Oilers no match for gritty Pontiacs

Olivier Charest stopped 15 of 16 shots as the Bonnyville Jr. A Pontiacs stifled the Okotoks Oilers offence and grinded out a 4-1 victory.

The six-foot-three, 225-pound netminder was back between the pipes for the Pontiacs after giving way to backup Gunnar Neilsen on Saturday night for some due rest.

“Olivier is our go-to guy for the playoffs and we don’t want to get into a situation of burning him out,” said Swan. “We learned a lot with Troy Trombley last year from a coaching perspective.”

It was a fairly quiet game for Charest, who only faced three shots in the first period, seven more in the second and six in the third.

His lack of activity was due to a great defensive game being played by him teammates in front of him.

“I thought we played great. I thought we outworked them for a full 60 minutes and played the better game,” said captain Steenn Pasichnuk.

Four different Pontiacs scored over the course of the first two periods to pace Bonnyville to their 32nd win of the season.

Chandler Klein opened the scoring, notching a goal at the 14:31 mark of the first. After a great forecheck from Alden Dupuis, Klein was able to pick the puck up behind the Oilers goal, wrap around the right side and tuck it inside the left post.

“We played solid defensively,” said Swan. “Our philosophy is that if we word hard and as quick as we can on defense then we will have more time with the puck and will create more territorial play in the offensive zone.”

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At the 5:04 mark of the second period Derek Brown took a pass from Brinson Pasichnuk flying down the wing and ripped a rocket past Oilers netminder Brian Wilson.

Six minutes later Kyler Hehn picked up his 17th goal of the campaign to give the Pontiacs a commanding 3-0 lead.

With just under eight minutes left in the middle period, a lucky bounce helped get the visitors on the board.

Travis Verveda swatted a loose puck past Charest, who was fooled after the puck took an interesting bounce in front of the goal.

Just 2:26 later Bobby McMann restored Bonnyville’s three-goal lead, whacking the rebound of a Gen Bryshun shot past the outstretched right leg of Wilson.

Held on for the win capping off a four-point weekend.

“That was our mission. On Friday night we said we wanted four points from this weekend and we weren’t going to stop until we got it,” said Pasichnuk.

With just ten games left on the schedule the Pontiacs will be in tough to move up the standings. They will have a shot on Wednesday night when they host the Lloydminster Bobcats.

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