FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – In a contest that was pretty tame for a playoff game the Fort St. John Flyers put forth one of their most complete efforts of the year. The team fell behind in the first 1-0 but came back to score four unanswered the rest of the way to take game one of the North Peace Hockey League’s west quarterfinal 4-1.
After the Canucks opened the scoring with just over seven minutes left in the first the Flyers got the tying goal with 2:50 left in the opening frame. Fort St. John also held a substantial edge in the shots at 12-3.
The Flyers took the lead on the power play in the second period seven minutes in, and the score held going into the third.
Fort St. John got the always valuable insurance marker early in the third just 3:50 into the period, and rounded out the scoring with a late tally with just over three minutes to play.
Defensively the Flyers have been hammering home the importance of defensive zone play as of late and head coach Andrew Leriger said his club took another step in the right direction in that department.
“Tonight was about 60 minutes. We’ve worked on defence dramatically. Last game against Spirit River showed that it’s starting to come and the guys were ready to play 60 minutes. It’s a brand new season. We know how to win and we know how to bring it when it’s time when you need to,” he said.
Past games this season against Dawson Creek have seen the Canucks mount late period comebacks but that didn’t happen Tuesday night as the Flyers locked down both ends of the ice.
“Dawson Creek is a team that gets better throughout the game. We know that. The guys were able to keep doing it. In the past we’ve let up. We’ve gotten the lead and we stop skating. Tonight we didn’t stop skating,” Leriger said.
Scoring for the Flyers were Josh Bruha, Jeff Fast, Adam Horst, and Jeff Shipton.
Shots in the game were 36-18 in favour of Fort St. John.
Game two of the best of five series goes Thursday night in Dawson Creek at 8:30, before returning to Fort St. John for game three the following night.