Tuesday , 26 January 2021

Pontiacs handing out team awards, wrap-up regular season against sinking Storm

Playoffs are nearly here.

The Bonnyville Pontiacs will wrap up the regular season this weekend with a pair against the Grande Prairie Storm at the RJ Lalonde.

There isn’t much left to be decided.

Barring a late Whitecourt Wolverines collapse, the Pontiacs will finish fourth in the AJHL North and face the Drayton Valley Thunder in Round 1 of the playoffs, a team they just finished beating 3-1 on Family Day Monday.

Whitecourt needs just one win in their final four games to earn the 3rd seed or have Bonnyville lose either of this weekend’s games.

Thomas Kramer scored two goals on Monday to increase his season total to 21 and joins Lucas Thorne, Matt McKim, and Daine Dubois on reaching the 20-goal plateau.

Eight Pontiacs have surpassed double-digit goals this season, which can improve to nine if Joel Ray scores some time in the final 120 minutes of the year.

Meanwhile, the Pontiacs’ top guns continue to be red hot.

Since Jan. 12, Daine Dubois has a point in every game but one.

Currently, on a nine-game point streak, Dubois has 24 points in 15 games during that stretch.

Matt McKim earned a nod for his classroom exploits from the AJHL on Wednesday when he was named to league’s All-Academic Team.

He’s enjoying a fantastic season and just passed Rob Smashnuk in the franchise record books for the 5th most assists in a season in a single-season (56).

Both him and Lucas Thorne broke the 80-point plateau over the weekend which is the first time since 2005-06 that Bonnyville has two 80-point scorers in the same season.

That year, Mark Letestu led the team with 105 points, Dylan Wiwchar, finished second with 88 points, and Justin Fontaine had 81.

Pontiacs awards

The team will hand out their individual awards on Friday night at their annual banquet ceremony at the Beaver River Fish and Game building.

The evening includes a meal from Yums the Word and entertainment from Bonnyville-favourite hypnotist Wayne Lee.

Lucas Thorne and Joel Ray are in contention for league-wide awards as well.

Thorne is one of four finalists for League MVP and Ray a finalist for Most Dedicated Player.

Pontiacs host sinking Storm

Bonnyville will host the Grande Prairie Storm who limp into town losers of 11 straight games heading into the post-season.

The Pontiacs are undefeated against the 6th-seeded Storm this season in four previous matchups.

The weekend set begins on Saturday night at 7:00pm at the RJ Lalonde Arena and the final game of the year goes Sunday afternoon at 2:30pm.

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.