The Rangers opened the scoring 2:45 into the opening period, but Fort St. John responded with two goals mid way through the period and held the 2-1 lead entering the second period.
Spirit River again scored early, this time 1:20 into the first period to tie the game, and they took the lead shortly after with a goal less than four minutes later. The Flyers battled back to tie the game at three, however the Rangers took the lead with just over seven minutes left in the second period.
Heading into the third the Flyers were able to tie the game at four. From that point however the Rangers tightened up defensively and limited Fort St. John to only five shots on goal, and in the process were able to score two of their own to take the 6-4 win.
Head Coach Gerard Dicare knows the team has a lot a work ahead of them if they want to extend their season.
“3-0 is a hard deficit to come back from. You chip away at it, one period at a time, one game at a time and see where the cards fall when it’s done,” he says. “Guys have to get tougher, guys have to get to the net more. We did score four goals tonight. We had been struggling getting pucks to the net and bodies there, but tonight we did that a little bit.”
Dicare adds that the team needs to play better defensive hockey especially in their own zone as the Rangers have been driving the net throughout the series.
“We have to tighten everything up. It’s a lot of game in a lot of days. Fatigue sets in and we have to play a lot smarter. In the defensive zone we need to take the body and finish our checks. Just d-zone coverage in general. We get so puck focused on what’s happening that we forget about the guy driving to the net or the guy coming late.”
In an effort to give the team a boost Dicaire is going to switch goaltenders for game four in Spirit River and give Jared Anderson the start. He says it’s not a reflection on Troy Hunt, but is making the change in hopes the shake up will benefit the rest of the team.
“Andy is going to start game four. I talked to the boys yesterday and told them Huntsy hasn’t lost us a game this series so it’s not his fault, but I told them yesterday that if we lose game three that Andy will get a start in game four in Spirit so that’s what we’re going to go with. Hopefully he gets on a hot streak and we ride him to the seven games.”
Scoring in order for the Flyers were Arlo Hadland, Dan Pappin, Josh Bruha, and Jeff Fast.
The Flyers will take on the Rangers in Spirit River on Tuesday as they try to avoid elimination from the playoffs.