For the first time in franchise history The Pontiacs are moving onto the North Division Finals in the AJHL playoffs. The Yaks head into the next round with a lot of momentum having won a huge series against their long-time rivals The Lloydminster Bobcats.
That series brought a couple other first for the guys; it was the first time The Pontiacs met The Bobcats in the post-season and it was the first time the RJ Lalonde saw 2500 fans in the stands.
Other than an upsettingly rough game 5 The Yaks dominated that series. It couldn’t be clearer than in Game 6, when although the score was close, The Pontiacs were the strong leader in that game, finishing their checks and keeping it physical. Although the Cats got the early point it was hard for Lloyd to get an edge after hometown boy, Steen Pasichnuk tied it up. The Yaks needed extra time to finish it with a beauty goal from Dillion McCombie to close the series. The RJ was electric and you cannot deny that didn’t play a part in The Pontiacs’ win.
The challenge for The Pontiacs is to take the series away from home. Going to Spruce Grove for Games 1 and 2 will give the guys the toughest competition they’ve seen yet. The Saints entered the playoffs as somewhat of a front runner; they met The Yaks six times in the regular season, winning four of the six battles in regulation. The Pontiacs had to take the Saints to OT for one of their wins, the other was done in 60 minutes.
If The Pontiacs are able to capitalize on the energy backing them into this series and bring at least one road win home with them before returning the RJ for Games 3 & 4 we’ll see them take this series.
Here’s your schedule
Game 1 Friday, March 27th in Spruce Grove at The Grant Fuhr Arena 7:00pm
Game 2 Saturday, March 28th in Spruce Grove at The Grant Fuhr Arena 7:00pm
Game 3 Monday, March 30th in Bonnyville at The RJ Lalonde Arena 7:30pm
Game 4 Tuesday, March 31st in Bonnyville at The RJ Lalonde Arena 7:30pm
Game 5 Friday, April 3rd in Spruce Grove at The Grant Fuhr Arena 7:00pm
Game 6 Sunday, April 6th in Bonnyville at The RJ Lalonde Arena 7:30pm
Game 7 Tuesday, April 7th in Spruce Grove at The Grant Fuhr Arena 7:00pm