Dawson Creek’s quick start came courtesy of a natural hat-trick from forward Kris Desjarlais, sucking the wind out of the home team’s sails and putting the Senior Flyers behind the eight ball after only one period.
The remainder of the game was a different story, as Fort St. John sprung to life in the second period, setting the pace for the remainder of the game.
The Senior Flyers got on the board 8:41 into the second, as Fort St. John Husky Taylor Greatrex, playing for the Flyers Friday evening, scored on a perfectly placed one-timer from the point, earning the Senior Flyers their first goal of the game while on the power-play.
However, just when the Flyers and their fans began to watch the tides turn, another deflating goal was scored against Fort St. John, as Chris Stevens restored Dawson’s three-goal lead, scoring on a short-handed breakaway.
With the Senior Flyers once again trailing by three goals, the home team showed tremendous resilience in the third period, upping the offensive pressure and eventually tying the game.
The comeback began courtesy of Gerard Dicaire, 4:27 into the third, who took the puck from out of the Dawson Creek goaltender’s pad and tucked it into the net on his backhand.
Next, it was Darren Goulet’s turn to chip in offensively, as the forward tipped in a rocket point shot off the stick of Ryan Stickel, deflecting the puck high glove-side, pulling the Senior Flyers within a single goal.
That goal came at the 13:38 marker of the third, when Luke Middleton got the puck in the slot and made no mistake quickly firing a perfectly placed shot glove-side, tying the game at 4-4.
To put things into perspective on just how dominant the Flyers were in the final two frames, the first period concluded with the shots tied at 10-10. At the end of regulation, the Senior Flyers had accumulated a total of 45 shots, compared to just 25 fired by the Senior Canucks.
With time ticking down, the Senior Flyers had numerous chances to end the game, none greater than Gerard Dicaire’s penalty shot. The crafty D-man was awarded a one-on-one chance with the Dawson Creek goalie, following a penalty to the Canucks, who according to the refs, purposely moved the net during a scramble in front of their goalie.
With only 29.5 seconds remaining and the crowd buzzing with excitement, Dicaire skated in, making a nice forehand, backhand move which beat the Canuck’s goalie, but struck the goal post.
With regulation solving nothing, a five minute overtime period commenced, and Dicaire once again showed some elite level skill, taking the puck end-to-end, making a strong move to drive wide on a defence and cutting hard to the net, only to be robbed by the glove of a sprawling Dawson Creek goaltender.
Following five minutes of scoreless overtime, a shootout was necessary to settle the score between the two teams, where unfortunately, the Senior Flyers were unable to score on four attempts, compared to the visiting team, who scored twice, securing the Senior Canucks the 5-4 final.
Following the game, Senior Flyers head coach Darrel Leahy said his team was a bit stunned by the first period scoring.
“The second and third period we obviously took over the game, but what happened in the first was a mystery. We came out in the first five minutes of the first period, got a whole bunch of shots on them, didn’t score. They get a couple lucky ones from behind the net, it deflated us, and the rest of the first period was a deflated bunch.”
Leahy added that the effort put forth in the remainder of the game was one to be proud of for his club.
“The second and third showed some character, and they guys had some fun and came back and sure made it exciting for the fans. In overtime, we should have scored two or three times…Some positives in the second and third, but we’d like to forget about the first.”
Next on the Senior Flyers schedule will be a makeup game at home versus the Hythe Mustangs, which will hit the North Peace Arena ice this Wednesday, January 15, beginning at 8:30 p.m.