Penalties cause trouble for Trackers in weekend double header

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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Northeast BC/Yukon Trackers found themselves shorthanded for a number of long stints during a pair of games this past weekend.

On Saturday night at the North Peace Arena, the Trackers hosted the Peace River Royals, the 2nd ranked team in the Bouchier Division of the NAMHL’s Rural Conference. After battling back-and-forth, the Trackers jumped to a 1-0 after a goal by Jayden Piket assisted by Connor Kindrat with 2:18 left in the opening frame. Peace River responded just over a minute later to keep things tied going into the first intermission.

In the second period, the Royals jumped out to a 2-1 lead before Connor Bowie evened things up with a power play tally assisted by Aiden Craig-Steele and Jeridyn Loewen. With thirty two seconds left on the clock, Bowie and Loewen fed a pass to Curtis Hammond, who buried it to give the Trackers their second lead of the game.

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In the third period, the Trackers were given four penalties, putting them down a man for close to eight minutes. The Royals capitalised on their first power play, evening things up just two seconds before Bowie’s two minute interference penalty was set to expire.

Though the Trackers killed off three more penalties, the team wasn’t able to generate any momentum. A bad bounce in the dying seconds of the game resulted in a 3-on-1 for the Royals. Brandon Clark, who looked phenomenal in net for the entire game, made the first save but wasn’t able to cover the rebound, as the Royals scored the game winning goal with six seconds left in the third.

Facing off against division rivals Grande Prairie on Sunday, the Trackers again played a close contest. The combination of Bowie, Craig-Steele and Loewen again combined on the power play to give the Trackers a 1-0 lead just over fourteen minutes into Sunday’s contest. The Athletic Club responded in the second period, scoring their own power play goal to tie the contest at one apiece. The Trackers ended up having to kill a number of penalties, including several 5-on-3’s. Northeast BC was able to start generating offence in the third, but unfortunately weren’t able to get pucks in the net. The game ended a 1-1 draw.

The Trackers are back in action in just under two weeks’ time, when they head to Fort McMurray for a two game roundtrip against the Oil Barons.

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