BONNYVILLE – The Pontiacs are leading the Whitecourt Wolverines 3-1 in the second round of the playoff series after Wednesday night's game at the RJ Lalonde Arena.
“We came into this game leading 2-1 in the series, so we knew it was a big game to take that leap,” Nicolas Beaudoin told Lakeland Today.
While the Pontiacs came out ahead quickly in the first period, it was not for a lack of defensive pressure from the Wolverines. The Pontiacs’ energy and chemistry were dialed in from the start.
Pontiacs’ defencemen Joshua Simpson was the first to find the back of the net with an assist from Trey Funk and Jack Budd. Just five minutes later, Max Seguin scored with help from Beaudoin and Matteo Giampa. The Wolverines would return one of those goals in the first period.
"I’m really proud of the boys. We battled hard all game, and we stayed cool, calm, collected and that's what it what it takes to win games,” said Beaudoin.
In the second period, the teams would trade goals back and forth leaving the crowd on the edge of their seats.
Scoring early in the second period was Mike Cataldo, with an assist from Cole Hipkin and Chayce Schmidt. With less than three minutes in the period, Beaudoin would find the back of the net with the help of Giampa and Travis Baker.
“As the series goes along there's a lot of tension out there. It's a battle, a war zone. So, the team that competes the hardest is going to come out with a win. And that's what we did,” Beaudoin said.
A total of 27 penalty minutes were racked on Wednesday night along with a number of on-ice scraps that added fuel as the game ramped up in the third period.
Bonnyville’s powerplay lineup would overpower the Whitecourt's defenses not once but twice in the third period. The trio responsible for both powerplay goals included the team captain, Funk, who found the back of the net with help of Beaudoin and Giampa.
“We can't get too high or get too low. We just have to stick with our game plan because it obviously works – we won three games. We just need to do the same thing in Whitecourt on Friday,” said Beaudoin. “I think we're ready to close it out in Whitecourt.”
Puck drops tonight at the Scott Safety Centre tonight at 7 p.m. for Game 5 of the series.