The Bonnyville Jr A Pontiacs halted an eight-game lose streak with a big win 6-4, at home, on Saturday evening against the Drumheller Dragons and carried the momentum on the road for a Sunday afternoon game in Sherwood Park. The club didn’t get the whole four points available on the weekend, but were able to collect three points after taking it to overtime against the Crusaders, 4-3 final score.
“Anytime you have a young squad on the team, like we do, you’re going to go through a learning period,” Assistant Coach, of the Jr A Pontiacs, Neil Langridge addresses the eight game losing streak the club had been on, prior to Saturday’s game. “We had some good practices this week. We don’t change the process really, we show these guys that a good team will go through stages.” Langridge uses the Phillidephia Flyers as an example, “they were on an eight or nine game losing streak and they went through the same thing; now they’ve won three in a row. It happens to the pros – it happens in all levels and it’s how we move forward.”
Game 1 vs Drumheller Dragons
Isaac Saniga opened up the game with a goal at 3:44 from Bobby Young and Sandro Silvestre. Saniga continued to rack up the points in the first period, by feeding Bobby Young the puck at 7:08 for another Pontiac goal. Andrew Kartusch, with Drumheller, popped on in before the close of the period to make it a 2-1 game, in favour of the Yaks.
“We’re a hard hitting team and we preach that all the time,”rookie right-winger, Joel Ray says the club was able to keep the Dragons at bay by keeping the physicality high, “once we get going, we’re a hard team to keep up to.” The Pontiacs continued going with a goal from Carson Erhardt (assists from Riley Smith and Luke Albert) to launch the second period. The Dragons answered before the end of the period but still trailed 3-2 at the close of 40 minutes.
“It’s feeling like we have the pace up, from the last few games. We’re playing really good defensive hockey right now,” 18 year old Erhardt says the team is messing really well on the ice. Veteran Derek Brown lead the Pontiacs into the third period with a goal a minute into play from Kash Rasmussen and Lucas Thorne. Brayden Goulet followed with an unassisted goal and Lucas Thorne put in an empty-netter for a 6-2 Pontiacs decision.
We knew what we wanted to do and the boys executed it; that’s a team victory. -Neil Langridge Assistant Coach Bonnyville Jr A Pontiacs.
Game 2 vs Sherwood Park
The Pontiacs followed their win at home to travel Sherwood Park for an afternoon match-up. The Crusaders opened up the Sunday matinee show with a first period goal from Eric Blanchette. The Pontiacs waited until the second period to get a the tie and the go-ahead, in the same minute of play. Riley Smith at 5:02 from Joel Ray and Carson Erhardt, followed up by Kirby Proctor at 5:27 from Bobby Young and Adam Panacci. Sherwood Park was able to tie it up while Nicholas Ormon was sitting it out for hooking, making it a 2-2 game at the end of forty minutes.
The Pontiacs again got the lead, from Carson Erhardt (unassisted) and then new acquisition Luke Albert put in the two-goal lead from Derek Brown and Lucas Thorne. The rivalry was heated on the ice when Payton McIsaac and Arjun Atwal each got a goal to tie up the game; forcing extra time.
After taking 34 shots in 64 minutes, Yaks netminder, Sandro Silvestre had one go past him in overtime for a Crusaders 5-4 win.
The Pontiacs head on the road this weekend for three games, starting Friday in Brooks against the Bandits. They’ll continue on the road to Calgary to take on the Canucks and Mustangs. The boys return home for the last game before the Christmas break on Tuesday, the 19th, against Drayton Valley Thunder.