Photo Credit: Game Ready Photography
The Bonnyville Pontiacs are in Fort McMurray to open up their post-season. Showing an impressive start in game 1, the Pontiacs fell in double overtime to the Oil Barons; 3-2 final score.
Heading into the game, Assistant Coach Neil Landridge said the club wasn’t phased by the standings heading into the post-season, “a lot of people are putting us as the underdog. But really when we get to the playoffs, for us, the only difference is we’re playing in their barn for the first two games. Other than that, we’re even keel.”
A big boost for the Pontiacs would be Captain Charlie Gawlicki coming back into the line up. Landridge said of their fearless leader, “it’s phenomenal for us. He can lead us, in his final year of junior hockey, in battle in game 1 of playoffs.”
Also back in the line-up, after five weeks on the injury list, Kash Rasmussen. “We’re looking forward to a healthy line and what should be a great series.”
Brendan Morrow got the game started with a goal from Bekkam Willis and Olson Werenka, to put the Pontiacs at an early lead. The Oil Barons responded, before the close of the first period; Taner Miller, from Merritt Oszytko and Will Conley, made it a 1-1 game.
Lucas Thorne was the star of the second period, with a beauty; short-handed, unassisted goal, to take the 2-1 lead for the Yaks.
We’ve gotta keep taking those dirty goals! – Lucas Thorne #5 Bonnyville Jr A Pontiacs
The Oil Barons fired back in the third at 1:55, from Liam Izyk. Tying up the game. The game would remain tied, with the Oil Barons putting pressure on the Yaks’ goalie, Justin Travis. Travis remained solid forcing extra-time.
After a clean 20 minutes of play in the first overtime, that saw no penalties for either side. The game headed into double overtime. Just two minutes into the second round, Fort Mac’s Jack Hamly put in the game winner; it was a 3-2 final for the Oil Barons.
Justin Travis skated away with the Viterra Star of the Game after stopping 49 shots from the Oil Barons. “I don’t know what you say about that performance… Phenomenal,” said Langrdige post-game. “JT gave us every single opportunity to win. He stole goals from them. Tonight, he had an unbelievable game.”
Our boys are hungry! – Neil Landridge Assistant Coach Bonnyville Jr A Pontiacs
“Four and a half periods of hockey, I am extremely proud of the way our boys played. They competed for 80 plus minutes,” Landridge said the club will have to have a short memory to come back Friday evening for game 2. “In a few short hours, we’re going to be back to get a win.”
The Pontiacs play out game 2 tonight at the Casman Centre. Watch exclusive interviews with players and coaches, as well as, live feeds from the game. All thanks to Lake City Coach, Rapid Response Energy Services & Blue Wave Energy.