Cast of young, local players getting some attention at training camp.
Newcomer Newfoundlander Alex Power scored a hat trick and Team Black did not look back, winning the Milton Romanchuk Cup 7-1 on Monday night.
Bonnyville Pontiacs training camp began on Friday with a maximum of 50 players, due to current health restrictions, as the skaters were broke into three teams (Letestu, Fontaine, and Pasichnuk), before cuts widdled down the roster to 40 players.
Team Black scored 26 seconds thanks to Liam Boyko, former Lakeland Bantam Panther, and by the ten-minute mark they had a 3-0 lead.
“A lot of young locals from Bonnyville. A great group of locals I should say, more than we usually have,” said assistant coach Neil Langridge.
“It seems like the 02-03-04-05′ group of born players, Bonnyville just has a ton of them. You’re going to see some of them in the game tonight and some of the guys like Austin Saint and AJ Macaulay are back to wear the Pontiac colours.”
Team White settled into the game, getting their lone goal in the first period from Boyko’s former teammate Noah Dechaine on a centering feed from Jake Snashall.
But it was all Team Black from there, adding three more goals in the second period from Bruce MacGregor, Mathew Gerke, and Alex Power.
It was the first time spectators got to see new American recruits Michael Fairfax and Will Hilfiker, while returning veterans Easton Hesse, Matt McKim, and Josh Kroon looked in mid-season form.
Traditionally the end of the Bonnyville Pontiacs training camp, the Yaks will now enter a developmental season until the province makes their decision on what’s allowed.
“The biggest thing for us is we’re allowed to continue with our team in a strictly developmental season, which is practicing and practicing and practicing. And having intersquad games with players in our cohort group,” said Langridge.
“We’re hoping soon we’ll get the OK from the Alberta Government and Hockey Alberta, which will allow us to have more than 100 spectators in the building at a time, and play some of the other AJHL teams.
“We’re going to make the best of the situation we have in front of us and that’s going to roll into the developmental season.”