FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Only two teams in the history of the North Peace Hockey League have come back from 3-0 deficits to win a playoff series and on Saturday night the Fort St. John Flyers will have an opportunity to be the third. The Flyers took game six last night at the North Peace Arena 5-3 over the Grimshaw Huskies, a game they largely controlled despite the close score and the narrow gap in the shot totals.
As they have the past few games Fort St. John got off to another great start. Despite only having a one goal lead to show for their effort they dominated the Huskies and led in shots after 20 minutes at 14-6.
Just 14 seconds into the middle frame the Flyers increased their lead to two but the advantage was short lived after the Huskies cut into the lead a minute and a half later, and tied the game 67 seconds after their first tally. Fort St. John handled the adversity well and took the lead back 4:48 into the period, and would score another two times to lead by three at the break.
A goal less than three minutes into the third by Grimshaw shed some minor doubt on the game’s outcome, but the Huskies would get no closer as their scoring chances the rest of the game were few and far between.
After the contest Flyers head coach Andrew Leriger said his club handled the momentum change in the second period well, and did a good job taking it back from that point forward.
“The guys knew when they [Grimshaw] tied it in the second period it wasn’t that we were getting outplayed, it was just a couple of mistakes that happened. It was a little easy to get over. The job is always to win the next shift and the guys know that,” he said.
With Adam Horst out of the lineup Leriger was forced to do some line juggling. He brought up defenceman Tyler Loney to play on the second forward line and was noticeable for all the right reasons throughout the evening.
“Loney played forward last year. He played with Shippy [Shipton], he played with Horst. I had him on the point because of our inexperience for most of the year. Lones is a massive part of our team. Without him we’re definitely a different squad out there. I can’t say enough about Tyler. He’s unreal,” he said.
Scoring for the Flyers were Ryan Carter, Bryan Lewis, Jeff Shipton, Robbie Sidhu, and Joey Massingham.
Game seven goes Saturday night in Grimshaw at 8:30 with the winner advancing to take on the Spirit River Rangers in the league finals.