The Fort St. John dropped their second game of the new year to the Falher Pirates last night at the North Peace Arena. The Flyers lost in overtime 5-4 and were left feeling frustrated from their own mistakes, and highly questionable calls by the referee throughout the contest.
The Pirates got off to a fast start as the Flyers struggled to find their legs at the start of the game. The Flyers found themselves down 2-0 before the game was seven minutes old. Fort St. John however got going after that point as they scored two of their own in the final 7:32.
As the second period got underway Falher once again restored their lead as they found the back of the net with just under 13 minutes left in the frame. The Flyers again tied the game once again as Rick Cleaver scored on a breakaway with 9:04 remaining.
Fort St. John took the lead in the third however it was short lived as Falher tied the game four and a half minutes after.
In overtime Falher notched themselves the game winning goal with 3:23 left on the clock.
After the game head coach Gerard Dicaire lamented about blown opportunities, especially when it came to the powerplay.
“We had a four minute power play we didn’t score on. Their goalie played hard. We had a slow start in the first six minutes and we fell behind 2-0 but we battled back,” he said.
With the team trying to keep pace with Spirit River and Grande Prairie, Dicaire said it’s frustrating to lose points to teams like Falher, but at the same time noted that come playoffs anything can happen and noted last year’s experience for the Flyers as a prime example.
“It hurts for sure especially when they beat Spirit last weekend in a shootout so that’s a three point game, but what I learned last year was that the standings in the regular season don’t mean a thing,” he explained. “It matters who shows up for the Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday games in the playoffs. Look at us last year, we finished ahead of Spirit but got swept 4-0.”
The main thing that stuck out after the game was the amount of questionable calls there were made in not made throughout the game. Players being hit in the head with sticks between whistles were not called, while players telling the official to get out of the way because they were preventing a play on the puck were called as unsportsmanlike conduct. Dicaire was not shy about his feelings with the way the game was called.
“Oh you know it’s all about him. He gave a two and a ten and a game for not even saying much. It was probably in French so he did probably didn’t even understand it. This guy has been an issue all year. I don’t know how we keep on getting stuck with him. We go to Spirit River and Grande Prairie and they get home refs and then at home we get this yahoo. I mean what do you do?”
Scoring in order for the Flyers were Jeff Shipton, Adam Horst, Rick Cleaver, and Jeff Shipton.
Next for Fort St. John is a game on the road in Grande Prairie on Thursday night. After that they’ll be at home on Saturday night at 8:30 against Grimshaw.