Justin Corbett skates down the ice in the third period looking for an open man who was ready and able to take a shot on net during the Pirates most recent game at home on Oct. 28. Photos by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News

Sylvan Lake Pirates win first game of the season

The Pirates won at home on Oct. 28 versus the Bonnyville Pontiacs

The Pirates finished a three-game weekend with their first win Sunday afternoon versus the Bonnyville Pontiacs.

It was an exciting back and forth game for the majority of the afternoon home game between the Pirates and Pontiacs.

The two spent much of the game tied before the Pirates broke away from the fold towards the end of the third period.

The Sylvan Lake team started the first period on the right foot when Justin Corbett scored unassisted with a little more than 11 minutes on the clock.

Tim Sylvester, the Pirates head coach, said overall the game went really well and he is able to see improvements in the team.

“Our passing has really come along and you can see. They guys can trust the person is going to be where they need to be now,” said Sylvester.

With just eight second remaining on the clock Justis Lowry foreshadowed the Pirates victory off a feed from Justin Moltzhan and Bryce Marshall.

Going into the second the Pirates had the lead 2-1.

In the middle frame the Pirates once again took early control of the score board when Brett White and Anthony Pickering assisted Corbett in the lengthening the Pirates lead, 3-1/

However, by the end of the second period the Pontiacs had made up the difference and the two were tied with three-all.

While the team has improved since the beginning of the season, Sylvester says there is still a lot of work left to do before playoffs begin in January.

“There is no doubt about it, our passing still needs work,” he said. “Passing wins hockey games and we just aren’t where we need to be.”

The Pontiacs took the lead in the third period for a short period of time before the Pirates came got back into the game.

Lowry scored roughly half way through the period with the assistance of Troy Klaus. The goal evened the playing field timing the game at 4-4.

Just seconds later the Pontiacs took hold of the puck after the face-off and scored of the Pirates goaltender.

“We still have a long way to go, a lot of teams have only played two games and still have most of their season left to look forward to,” Sylvester said.

“We need to keeping working and improving to be competitive.”

The last five minutes of the game were the most exciting for Pirates fans, as the home team kicked it into high gear with the end, and a possible win, still in sight.

Klaus tied the game up once again on a power play at 5:21. He was assisted by Anthony Pickering and Moltzahn.

Two minutes later Brett White took control of the puck on a power play and stormed with was to the net and another goal for the Pirates.

White had the assistance of Marshall and Eric Moltzahn.

As the minutes ticked away to towards the end of the game, it could have still went in either direction. Fans were on the edge of their seat as the Pontiacs pulled their goaltender in the hopes of tying the game and taking it into overtime.

Lowry got hold of the puck from teammate Cole Degraaf, and on the breakaway scored on the Pontiacs unattended net with only a second left on the clock.

“The guys really wanted this win,” said Sylvester, adding at this point in the season the team is starting to “gel” together as teammates.

The Pirates picked up their first win of the season, 7-5, after a busy first month on the ice.

The home team played half their season in the first month of the season, and Sylvester said that was by design.

“We wanted to make sure the guys were committed to the team and were going to come out,” he said.

Sylvester said the team will continue to work to be competitive with the other teams in the league.

“We were always right there, and that’s a good thing. When you look at some of these teams that have played together for 10 years, and we are sticking to them, I think that shows where we are going.”

The Pirates will return to home ice on Nov. 18, when the home team takes on the Whitecourt Wild. The puck drops at 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 18.

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Justin Moltzahn takes aim on net even though he was covered by two men in the third period. While he didn’t earn the goal on this play, Moltzahn is credited with one assist during the game.

Darel Northcott handles the puck while travelling into Pontiacs territory on Oct. 28. Northcott passed the puck backwards to the open man before Bonnyville had the chance to challenge him.

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