FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – With only one regular season game remaining, the Fort St. John Senior Flyers are sitting pretty after last night’s tilt against the Spirit River Rangers.
The Flyers were like gangbusters out of the starting gate. Taking a pass from Daylen Pearson and Arlo Hadland, Adam Horst caught the Rangers off guard scoring just thirteen seconds into the game. Just over six minutes later, Horst tallied his second of the game to make it 2-0 Flyers, assisted by Brady Busche and Jeff Shipton. A few minutes later it was a 3-0 game after Andrew Payou put one in the net on a feed from Cody Hildebrand and Dan Pappin. After Shipton took a high-sticking penalty, the Rangers used the man advantage to break Troy Hunt’s shutout. But, with 3:21 left on the clock, the Flyers also took advantage of having an extra attacker after a Rangers tripping penalty. Jake Ebner found the back of the Spirit River net, assisted by Robbie Sidhu and Joey Massingham.
In the second, Rick Cleaver tallied his 27th goal of the season just 45 seconds into the frame, assisted by Pearson and Shipton. Though the Rangers added another, Dan Pappin restored the Flyers’ four goal lead just before the halfway mark assisted by Payou and Busche. Less than two minutes later, the Rangers got a sudden spark and began to control the play. Spirit River scored a trio of goals in less than seven minutes, and the score was suddenly 6-5 for the Flyers. With 1:02 on the clock, Hunt made a pass to Adam Horst. Horst found Rick Cleaver, who scored his second of the game, adding some insurance for the Flyers, who were outshot 15-9 in the second.
The third period was more subdued than the first two, though the period did see more penalties. The Rangers scored another even strength goal with 3:34 left to once again make it a one goal game. But, the Rangers took a late Boarding penalty that cost them the chance to tie things up. Cleaver got a hat-trick with fifteen seconds left for both the power play and the game assisted by Ryan Carter. It was all over but the crying as Fort St. John won their final regular season home game 8-6.
The Flyers will be playing their final NPHL regular season game on Thursday night, when they visit the Dawson Creek Senior Canucks. The puck drops at the Memorial Arena at 8:30 p.m.