Photo: The Flyers celebrate during game one of the Allan Cup – MT Actions Photography
By Jon Zacks
The Flyers charged out of the gate in their first-ever Allan Cup game, posting a wire-to-wire victory over the Bentley Generals.
After the long wait for the Allan Cup tournament to arrive in the Energetic City, the Flyers stood anxiously but calmly on the blue line, as Monday’s game commenced with an official opening ceremony.
Any questions about their ability or preparedness were quickly answered, as the Flyers put up a dominating first period performance. After both teams killed-off early penalties, the Flyers scored the first goal of the game, when Rod Stevens busted down the left-hand side, and buried his own rebound, to give the home team the first lead of the game. Late in the first, David Alexander beat Scott Galenza on a breakaway, to give Fort St. John a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes. The Flyers would never look back.
Midway through the second period, Todd Alexander threw the puck at the net, and Nathan Waberski redirected it past Galenza. While the Flyers had already struck on the powerplay (Stevens) and would add another on the man advantage later on, the Generals were unable to muster many chances on their numerous powerplays, and were stymied by Flyers goaltender Clayton Pool whenever they could break through. Late in the second, the Alexander cousins put the dagger into the Bentley hearts. With Luke Middleton served a five-minute major powerplay for a hit to the head on Don Morrison, Todd Alexander stole the puck from Diarmuid Kelly, and raced in alone on Galenza. Todd hit the post with his deake, but David poked the puck in on the rebound, for a short-handed marker that gave the Flyers a 4-0 lead after 40 minutes.
Playing in front of a near-capacity and raucous North Peace Arena Crowd, the Flyers continued to pressure the Generals in the third, and both teams continued the ferocious battle that had been brewing all game long. The old rivals took penalty after penalty, with Fort St. John ending the game 2/10 on the powerplay, and the Generals finishing 1/13 (with a short-handed goal conceded).
It was on the man-advantage that Bentley finally broke the goose-egg, when Darryl Laplante beat Clayton Pool 8 minutes into the third. But, Rod Stevens quickly stole back the momentum, when he banged home his second of the game a minute later. Ryan Manitowich (PP) and Evan Boire would add another pair of goals to the scoresheet, as the Flyers finished with a 7-1 victory over their arch rivals from Alberta.
Todd Alexander was named the Flyers game MVP (2 assists), while Sean Robertson (1 assist) earned MVP honours for the Generals.
Click here to listen to Matt Sales’ post-game interview with Todd Alexander.
The Flyers will return to the ice on Tuesday night, when they take on the Clarenville Caribous. The Generals will have Tuesday off, before wrapping up the round robin against Clarenville on Wednesday night.