After winning a Tuesday evening game in Fort McMurray, 3-2 over the Oil Barons, the Bonnyville Jr. A Pontiacs returned home to fall in a two game weekend. On Saturday, 6-4 against the Spruce Grove Saints and on Sunday, 3-2 against the Fort McMurray Oil Barons. “We talk about what these guys can do, as individuals. Their controllers are preparation, make sure that they are prepared for one hour of play and hard work,” Head Coach of the Bonnyville Jr. A Pontiacs, Rick Swan.
Game 1 vs. Spruce Grove
“We were not sharp, at all, in the first period,” Coach Swan says the game got away from the club quickly. With 13 to 3 shots on net and 5 unanswered goals in the first, the Pontiacs had an extreme uphill battle on their hands for the second period. Kash Rasmussen put in an power play goal for the club, 6:19 in the second, from Adam Panacci and Lucas Thorne. That was matched by another Spruce Grove goal to make it a 6-1 game after 40 minutes.
“You set your standard of excellence at where you are. You could see, by their energy in the third period, that they decided to raise their standard of excellence,” the coach says if there’s a period that showcased what the club is capable of, it was the third. The Yaks fired back with 17 to 7 shots on net and three hitting the back of the net. Scoring in the third was Luke Albert, Lucas Thorne, and Charlie Gawlicki.
“They leave tonight thinking, ‘why wasn’t I prepared for the first 20 minutes, like I was for the last 20 minutes?’ and it’s frustrating,” Coach Swan hopes the team learned a hard lesson and will come prepared and ready for hard work from here.
Game 2 vs Fort McMurray
“We have 15 or so games, more, and these guys have to start to figure it out. That they can control how they prepare and control their performance out there. Set a standard that they want to reflect for themselves and the people watching,” Coach Rick Swan.
Sunday’s matinee game started much like Saturday evening, with the visiting team having the advantage with shots on net. For the first two periods the Oil Barons taking 11 to 7 shots on net in the first and 14 to 7 shots on net in the second. It was also reflective in the score, with Fort Mac up 3-1 after 40 minutes of play. Joel Ray secured the goal for the Pontiacs, from Bekkam Willis and Charlie Gawlicki
The Pontiacs kicked off the third by closing the gap some more. Adam Panacci scored in the first minute of play, with assist from Joel Ray and Bekkam Willis. The Yaks fought hard with even shots, 13, on the board, and hard physical play in the last 20 minutes; but it would not be enough to excel them to the tie – or win.
The Pontiacs will take to the road on Thursday, meeting the Oil Barons again. Then return home for a Saturday game against rivals, the Lloydminister Bobcats. Puck drops at 7:30 pm. You can catch exclusive player and coaches interviews on Lakeland Connect’s Facebook page thanks to Lake City Coach, Rapid Response Energy Services, and Ducharme Motors.