FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St. John Flyers improved their winning streak to six games after defeating the Grande Prairie Athletics 5-4 on Thursday night.
The opening period had both teams exchange two goals each during a four-minute stretch. At 6:02 the Athletics went up 1-0, two minutes later Steven Fast found the net off a dish from Lien Miller-Jeannotte to tie it up at ones. The A’s regained the lead thirty-one seconds later, which lasted nearly a minute as Jordan Gies finished off a pass from Robbie Sidhu for the 2-2 goal.
Sidhu gave the home side their first lead with a power-play tally with 14:43 remaining in the middle stanza after great perimeter passing between Steven Fast and Mike Van Nostrand. The lead didn’t last long as the Athletics tied it up just over two minutes later. With 4:09 to go in the second period, Rick Cleaver took a cross-crease saucer pass from Fast and fired a one-timer past the visitor’s netminder, Sidhu with the secondary assist. The Flyers took the 4-3 lead into the second intermission.
The Flyers made it 5-3 with a shorthanded marker 2:40 into the final frame when Joey Massingham accepting a stretch pass from Sidhu and beat the Athletics goalie high to the blocker side. The A’s got one back late on the power play but it wasn’t enough as the Flyers escaped with a 5-4 win.
Head coach Andrew Leriger dislocated his elbow in practice this week and was replaced for the game by injured forward Adam Horst who was unfit to play. “There was a big difference between this game and the last time we played Grande Prairie, we were trying to find our identity and shake off the rust,” said Horst. “The boys are feeling really good about their game and it’s showing in our six straight wins.”
Next up for the Flyers is a tilt with the Dawson Creek Canucks next Thursday at the North Peace Arena. Puck drop is at 8:30 p.m.