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Monday , 6 December 2021

Pontiacs salvage point in thrilling 6-5 OT loss to Drumheller Dragons

Fans were treated to another thrilling Bonnyville Pontiacs performance on Saturday night, rallying to score two goals from Sebastian Tamburro in the final two minutes, but fell short in a 6-5 overtime loss to the Drumheller Dragons. 

The Yaks trailed for the majority of the game, clawing their way to within a goal multiple times, including a pair of markers from Justin Stathopoulos, who has battled through injury struggles and appears to be finding his game.

After Grayson Dietrich turned over Yaks dman JR Ashmead and poked the puck past Bodee Weiss to make the game 5-3, leading to a crazy finish in regulation. Coach Rick Swan pulled the goaltender and put six forwards on the ice to try for a tie, and Tamburro’s pair of goals from Kash Rasmussen and Alex Power gave Bonnyville a point in the game.

The overtime, however, did not last long. AJ Macaulay was called for slashing twenty-one seconds into the extra period and the Dragons scored eight seconds afterwards on the ensuing faceoff.

“Special teams played a role again. We did really fight at the end to tie it up and push and earn a point. What we have to take care of is staying disciplined and staying out of the box,” said assistant coach Derek Hemsley in the Pontiacs Postgame on Lakeland Connect.

“We started to take it to them in the second. We outshot them 21-10. And our message on the bench between the periods is stick with it. We got some bad bounces and some penalty trouble…but we were pretty comfortable and confident, especially in the third period.”

The Pontiacs went 0-2 on the weekend losing to the Blackfalds Bulldogs the night before 4-2. The AJHL South has given the Yaks some problems this year with a record of 4-3-3 against non-divisional opponents–a contrast from their 11-3 record against the North.  

Tamburro’s three point night Saturday puts him as the Yaks leading scorer with 24 points in 24 games this season, overtaking Austin Saint who remains at 21 points. Since joining Bonnyville last season from the Aurora Tigers of the OJHL, he has 34 points in 40 career AJHL games.

Captain Kash Rasmussen is also now on a 5 game point streak with 22 points in 19 games this year. Five Pontiacs (Tamburro, Rasmussen, Saint, Macaulay, and Matteo Giampa) have cracked the 20 point plateau before the midway point of the season.

The Yaks stay at home this week for a chance to regroup against the Grande Prairie Storm for a pair of games.

“We finally get a week of practices where we can work on details and get back to our game and focus on the areas that we need to improve upon. This is the first time in three weeks we’re going to have this opportunity, so I’m looking forward to it,” said Hemsley.

Upcoming Games: 

  • Friday, November 19 vs Grande Prairie Storm | Home 7:00PM
  • Saturday, November 20 vs Grande Prairie Storm | Home 7:00PM
  • Wednesday, November 24 vs Sherwood Park Crusaders | Home 7:00PM
  • Friday, November 26 vs Camrose Kodiaks | Road 7:00PM
  • Sunday, November 28 vs Fort McMurray Oil Barons | Home 2:00PM
  • Tuesday, November 30 vs Spruce Grove Saints | Road 7:00PM

You can listen to all the games live on lakelandconnect.net/pontiacs.

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.