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UPDATED: Pontiacs struggle on the road

BONNYVILLE – The Bonnyville Jr. A Pontiacs couldn’t find their footing on the road over the weekend.

The Pontiacs started the week off on a high note with a shoot out victory when the Lloydminster Bobcats came to town, but couldn’t keep the momentum going against the Sherwood Park Crusaders and Camrose Kodiaks. 

Shootout victory on home ice

It was a 6-5 shootout win for the Pontiacs when they faced off against the rival Lloydminster Bobcats at the R.J. Lalonde Arena on Wednesday, Feb. 5. 

Head coach Rick Swan said the close game showed their coaching staff what aspects they need to be working on.

“Regardless of who we play, if we create defensive breakdowns then we’re going to allow teams to stay with us until the end… We know moving forward that we’ve got to create a little bit more offence… and I think that us as a coaching staff will work on that offensive aspect for guys so they can contribute. But, more importantly in playoffs, when things are going to be tough, we have to fix some of the details because regardless if you’re the Lloydminster Bobcats or the Drumheller Dragons, the detail is going to be the thing that’s going to push you to success in the end.”

Just over seven minutes into the game, Pontiac Ethan Sundar fired in the first goal of the evening for the home team. After the Bobcats took a holding penalty, Andres Bridgewater capitalized on the powerplay to add another point to Bonnyville’s score.  

The Bobcats cut the Pontiacs lead in half, but Pontiac Matthew McKim added a goal of his own for good measure before the period was through.

“I thought our first period was very strong,” said forward Jaden York. “All four lines were going out there hitting, shooting from everywhere, and there was quick puck movement from our (defencemen), which was nice to see.”

Despite starting off the second on a positive note with another point from McKim, Lloydminster managed to pull ahead 5-4.

“I think we got a little too comfortable,” McKim noted. “We gave them too many freebies, they went up, but at the end of the day, we battled back and got the character win.”

With the final 20 minutes counting down, Bonnyville was more determined than ever to be successful. A goal less than two minutes in from Pontiac Lucas Thorne was the only change to the scoresheet, which saw the battle continue into overtime.

The teams were evenly matched throughout the five-minute overtime before heading into a shootout. Lloydminster couldn’t find the back of the net and points from Thorne and Daine Dubois gave Bonnyville the 6-5 win.

Pontiacs fall in enemy territory

The Pontiacs fell 4-2 in enemy territory to the Camrose Kodiaks on Friday, Feb. 7. 

The Kodiaks started the scoring off in the first period, getting the only goal of the frame. 

During the second, Camrose added three points to take a 4-0 lead. 

With 20 minutes left in the game, Bonnyville wasn’t going down without a fight. 

Camrose was down a man due to a high sticking penalty, when Pontiac Joel Ray capitalized on the powerplay to get their first point of the evening. o Bonnyville tried to make a comeback when Dubois found the back of Camrose’s net on another powerplay, but despite their efforts, the game went to the Kodiaks with a final score of 4-2. 

Pontiacs struggle against the Crusaders

The bad luck for the Pontiacs continued when they lost 6-4 against the Sherwood Park Crusaders on Sunday, Feb. 9. 

Sherwood Park was quick to take the lead in the first, but the Pontiacs refused to give up.   

Pontiac Thomas Kramer capitalized on a powerplay due to slashing penalty to tie things up 1-1. 

Before the period was through, Ray added his name to the scoresheet to give Bonnyville the lead.

The second saw the Crusaders find the back of the Pontiacs’ net less than a minute into the frame, but Thorne quickly answered with one of his own. 

After Dubois added another point for Bonnyville, the Crusaders bounced back to end the second 4-4. 

The final period went to the Crusaders, who netted a powerplay and empty net goal to solidify their 6-4 win. 

Fans can watch the Pontiacs during their next home game on Wednesday, Feb. 12 when the Spruce Grove Saints come to town. Puck drop is 7 p.m.

Robynne Henry, Bonnyville Nouvelle