Luke Albert chases down the puck against the Okotoks Oilers Saturday night. Image provided by http://gamereadyphotography.com.
The Pontiacs homestand was almost a sweep, but the Okotoks Oilers disrupted a perfect stand once again with a 4-2 win over Bonnyville.
Just the night before the Yaks had no troubles scoring, beating the Whitecourt Wolverines 6-2.
Special teams played a big role, as the typically hot powerplay went 0-8. Also, the whistles were blowing at the wrong times for the Yaks. They took three minors and a misconduct in the last seven minutes, thwarting a comeback.
Rick Swan said even though the Pontiacs are 15-4, he was disappointed with the team’s preparation and work effort for sixty minutes.
“I just don’t think we were good enough tonight. I thought that Danny [referee] gave us ample opportunity to be able to get back into the game, and I just don’t think we prepared well enough,” said Swan.
“There’s got to be a point where they care more than I do about making sure that they give one hour of honest work. There’s some real disappointed guys after the 60 minutes, but you’ve got 60 minutes to get emotional and make sure you play the right way.”
The loss bookended the third time in as many weeks that the Pontiacs played three games in four nights. Overall, the Yaks were 9-3 in October, and finish the weekend first in the entire AJHL.
“It’s got to be a good lesson here for us because we know that you have to understand that doing it right is an all the time thing – not just a some of the time thing,” he said.
The Pontiacs do not play again until Friday when they travel to Drayton Valley for a weekend set against the Thunder. They are sitting at the basement of the AJHL’s North Division along with Lloydminster, who the Pontiacs will visit the following Wednesday.
Swan says he’ll be cognizant of the team’s energy levels, and bring his “work boots and hard hat” to exhaust the facets of preparation for next week.
“When you’re at the top of the North division you know everyone is going to play their very best against you. We’re also going to deal with the preparation aspect because if that’s the case today, then boy, we better leave no stone unturned,” said Swan.