BONNYVILLE – November has been a rough month for the Bonnyville Jr. A Pontiacs so far.
Following their last game in October the Pontiacs were one point behind the top two teams in the AJHL north division.
Now the junior team remains solidly in third place with 33 points after losing three of their five away games during their southern Alberta road trip, worsened by this past weekend's double loss on Friday and Saturday at the RJ Lalonde Arena.
Returning to the RJ Lalonde Arena last Friday night, the Pontiacs closely matched their competitors the Blackfalds Bulldogs through the first two periods where the goals and shots on net were nearly neck and neck.
Kash Rassmussen assisted by Sebastian Tamburro was the first to light up the scoreboard in less than three minutes of the game. The first point was quickly matched by the Bulldogs who earned the next two points in the first period.
With less than five-minutes remaining in the first period, Tamburro was able to tie the game with an assist from Cam Emigh.
In second period both the Bulldogs and the Pontiacs’ goalie, Matthew Henessy, were able to shut out the opposition. Neither team were able to break the tie and find the back of the net.
The Pontiacs returned to the ice with more passion during the third period but the result led to greater time spent in the penalty box than to a change on the scoreboard.
In the final period the Pontiacs spent 21 minutes total in the box. Pontiacs’ player Chayce Schmidt earning the bulk of the penalty time with 10 minutes for game misconduct and five minutes for fighting.
During the last period, the Bulldogs were able to send the puck to the back of the Pontiacs net twice. And while the Pontiacs were able to get more shots on net over the third period compared to the Bulldogs, it didn’t translate to a change in outcome.
The Pontiacs lost 4–2 to the Blackfalds Bulldogs.
On Sunday night, the Pontiacs took on the Drumheller Dragons. Returning to the ice for that game was the JR Ashmead who was sidelined after a two-game suspension incurred while playing against the Olds Grizzlys.
Far different than the previous evening’s game, it wasn’t until half way through the first period that the first goal was scored by the Dragons.
Starting off the second period with some heat, Justin Stathopoulos with an assist from Tamburro and Matteo Giampa was able to put up the Pontiacs’ first point in the first 40 seconds of play to tie the score.
Unfortunately, this fast-paced victory was met with two goals by the Dragons.
Rassmussen receiving an assist from Charlie Russell would be the only other Pontiac to score in the second period. At the end of the second period the Pontiacs were down 4–2.
Working hard for a comeback in the third period, the Pontiacs earned three goals to tie the score. Stathopoulos earned his second point of the night with the help of Ryan Koebel and Giampa.
With less than two minutes in third period, the trio, Tamburro with the help of Rassmussen and Alex Power were able to place the puck at the back of the Dragons mesh twice, pushing the game in to overtime.
Seeing an incredible comeback in the third period, the Pontiacs were ultimately defeated 6–5 by the Drumheller Dragons.
While on the road, the Pontiacs found success in their first game against the Edmonton Okotoks Oilers winning 6–5. Their following game the Pontiacs were shut out by the Calgary Canucks losing 4–0.
The Pontiacs found themselves in a closer match up against the Canmore Eagles losing 4–3 in overtime, followed by another one-point loss against the Olds Grizzlys where the final score was 5–4.
Wrapping up their away games, the Pontiacs came out with a 6–4 win over the Drayton Valley Thunder.
The Bonnyville Pontiacs have 15 wins, six loses and three overtime loses.
In the north division the Spruce Grove Saints are in first place with 42 points and the Fort McMurray Oil Barons remain in second place with 38 points.
The Pontiacs will be back on the RJ Lalonde ice facing off against the Grande Prairie Storm on Friday, Nov. 19.