The Senior Flyers won their second game in as many nights on Sunday evening, to take a 3-2 lead in the NPHL Campbell Cup finals.
After dominating game four in Grande Prairie, the Flyers kept their feet on the gas in Sunday’s game five.
Fort St. John also had a full team on the bench, and a lineup similar to what is expected for the upcoming MacKenzie Cup. The extra bodies helped the Flyers play their physical brand of hockey, which led to success on the forecheck, and helped earn more powerplays.
Ryan Carter was playing his second game of the playoffs, after chipping in a hat-trick in Saturday’s game four. Chad Vizzutti remained with the team, after starting in goal for games three and four, though it was Troy Hunt who got the start. And, Tyler Brough played his first game of the playoffs, joining a line alongside Ryan Carter and Adam Loncan. Brough admitted playing with those two carries a bit of pressure to contribute offensively, but says it’s a challenge he welcomes. [asset|aid=1140|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=3c9917b21524ef79b01bef2aa05729e3-Brough-line_1_Pub.mp3]
It was Grande Prairie who scored first, when Jason Jubb redirected a Mike Mohr point-shot, and then fired home the rebound. Arlo Hadland would get the Flyers on the board, when his slap-shot from the right point found its way to the back of the net. The Flyers took a first period lead, when Matt Shuya chipped a puck ahead to Paul Wiens, whose centring pass was swatted in by Dustin Kersey.
Though the Flyers would control the puck for the majority of the second, the Athletics would fight back with a couple of goals against the flow of play. Grande Prairie tied the game 2-2, when Luke Middleton shattered a stick, and Tyler Loney mishandled the puck right in front of Troy Hunt, with the free chance converted by Jordan Bombier. Ian Munro regained the Flyer lead, when he deflected a Mike Shipton point shot past Larson, for the Fleyrs first powerplay goal of the night. Halfway through the second, DJ McDonald tied the game again, when his snapper just trickled through Troy Hunt, to make it 3-3 after 40 minutes.
But in the third, the Flyers would finally pull away. Adam Loncan scored the winning goal when he got two bangs at a Ryan Carter centring pass. Todd Alexander scored two consecutive goals, firstly driving to the net and jamming home an Ian Munro pass, and then pouncing on a loose puck behind David Larson, and poking it over the goal line. Ryan Carter added a final powerplay goal, with he fired a Clayton Bahm feed past David Larson.
After the game, Todd Alexander said the difference between the Flyers of games four and five, and the Flyers of games one and three, was mainly in the team’s work ethic. [asset|aid=1141|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=3c9917b21524ef79b01bef2aa05729e3-Todd-better_1_Pub.mp3]
Todd led the way offensively, with two goals and an assist. Tyler Brough was held off the scoresheet, but had a lot of goal-scoring chances, and contributed to the offensive threat his line (Brough, Carter, Loncan) provided. [asset|aid=1142|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=3c9917b21524ef79b01bef2aa05729e3-brough-feelsgood_1_Pub.mp3]
And so, the Flyers win game five 7-3, and take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven Campbell Cup finals.
They will get a chance to wrap up the championship on Tuesday night, at the Coca-Cola Centre in Grande Prairie. The game starts at 7:30 PST, and will be broadcast live on Moose FM.