FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Northeast BC Yukon Trackers are looking to build on last weekend’s successes when they play on home ice for the first time in 2017.
Five was the magic number for the Trackers on their three game roadtrip to the Edmonton area last weekend.
The Trackers started their roadtrip against the Sturgeon Sting on Friday night. Jeridyn Loewen got the Trackers off to a good start with a power play goal nearly halfway through the first period, assisted by Joel Bourgeois and Connor Bowie. The Sting stung the Trackers twice in the second period before Aiden Craig-Steele answered back with another power play goal assisted by Bourgeois. Sturgeon scored another goal late in the second to go into the third period with a 3-2 lead. Trackers began a late third period comeback with an even strength goal courtesy of Keenan Halverson assisted by Cooper Willms to tie the game. Connor Kindrat gave Northeast BC the go-ahead with 2:10 left on a feed from Craig-Steele, before Curtis Hammond added some insurance to make it 5-3. Bowie and Halverson recorded the assists on that goal at the 1:20 mark.
On Saturday, the Trackers dominated the Sherwood Park Oilers. After a scoreless first period, Aiden Craig-Steele scored unassisted on the power play a minute and a half into the second to give the Trackers the early lead. Ethan Lindberg added a second goal with the man advantage at the 10:04 mark assisted by Curtis Hammond and Keenan Halverson to give Northeast BC a 2-0 lead. Though the Oilers would score late in the frame, that would be the lone puck to make it past Tyler McArthur, who would stop 28 of 29 shots on net. In the third, Connor Kindrat added to what was becoming a theme, scoring a power play goal at the 9:11 mark to restore the Trackers’ two-goal lead, assisted by Halverson and Nick Vanderploeg. Halverson would add a power play goal of his own close to four minutes later after getting a pass from Craig-Steele. 1:20 later, Jeridyn Loewen tallied the Trackers’ fifth goal with the extra attacker assisted by Joel Bourgeois and Nathan Bragg to help the Trackers to a 5-1 win. All five Trackers’ goals came with a power play.
On Sunday, the boys in blue handed the Beaumont Braves only their fourth loss of the season, dominating the Braves from the opening faceoff. Team mananger Sheldon Steele said that the game was one of the Trackers’ best season efforts thus far. Cooper Willms got the ball rolling six and half minutes in, setting up Curtis Hammond with a pass, who then passed it to Connor Bowie, who made it 1-0 Trackers. The Braves answered back just over a minute later, but the Trackers kept up the pressure. Using the extra attacker, Nick Vanderploeg made it 2-1 Northeast BC with 6:04 left in the first on a feed from Keenan Halverson and Connor Kindrat. Aiden Craig-Steele then added some insurance for the team, scoring an unassisted power play goal with just under five left in the first stanza. In the second frame, Bowie added his second of the game, assisted by Garyn Waldie. The Braves again showed why they’re one of the better teams in the NAMHL, scoring a goal late in the second and another pair in the first five minutes of the third to even things up at four apiece. However, the NEBC Trackers also showed that they can play right up there with the Braves. Cooper Willms banged in the game-winning goal on a feed from Curtis Hammond with 7:29 left to play. Tyler McArthur made 13 saves in the third, and shut the door to help the Trackers to a 5-4 win.
The Trackers are back to the North Peace Arena on Saturday night for a game against the Peace River Royals, before hosting the Grande Prairie Athletic Club on Sunday morning at the Pomeroy Sports Centre. Puck drop is at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, and at 10:00 a.m. Sunday.