In the past five seasons we have had 58 players in our organization to move onto the college hockey level: 23 to NCAA Division 1 Schools (Nebraska-Omaha, St. Cloud, Holy Cross, Arizona State, R.I.T., Brown, Cornell, Colgate, Union, Alaska Fairbanks, U. Mass. Amherst, Northern Michigan, Michigan Tech., Niagara University, American International College, Army, Lake Superior State and Denver), 5 more to NCAA Division 3 (Middlebury (N.E.S.C.A.C.), Saint Thomas (M.I.A.C.), Wisconsin-Superior (UMAC), University of Wisconsin-River Falls and SUNY Canton (U.S.A.C.C.), 1 to NCAA-ACHA - University of Ohio Bobcats, 10 players to the N.A.I.T. Ooks, 1 player to the S.A.I.T. Trojans, 1 to Keyano College (A.C.A.C.), 3 players to Portage College (A.C.A.C.), 3 players to the U of A Augustana Vikings (A.C.A.C.), 4 players to the Concordia University Thunder (A.C.A.C.), 2 players to the Red Deer College KINGS (A.C.A.C.), 1 player to the U of Regina (C.I.S.), 1 player to the University of Guelph (C.I.S.), 1 player to the University of Calgary (C.I.S.), 1 player to the University of Lethbridge (C.I.S.) and 2 players to the Grant McEwan Griffins (A.C.A.C.).
Rick SWAN was named as the Head Coach of the 2018 Team Canada West for the World Junior 'A' Challenge winning a bronze medal defeating the Czech Republic 3-1. Rick SWAN was also an Assistant Coach for Team Canada West in the 2017 World Junior 'A' Challenge where they won a gold medal defeating Team USA 5-1.
In 2017/18 Joel RAY was named to the Alberta Junior Hockey League All-Academic Team.
In 2016/17 Ryan SYMINGTON won the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s Most Dedicated Player which was the fourth major (AJHL) league award honor for our organization in two years. In the past three years ('14/15 to '16/17) our organization has had 9 league award nominations. Jake GRESH was nominated as a finalist for the AJHL Most Outstanding Rookie in the '16/17 season. Isaac SANIGA and Jake were named to the AJHL All-North Rookie Team as well. In addition, in 2017/18 Kirby PROCTOR and Lucas THORNE were also named to the AJHL All-Rookie North Team.
In the 2016/17 season the PONTIACS obtained the third most wins and third best goals against number in our 26 year franchise history. We also led the Alberta Junior Hockey League in short-handed goals for. In 2016 Rick SWAN was an Assistant Coach / Video for Team Canada West at the World Junior ‘A’ Championships. Rick was also named the Head Coach for Team West at the CJHL (NHL Central Scouting) Top Prospects game in 2017 (Cornwall, Ontario).
Former Bonnyville PONTIAC Spencer FOO (2012-2014) was a 2016/17 ‘top 10 finalist’ for the NCAA Hobey Baker Award and signed an NHL contract (2017) with the Calgary FLAMES. Five former PONTIACS who played in Bonnyville from 2012/13 to 2015/16 attended NHL Development Camps (2016) - (Brinson PASICHNUK - Montreal / Bobby McMANN - Columbus and Buffalo / Spencer FOO - Calgary / Alex SMITH - Calgary / Max GOTTLIEB - Las Vegas).
In 2015/16 the Bonnyville PONTIACS surpassed franchise records with winning percentage (.742), most games ever won (40), most points (89) and least number of losses (11). That year there were four major AJHL award nominations for Most Valuable Player; Most Outstanding Defenseman, Most Dedicated Player and Coach of the Year which was also a franchise record.
In 2015/16 Forward Bobby McMANN (now an Assistant Captain with Colgate RAIDERS) won the AJHL Most Valuable Player and was nominated for the CJHL Most Outstanding Forward.
Also in 2015/16 Defenseman Brinson PASICHNUK (now Captain for Arizona State Sun Devils) won the AJHL Most Outstanding Defenseman and was nominated for the CJHL Most Outstanding Defenseman.
Rick SWAN won the Alberta Junior Hockey League's Coach of the Year in 2015/16 and was also nominated as well for the CJHL Most Outstanding Coach.
Both Bobby McMANN and Brinson PASICHNUK won a gold medal with Team Canada West at the 2015 World Junior ‘A’ Championships. Brinson PASICHNUK was also listed 115 on the NHL Central Scouting List.
In 2014/15 the Bonnyville PONTIACS broke a number of franchise records for their best second half; number of play-off games played in a single season; most wins in a play-off year; first time in the AJHL North Division final; highest attendance (single game of 2300 and post-season total of over 13,000). Ryan BLACK was as a finalist for the AJHL Most Outstanding Defenseman, Brinson PASICHNUK for Most Outstanding Rookie and Rick SWAN was nominated as a finalist for the AJHL Coach of the Year.
The PONTIACS are an exciting team on the rise and they have one of the best reputations of treating their players better than anyone else in Junior ‘A’ hockey. Bonnyville has been host to the World Junior 'A' Challenge for 2 of the past 3 years and this season they have been ranked among the CJHL Top 20 teams for 17 consecutive weeks having had their best 20, 25, 30, 35, 40 and 45 game start in franchise history. Anyone paying attention in the hockey world can see that the Bonnyville PONTIACS can offer one of the best opportunities to players with respect to their on and off-ice development and help elevate their success beyond their Junior ‘A’ journey.
General Manager and Head Coach: Rick SWAN
Coaching Career: This will be Rick's 7th year with the PONTIACS and has been the Bonnyville PONTIACS Head Coach and General Manager since 2013; Previously Rick was hired as the Assistant General Manager and Associate Coach with the Bonnyville Pontiacs in 2012; Named Head Coach of the 2018 Team Canada West for the World Junior 'A' Challenge winning a bronze medal; Was an Assistant Coach with the gold medal champion Team Canada West at the 2017 World Junior 'A' Challenge; was named as Head Coach for Team West in the 2017 C.J.H.L. (NHL) Top Prospects Game in Cornwall, Ontario; Rick was also an Assistant Coach / Video at the 2016 World Junior 'A' Challenge; Rick was awarded the 2015-2016 'AJHL Coach of the Year' in the Alberta Junior Hockey League. Rick was nominated as a finalist for the Canadian Junior Hockey League Coach of the Year in 2016 and in addition to also being nominated as a finalist for the 2015 A.J.H.L. Coach of the Year; in 2015 Rick was a guest coach with Team Canada West (WJAC); K of C PATS Midget AAA Head Coach from 2008 to 2012; 2008/09 won the AMHL Midget AAA “Glen SATHER” Coach of the Year; 2007/08 won the league Midget AAA Minor Coach of the Year; Two time 'back-to-back' Sherwood Park Kings Club "Ken HITCHCOCK" Coach of the Year (2004/05 and 2005/06) in addition to winning the Sherwood Park Minor Hockey Coach of the Year (2003/04); 2009/10 received the prestigious K of C Hockey Merit Award for Contribution to Coaching; in 2011 was recognized as the Edmonton Police Service Community Kiwanis Top Cop Honorable Mention; in 2011 was selected for the Canadian hockey coach exchange with the Chinese Ice Hockey Federation to mentor, present and instruct coaches in that country; involved with Hockey Alberta (Alberta Cup, U15, U16 and U17 teams); Hockey Alberta Coach Mentor; coached in the 2011 Western Challenge Cup - Gold Medalist (Team Alberta U16); was the Head Coach and On-Ice Administrator of Louis St. Laurent High School Hockey Barons Skills Academy 2009 to 2012.
So far through Rick’s tenure as head coach, 58 Pontiac players have committed to College and Universities across North America.
Rick was extended to a long term contract in 2015 to remain as the PONTIACS Head Coach and General Manager.
Playing Career: Lake Forest College Foresters (Illinois) N.C.A.A. - top scorer / Cole Harbor Junior 'A' Colts - MVJAHL (Cole Harbor, Nova Scotia) - league MVP / U of A Golden BEARS - Canada West University (CWUAA) Scoring Champion (Dave Sweeny Schriner Trophy winner); Alberta Golden Bears Assistant Captain and Canada West All-Star / CIS Championship All-Star / Professional hockey - Germany - Bundesliga - Essen, Germany.
Education: High Performance 1 Hockey Canada - N.C.C.P. 3; Bachelor of Physical Education / Recreational Administration Major degree from the University of Alberta.
Personal: Originally from Edmonton and Sherwood Park, Alberta, Rick makes his home in Bonnyville with his wife, Susan. They have two sons, Spencer and Redford. Spencer works and lives in Sherwood Park, Alberta. Redford, a former Bonnyville PONTIAC, is third on the all-time number of games played (214) and currently lives in Edmonton and played for both the A.C.A.C. Champion N.A.I.T. Ooks in 2014/15 and for the ACAC champion Grant McEwan University Griffens in 2016/17 where he won his second ACAC championship.
Director of Business Operations / Voice of the PONTIACS / PONTIACS Media Relations : Robb HUNTER
“We are extremely excited about Robb being involved with the Bonnyville PONTIACS in a major role as we strive to become the best place to play Junior 'A' hockey in the country. The organization is enthused about the tremendous energy and passion that Robb brings to the area of Business Operations. Robb is connected to the Lakeland business section and is an extremely popular citizen because of his servant approach to community causes. Hiring Robb, the PONTIACS Organization moves in a very positive direction. Robb’s character and unique qualifications will lead our organization into the new realities of today’s Junior hockey world. Robb is smart, personable and is a 'go-getter.' He has an intelligent hockey mind and has a passion for our community and our team,” says Head Coach and General Manager Rick SWAN.
Robb will oversee off-ice operations, including business and financial strategies. Robb will also manage game-day operations for the team’s home games as well as communications and relations with media sources, volunteers, and fundraising.
Robb's has been with the Bonnyville PONTIACS organization for over a decade as the "Voice of the PONTIACS." Robb was the co-chairman of the 2018 World Junior 'A' Challenge and he is considered one of the 'best in the business' as a 'play-by-play' announcer renowned throughout Canada having been involved with every Hockey Canada national championship event as well as the World Jr. A Challenge and the U20 (Hockey Canada) Evaluation Camps. Robb also 'spear-headed' the 2016 World Junior 'A' Challenge in Bonnyville, Alberta. His list of accomplishments at the national level are extensive and he is currently taking his MBA majoring in in Sport and Recreation Management which will allow him to combine his love of hockey with marketing, finance, public relations, human resources and strategic planning skills.
For more information please contact Robb himself.
2011 Esso Cup
2011 RBC Cup
2011 World Sledge Hockey Challenge
2011 World Jr. Summer Camp
2011 World Jr. Selection Camp
2012 World Junior tournament (Calgary games)
2012 Allan Cup
2012 Telus Cup
2012 RBC Cup
2012 World U17 Hockey Challenge
2012 World Junior Selection Camp
2012 World Sledge Hockey Challenge
2013 Telus Cup
2013 RBC Cup
2013 National Women's U18 Championships
2013 Western Canadian Bantam AAA Championships
2014 World Junior 'A' Challenge
2014 World Junior Summer Camp
2014 Telus Cup
2014 RBC Cup
2015 Esso Cup
2015 RBC Cup
2015 U17 Summer Development Camp
2015 World Junior 'A" Challenge
2015 U18 Summer Development Camp
2016 Esso Cup
2016 RBC Cup
2018 Co-Chairman of the World Junior 'A' Championships - Bonnyville, Alberta.
Personal: Robb resides in Bonnyville with his wife Cheryl and daughter Lexi.
Neil LANGRIDGE: Assistant Coach / Assistant General Manager
Neil becomes the Bonnyville PONTIACS Assistant General Manager for the 2018/19 season. He will be entering his third year behind the bench with the Bonnyville Junior 'A' PONTIACS as Assistant Coach primarily responsible for our forwards. In addition to coaching, hockey operations, scouting and recruiting, Neil was co-chairman of the 2018 World Junior 'A' Challenge which was held in held in Bonnyville for the second time in the past three years. Neil has been an extremely successful coach winning four straight North Eastern Alberta Junior B Hockey League (NEAJBHL) championships as a Head Coach and General Manager. Neil is also involved with Hockey Alberta’s Program of Excellence with the Alberta Winter Games and the Alberta Cup. Neil has an outstanding hockey mind and his hockey experience and knowledge makes him an extremely valuable member of the Bonnyville PONTIACS organization. This is evident with the great success he has had in bringing top players with character to our organization. Neil's strength is his ability to deal with people and create positive relationships and he has a solid reputation for developing his players and always has time and energy to devote to mentoring and being an everyday learner. firstname.lastname@example.org. 780-826-0026.
T.J. MILLAR: Assistant Coach
T.J. MILLAR joins the PONTIACS after spending the past two seasons with the Nipewan Hawks of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League where they won the SJHL Championship and two 40 win weasons. Prior to that T.J. spent a year with the Tr-City Americans of the Western Hockey League as a video coach. T.J. attended the university of Finland obtaining his Sport Management Certificate specializing in hockey coaching. During that time he served as a guest coach Vierumäki United U20 team in the Jr. A Suomi-sarja league. T.J. is enthusiastic and brings a passionate energy towards being an "everyday learner" and will work with our defensemen and take a lead role with the power play and face-offs in all zones. T.J. will also run individual and team skill development sessions with the PONTIAC players.
Dean MOISAN: Director of Player Personnel-Scouting-Recruiting-Transactions
This will be Dean's second season with the Bonnyville PONTIACS. Dean is an MVP behind the scenes for the Bonnyville PONTIACS and has helped build a high performing team. Dean has extensive experience at the junior level and was the former Director of Player Personnel with the Lloydminster Bobcats and was their Head Scout during their RBC run in 2015/16. Dean also spent three years as a Head Scout with the Humboldt Broncos of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League and another 3 additional years as a scout with that organization. In that time, he was a part of the 2012 Broncos team which hosted the RBC Cup and part of a number of SJHL championships. Dean works closely with our coaching and scouting staff as well as take on a lead role with transactions and recruiting. Dean's experience in Humboldt and his extensive knowledge of local players in Saskatchewan, Alberta and B.C., along with having numerous CJHL and NCAA coach contacts, make him a invaluable to the Bonnyville PONTIACS Organization. Dean was also part of the midget elite program in Lloydminster as a coach for years. Dean is a first rate hockey individual, an excellent communicator and outstanding evaluator of player abilty. There are no words that can appreciate the incredible work that Dean puts in to creating the success of the on-ice product that our fans and organization sees - he is the best of the best and understands that 'doing it right is an all the time thing.' Dean lives in Lloydminster with his wife and two daughters.
Assistant Coach: Mark JENSEN
Coaching Career: Mark joined Bonnyville Pontiacs as Assistant Coach in 2013.
Playing Career: Mark played 96 games in the Alberta Junior Hockey League of which 49 were with the Bonnyville PONTIACS under Coach Chad MERCIER. Mark is an exceptional coach with outstanding communication skills along with an incredibile ability to develop character and leadership with young players. Mark has also been an instructor at the Black Elk Hockey Camp since 2007.
Personal: Originally from Swift Current, Saskatchewan Mark now lives in Bonnyville, Alberta. Mark works for Rusnack Financial as a Financial Consultant. Mark attended and graduated from the University of Saskatchewan as well as attended the Högskolan Jönköping University in Sweden.
Goaltender Consultant / Coach / Scout: Kelly BROOKS
Kelly has been with the Bonnyville PONTIACS since 2015. Kelly is a former member of the University of Alberta Golden Bears from 1982 to 1985 winning two Canada West Championships. Kelly also played in the Alberta Junior Hockey League for the St. Albert Saints and the Calgary Royals. Kelly is one of the brightest "goaltender minds" in hockey. Kelly works with goaltender evaluation at the Top Prospects and Main Camps which includes developmental feedback. In addition, Kelly will work with goaltender development in Bonnyville throughout the season.
Kelly teaches and promotes "Head Trajectory" developed and created by Lyle MAST, which trains the value of efficiency and quality vision along with balance, to achieve consistent and optimum performance, by eliminating delays in movement, rotation and access to the puck.
Athletic Therapist: Danielle LARSEN
The PONTIACS are extremely fortunate to have Danielle apart of our staff with her extensive experience (over 13 years) in Athletic Therapy as well as having an Advanced Certificate in Athletic Therapy from Mount Royal University. Danielle worked as an Orthopedic Bracing Technician as well as an Athletic Therapist Administrator for the University of Calgary prior to owning her own Athletic Therapy clinic (Game Day Athletic Therapy). Additional related experience includes involvement with the Canada Winter Games Sport Medicine team, Hockey Alberta's Program of Excellence, Hockey Canada's high performance program, the University of Calgary Dinos hockey, soccer and volleyball teams.
Education: Danielle has a Bachelor of Kinesiology degree with a major in Athletic Therapy from the University of Calgary as well as an Advanced Certificate in Athletic Therapy from Mount Royal University.
Personal: Danielle resides in Bonnyville with her husband Matt and two sons Aiden and Gage.
Equipment Manager / Athletic Trainer: Kim SYDORA
The PONTIACS are very pleased to have Kim SYDORA on staff. Kim previously spent over 8 years as the Trainer / Equipment Manager prior to the 2012/13 AJHL season. Kim's extensive knowledge, experience and organization skills are second to none. Kim is responsible for planning, coordinating and directing the operations of all equipment and acts as a technical advisor on all equipment issues and assists the management team with equipment budgets and potential equipment purchases.
Personal: Kim lives in Bonnyville with her husband Don.
Life Skills and Personal Development Coach / Director of Scouting, Recruiting and Development: Jason WIWAD
Jason is another MVP behind the scenes for our organization. He works with current roster and prospect players through support, providing hockey path and personal advice, player guidance, personal goal setting, team building and positive encouragement through the year.
This includes regular individual player and team meetings throughout "the off and in season" with respect to hockey, academics, human performance, life and individual counselling to help them increase personal competence and enhance self-confidence.
Jason will also assist our Pontiac players in navigating the pressures that are involved with playing at the Junior 'A' level while coping with school, hockey performance expectations and life as elite athletes and people. Jason is an invaluable resource and huge addition to the Pontiacs hockey operations staff. His intention is to help elevate our players to reach higher levels of personal development and performance in their game by assiting our players to exceed their potential to be the very best that they can be.
Setting personal goals, becoming the best teammate you can be, the art of servant leadership, coping with living away from home, the path and expectations of the NCAA and Canadian College, academics, meeting coach expectations, being accountable as a Junior 'A' player and having a support person beyond the confines of the arena are critical to a young player's success in hockey and in life and the Bonnyville Pontiacs are excited to have Jason join their team in a bigger role immediately.
Jason has 20 plus years experience as a youth pastor, a high performance Coach and a Player Advisor working with youth, coaches and players at the Bantam, Midget, Junior 'A' Major Junior leagues across Western Canada. Jason also serves as a Director of Scouting with the PONTIACS in addition to his role as a Life Skills and Personal Development Coach.
Jason is the Director of Families and Youth at Calvary Lutheran Church in Edmonton and has been in Youth Ministry for 20 years. Jason is also the Assistant Golf Professional at Redtail Landing Golf Club and has been involved in hockey as a coach and a scout for the past 20 years. Jason coached with the Team Alberta program of Excellence at the Alberta Cup and Alberta Winter games winning Gold Medals at both those events. From 2013 to 2015 Jason was the Director of Scouting for Pacific 4 Sports and has an excellent grasp of player pathways beyond Junior 'A' hockey. In 2016 Jason was a scout for Hockey Prospects, scouting WHL for the NHL Entry Draft. Jason has excellent communication skills and an exceptional eye for player potential.
Jason finds it rewarding to be a part of a player’s hockey journey to help individuals reach their potential and achieve their goals. “I joined the Pontiacs as my wife and I value the culture and purpose that exists in this organization. We are excited to partner with everyone involved to help young men reach their full potential in both hockey and life and to see them become successful members of our communities” says Jason. Jason is married to his wife Anne who is a Psychologist with Alberta Health Services and has a dog named Sophie.
Hockey Operations Advisor: Dennis FONTAINE
Hockey Operations Advisor, Player Evaluation and Play-By-Play / Color. Dennis is a major part of the Pontiac organization and is heavily involved in a Hockey Operations advisory role and mentor. His knowledge and experience regarding the game and the Alberta Junior Hockey League is extensive and his viewpoint on players is invaluable to Hockey Operations. Dennis' son Justin (a former Bonnyville PONTIAC) played for the Minnesota WILD of the N.H.L. and in the Edmonton Oilers system playing for the American Hockey League's Bakersfield Condors. Currently Justin plays for China in the K.H.L.
Scouting / Recruiting Staff:
Chad NELSON: Director of Scouting and Recruitment: Alberta
Chad is a former player with the Bonnyville PONTIACS and lives in Edmonton. Chad has taken our recruiting focus to a higher level and he is passionate about promoting the right players to our program who possess both ability and high character. Chad works closely with Dean MOISAN and Neil LANGRIDGE in identifying future PONTIAC players in Alberta and the CSSHL. We are excited about Chad's enthusiasm and fortunate to have his knowledge, forward thinking and passion with our organization.
Alberta Regional Scouts - Scouting and Recruitment
Dave Lynes has been around the game as a coach, an administrator, as a mentor and as a scout for the majority of his life. He and his wife live in Sherwood Park and are the proud parents of Trammel and Maverick who both played Junior and College hockey. email@example.com - (780) 970-3115.
Bonnyville Centralized High School
Notre Dame E'cole High School
PONTIACS OFFICIAL TEAM PHOTOGRAHER and SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER - Debra KABAN of Game Ready Photography - Specializing in sports action photography. (780) 812-0577 or @GameReadyPhoto on Facebook. Deb is one of the best Social Media and photophers in the business and has been a Bonnyville resident for 20 years. Deb is married to Lorne and has three sons active in Bonnyville Minor Hockey.
PONTIACS Billet Liason and Coordinator: Tamara CARPENTER. 780-545-6210.
Physical Therapist - J.F. BERNIER (Health First Physiotherapy)
Team Chaplain - Steve McLEAN (Hockey Ministries International)
Team Chiropractor - Dr. McGHIE
Team Massage Therapist - “All About You” - Stephanie McAFEE
Team Doctor - Dr. Travis WEBSTER
Team Dentist - Lake Center Dental and Bonnyville Dental Clinic
R.C.M.P. Liaison - Constable Phil SMITH
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