olds had an early goal, 12 seconds into the first period, from Quentin Greenwood. That was followed up by Derek Brown putting i in the tie from Brendan Morrow and Bobby Young. Grizzly’s Owen Guenter escaped the period with the goal lead.
The second period saw Derek Brown tying things up for the Yaks, shorthanded with an assist from Joel Ray. That would be the last time the Pontiacs got the tie, as Olds took the lead late in third, while Riley Smith was spending two minutes in the box for Roughing. The Grizzlys took it to the buzzer with an empty netter to close the game 4-2.
“The penalty cost us the night, just like it cost us last night. It’s a tough one,” the Pontiacs’ are on a six-game losing streak, Langridge addresses the losses, “it builds character. No one likes to lose hiockey games, but it’s how you respond. We take it as a lesson and look towards Wednesday.”
The Pontiacs head the Spruce Grove Saints on Wednesday, before coming home to the RJ Lalonde Arena, on Saturday. 7:30 pm puck drop, against the Drumheller Dragons. Watch the game reports live on Lakeland Connect, thanks to Lake City Coach & Rapid Response Energy Services.