SPIRIT RIVER, A.B. — The Fort St. John Flyers are on the ropes in their second round playoff series against the Spirit River Rangers after Game 4 went down in Spirit River Thursday night.
It was all Rangers in the first period, as they made the most of having home team advantage with a 2-1 series lead. Spirit River opened the scoring just after the four minute mark of the first period, and added another tally nearly four minutes later to take a 2-0 lead. A penalty cost the Flyers in the last half of the first stanza, as the Rangers scored a power play goal just before the fifteen minute mark to increase their lead to 3-0. Spirit River outshot Fort St. John 17-12 in the first.
In the second period, the Flyers did their darnedest to get back into the game. Four and a half minutes into the second period, Rick Cleaver broke Spirit River goaltender Micheal Teslak’s shutout, assisted by Adam Horst and Bryan Lewis. The Flyers kept up the assault but weren’t able to find the back of the net again in the second. Shots on goal were even from both teams, with 13 each.
In the third, the Rangers’ defence began to shine, countering the Flyers at every turn. With just 8:26 left in the third, the Rangers restored their three goal lead. Though the Rangers were assessed 6 of the 9 penalties called in the third, the Flyers weren’t able to capitalize on any of them, as the Rangers took the win 4-1 to take a 3-1 lead in the best of seven series.
The Fort St. John Flyers will be facing elimination on Saturday night, when they host the Rangers for Game 5 of the NPHL West Division Final. The puck drops at the North Peace Arena at 8:30 p.m.