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So far, so good on the Bonnyville Pontiacs road trip.
Last night, the Yaks beat up the Calgary Canucks 7-1 in their second straight route. On Monday they had smashed the winless Olds Grizzlys 8-1.
That fifteen goals in their last two games, and a five game winning streak.
They sit tied for first in the AJHL, and coach Rick Swan and the staff are pleased.
“We’re really happy with the results that we’ve got. Our big challenge with the three of us is to make sure that no bad habits creep in because of the offense we’ve been able to create,” said Swan.
“Obviously with the two games we’ve played we’ve had the puck quite a bit, and we’ve been able to generate a lot of offense over the last two games. We also know that the next three games are going to be a bigger test than Olds or the Calgary Canucks.”
The Pontiacs powerplay is dynamite right now. With nine markers on the man-advantage to start the trip, the Yaks are converting almost 27 per cent of the time.
“If you think about those stats…our coaching staff is rolling the lines. If you look who’s scoring on the powerplay it’s Hunter Floris, it’s Lucas Thorne’s line, and of course Grayson Constable’s line.
“We’re rolling our lines in games like that because we want to make sure that we’re accountable as coaches for the development of our players. That’s a real pleasing thing, but the number one thing is we’re moving pucks, which opens up lines from the PK unit in zone,” said Swan.
Thorne earned a hat-trick and star of the game honours in yesterday’s contest, and Hunter Floris, from Vanderhoof, British Columbia did against Olds Monday.
“He had a high regard, especially from a kid that was able to score out of the Caribou AAA midget program in BC. We also hadn’t seen that out of him, and that partly had to do with the adjustment from midget to AAA, and partly it’s playing within a structure that we demand of our players.
“We know that kids will come in and tend to overthink things a little bit, and Hunter is starting to find his game. Even in the game last night, he had great opportunities. Ringed one off the crossbar as well.”
The NCAA is taking notice too. Swan is fielding more calls from college programs on top players like Grayson Constable, Colby Muise, and Isaac Saniga.
The Pontiacs have an off day today before suiting up against the Calgary Mustangs (6-3-2) tomorrow.
Then, it’s a tough weekend set as the schedule-makers have them playing the Okotoks Oilers (6-5-1) Saturday night before heading to Canmore to play the next afternoon.