FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St. John Flyers finally got the monkey off their backs and defeated the Dawson Creek Senior Canucks on Thursday night.
Like the temperature outside, the home side started off the first period cold as they couldn’t find the back of the net. The Senior Canucks skated into the first intermission with a 2-0 lead courtesy of a pair of goals in the last ten minutes of the opening frame.
The Flyers got one back in the second when Joey Massingham found the puck in the high slot and fired a shot over the blocker of the Dawson Creek netminder Josh Round at 16:03, assisted by Brady Busche and Payden Wongstedt. The Flyers tied the game at twos just 1:05 into the third stanza when Jeff Shipton beat a screened Round from the far hash mark. Adam Horst and Rick Cleaver started the play from their own end and used two stretch passes to get Shipton time and space.
Then ninety seconds after the visitors restored their lead, Reid Campbell found space over the blocker of the Senior Canucks goaltender with a shot from the point, assisted by Jake Ebner and Dan Pappin. The Flyers would finally grab their first lead with less than three minutes left when Massingham used another screen to beat Round over his right pad from the left faceoff dot on the powerplay assisted by Ebner. Ebner then dished out his third assist of the final period with 1:09 remaining when he dropped a pass through the crease to a trailing Adam Horst who wasted little time beating a helpless Round. The final score was 5-3.
Jake Ebner was the main dealer in Thursday’s game with three assists, while Massingham and Horst each contributed two points. The Flyers improved their NPHL leading record to 12-2.
“This is big for the team,” said head coach Andrew Leriger. “Even when we were down two goals the team wasn’t flustered, we dug in and took over the game in the second and third periods. That kind of mentality is key especially when we will be seeing a lot of Dawson Creek in the coming weeks, starting on Sunday.”
The Flyers and Senior Canucks will meet again on Sunday in Game One of the Coy Cup playdowns at the North Peace Arena. Puck drop is at 2:00 p.m.