Poncelet plays big role on Briercrest team

HUMBOLDT — Humboldt’s Reagan Poncelet played a big role in his first season at Briercrest College.

The son of Rick and Maureen Poncelet was tied for the lead on his Caronport, Sask. school’s men’s hockey team in points with 25 in 26 games. He led the team, which competes in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference, with 15 assists. The former Humboldt Broncos player was second on the team with 10 goals.

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“He is a 200-foot player, but he has an offensive upside that not many guys have,” Briercrest College head coach Brad Cole said. “He has a great shot and he has the ability to be a high-end goal scorer, I think.”

The Briercrest bench boss said that confidence was a key to Poncelet’s season. The rookie was utilized in every situation, including on the powerplay, where he scored three goals. “He developed, and he seized the opportunity that he was given really well,” Cole said. 

“Probably the biggest thing in his game was coming in having confidence, us giving him confidence from the coaching staff, and just seeing that seed grow and seeing it develop and then him actually having that confidence on the ice... His skill set was always there. It was just maturing and growing into that.”

Among the highlights of Poncelet’s season was scoring a hattrick against Portage College. He lit the lamp at even strength, shorthanded, and on the powerplay. In another contest against the same Lac la Biche team, Poncelet recorded five assists.

When asked what allowed him to produce points for the Clippers, Poncelet said, “More confidence in my abilities, more opportunity, my teammates and the environment I was in were the biggest contributors for me. It’s hard to make an impact with limited minutes in a game. When I came to Briercrest, I was trusted with more ice and I flourished in that opportunity and I am thankful to Lord for the opportunity.”

Cole said that the rookie is an “incredible culture fit for us at Briercrest... He just loves playing hockey, loves the game of hockey. He desires to get better every day. As a coach, that’s all you can ask for in a player.”

While Poncelet produced on the ice, the games were just part of what he liked about his first season on the team. He said he enjoyed the Christian first aspect of the Clippers first and foremost.

“Putting into perspective what matters most is crucial to me,” Poncelet said. “That doesn’t mean we don’t care about hockey. We do, but the Lord and his love for us is more important. The group of guys we have is nothing I have ever had before, and I love it. It’s really a family. Everyone loves each other and wants to get to know you like a brother and would take a bullet for you.”

At Briercrest, Poncelet is studying physical education. He said he enjoys the community of the classes. 

“Professors know you on a personal level and it’s really unique and amazing,” Poncelet said. “They help whenever you need help and will take so much time out of their personal life and day to help you.”

Growing up he developed his game in Humboldt, including playing for the local bantam AA and midget AA teams. After playing one season with the midget AAA Saskatoon Blazers, Poncelet split the 2017-18 campaign between the Humboldt Broncos and the Junior B Delisle Chiefs.

The next season he helped the team get back on the ice after the devastating April 6, 2018 Broncos bus crash that claimed 16 lives. Poncelet played a role on the ice, but also earned recognition for his work in the community. At the team’s awards banquet on 2019, the Broncos’ RBC Community Ambassador received the Elgar Petersen Award for contributions on and off the ice and the Roger Nielsen Hockey Ministries Award. 

“I enjoyed the teammates that I played with here,” he said. “They were good guys and we had a special bond. The coaches provided me with knowledge and helped my game grow. The fans and kids, though, were a major part for me. We, as Broncos, are trying to make a difference and be role models for the community and I think that’s what I enjoyed most is making an impact in people’s lives.”

Throughout his playing days, Poncelet has been encouraged by his parents.

“My family has always supported my hockey career,” he said. “They always have wanted what is best for me and have always been honest with me. They have helped me with clarity in making difficult decisions. I am so thankful for them and love them so much.”

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