It seems at this point, there really isn’t much to pick from between the Fort St. John Flyers and Stony Plain Eagles.
After splitting a two-game series in Stony Plain in November, this weekend’s series moved to the Encana Centre in Dawson Creek, with the Eagles winning game one 4-3 in a shootout.
Saturday’s game got off to a bit of a slow start, particularly for Chad Vizzutti and the Flyers, with Stony Plain scoring on their first shot of the game, a short-handed marker by Clem Arsenault.
5 minutes in, the Flyers scored a shorty of their own, when Eagles goalie Jason Fricker misplayed a dump in, handing the puck to Ryan Carter – who found Kersey in the slot, to even the score at 1-1.
The Flyers would take a first period lead, when Tyler Brough brought the puck down the right wing, and fired it past Fricker, to make it 2-1 FSJ.
The second period was a little flat for the Flyers, with Scott MacKee starting things out by banging a loose puck past Vizzutti, to tie the game. Minutes later, Vizzutti made a glove save on an Oliver McGee shot from the high-slot, but the rebound was batted in by captain Mike Thompson, to put Stony Plain back in front.
Ryan Carter salvaged the period, when he was sent in on a short-handed breakaway by Tyler Brough, making no mistake on his chance, to knot the game at 3-3.
The third period saw both teams getting opportunities on the powerplay, with Fort St. John getting three straight chances with the man-advantage. But, the Flyers powerplay couldn’t seem to connect passes, get set-up, or create any real scoring opportunities, and the game would remain tied at the end of regulation.
And so, just as in game one of the November series, the opening game this weekend would go to 5 minutes of 4 on 4 overtime. The first 30 seconds of the extra frame may well have seen the most action of the entire game, with both teams getting fantastic chances. At one end, Dustin Kersey had a partial breakaway, but was unable to beat Justin Fricker. At the other, Clem Arsenault was left all alone in front, with plenty of time, but was absolutely robbed by Chad Vizzutti, who made a desperation double-stack save.
On to a shootout, from which the Flyers had emerged victorious two months ago. This time, the Eagles would make good, with Jeff Drummond and Blair Hennes scoring for the Eagles, and no Flyers able to beat Justin Fricker, and the Eagles would win 4-3.
The teams will get back at it on Sunday afternoon at 2pm.