The Bonnyville Pontiacs defeated the Whitecourt Wolverines in the North Division Semi-Final and will play the Spruce Grove Saints in the 2022-2023 AJHL North Division Final.
With their 4-2 win over the Whitecourt Wolverines on Friday (March 31st, 2023), The Pontiacs officially take the series 4-1 and advance to the North Final for just the second time in franchise history.
“This second round was a completely different series than round one and I really thought the group dug in and outcompeted Whitecourt all series,” said Pontiacs Associate General Manager Chad Nelson.
“The group has fully bought in and the staff continues to prepare a great game plan nightly and we look to continue that in Round Three.”
The last time the Pontiacs advanced to the North Final was during the 2014-2015 campaign also against the Spruce Grove Saints.
“It’s great when a plan comes together,’ said Pontiacs Associate General Manager Neil Langridge. “We are very proud of this year’s group and their achievements thus far, but are focused on continuing to push and achieve the goals set out by our staff from day one.”
“Coach Pouliot and his staff continue to push this group to new heights and accomplish historic results for the Pontiacs organization. The Pontiacs now head back to the North Division Final for the second time in our 31-year history!”
Yaks forward Matteo Giampa at series end had scored 6 goals and 11 assists, the most in the AJHL playoffs.
Buoyed by stalwart performances by rookies Nicolas Beaudoin, Max Seguin, Ludo Tardif, and Mike Cataldo, plus veteran efforts from captain Trey Funk, newcomer Jack Budd, and netminder Bodee Weiss — this edition of the Bonnyville Pontiacs is coming together.
“Mario [Pouliot] and Connor [Cadaret] did a fantastic job in preparing a game plan as evidenced by how good our special teams were, and our players executed on a shift-to-shift basis,’ said Chad Nelson.
The Pontiacs are ranked second out of all playoff teams with a 26.6% Powerplay Percentage and are ranked fourth in Penalty Killing with an outstanding 91.5% percent through 11 games.
“I am very proud of what the group has accomplished to this point, but in our mind, we are halfway to our ultimate goal. Now we prepare for a great team in Spruce Grove who we respect, but are ready to take on the challenge.”
Game 1 of the North Final is looking to be on Friday (April 7th, 2023) in Spruce Grove at 7:00pm but is yet to be confirmed.
The Pontiacs would then be home for Game 3 on Tuesday, April 11th, and Game 4 on Wednesday, April 12th.
Tickets will be made available at tickets.bonnyvillepontiacs.ca