SPIRIT RIVER, A.B. – Though their younger colleagues had a successful night Saturday, the Fort St. John Flyers were not quite able to emulate the Huskies in their second playoff game against the Spirit River Rangers.
After falling to the Rangers in Game 1 last Thursday, the Flyers were looking for redemption on the road Saturday night. Sadly, it was the Rangers that would open the scoring just 1:11 seconds into the first. Just before the four minute mark, Brennan Giroux tied things up at one, assisted by Jeff Fast. Though the Rangers would jump back out to the lead near the middle of the period with a power play goal, Rick Cleaver answered back for the Flyers on the power play just over three minutes later. Brady Busche and Adam Horst tallied the assists on Cleaver’s goal.
With only 13 players to the Rangers’ 17, the Flyers started struggling against Spirit River’s fresher legs in the second. Penalties proved to be costly for Fort St. John as the Rangers would increase their lead to 6-3 after twenty minutes, with two of the three goals being scored with the man advantage.
The Flyers would continue to outshoot the Rangers in the third, though a break wouldn’t come until later in the period. Cleaver scored his second of the game to cut the Rangers’ lead to two with Just under seven minutes to play, assisted by Horst and Jeff Shipton. However, the Rangers would reply just ninety seconds later with a short-handed goal, followed by an even strength tally in the final minute to win the second game against the Flyers and take a 2-0 series lead.
The Flyers will host the Rangers for Game 3 of the best-of-seven series at the North Peace Arena on Tuesday night. Puck drop is at 8:30 p.m.