FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Northeast BC/Yukon Trackers had an amazing weekend in the Edmonton area, playing three games in as many days in their final road trip of the regular season.
The Trackers started their roadtrip against the Lakeland Panthers in Bonnyville Friday night after a nine hour bus ride from Fort St. John. It was all Trackers from the get-go as Keenan Halverson made it 1-0 with a power play goal assisted by Jeridyn Loewen. The Trackers’ defence was stellar in the opening frame, and the Panthers were only able to get three shots on netminder Brandon Clark over twenty minutes. In the second period, the Trackers kept up the pressure, peppering the Panthers’ goal with 16 shots on net. The first goal in the frame to make it in again came courtesy of a Trackers power play. Ethan Lindberg scored with the man advantage to make it 2-0 unassisted just over six and a half minutes in. Affiliate player Cayden Frenette added a third goal with just under a minute left in the stanza to increase the Trackers’ lead to three, assisted by Connor Bowie and Nathan Bragg. Though the Panthers would outshoot the Trackers 14-4 in the third, Clark shut the door to record a shutout in the Trackers’ 3-0 win.
On Saturday in Wainwright, the Polar Kings would be the ones to open the scoring. Down 1-0 just 8:15 into the first, Curtis Hammond answered back for Northeast BC, assisted by Connor Bowie just before the midway mark. The back and forth continued as the Polar Kings made it 2-1 almost 2:30 later, but Jeridyn Loewen again tied things up, assisted by Aiden Craig-Steele with a power play tally. Craig-Steele would give the Trackers their first lead of the game just over two minutes later, assisted by Cooper Willms. Craig-Steele would add to the Trackers’ lead just over five minutes into the second, assisted by Nathan Bragg. Though the Polar Kings would cut NEBC’s lead, Loewen would score his second of the game with the man advantage to regain the two goal advantage several minutes later on a feed from Bragg and Nick Vanderploeg. Bowie added another power play goal early in the third period to increase the Trackers’ lead to three, assisted by Willms and Craig-Steele. Final score was 6-3.
Heading to their last game against the Fort Saskatchewan Rangers on Sunday, the Trackers would get scored on first once again. The Rangers made it 1-0 just over 90 seconds into the game. Though Jayden Piket tied things up at one apiece on the power play six minutes later assisted by Nick Vanderploeg, the Rangers answered back less than thirty seconds after that. In the final minute of the first, Aiden Craig-Steele tied things up once again on a feed from Jeridyn Loewen. Shots were fairly even in the second, at 14-13 in favour of Northeast BC. It would be the Rangers however that would score in the last five minutes of the second act to once again regain the lead. The Rangers held on for nearly twenty minutes, before Craig-Steele scored his second of the game on the power play to once again tie the game, assisted by Connor Bowie and Keenan Halverson. The Trackers would then come alive in the final minute of action. With 23 seconds left and the game headed to overtime, Bowie took a pass from Craig-Steele and Connor Kindrat to give the Trackers their first lead of the game. After the Rangers pulled their goaltender for the extra attacker, it only took twenty seconds for Curtis Hammond to add some insurance, sealing the deal 5-3 with three seconds left.
With the three wins, the Trackers have regained third spot in the Bouchier Division standings from the Grande Prairie Athletics Club. The Trackers will be playing their final regular season game on alternate home ice this weekend, as they host the Maple Leaf Athletic Club at the Dawson Creek Memorial Arena. Puck drops at 6:45 p.m. Saturday.