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Trackers sweep last two games of homestand, extend winning streak to five games

#16 Curtis Hammond trying to fire a shot through the Don Wheaton defender on Jan.7th. Photo by Brady Ratzlaff.
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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Northeast B.C./Yukon Trackers were victorious in both of their games over the weekend.

Saturday nights contest in Dawson Creek vs the KC Colts saw the Trackers come out flying as Aiden Craig-Steele scored twenty-three seconds into the game for an early 1-0 lead, assisted by Curtis Hammond and Connor Bowie. Craig Steele found the back of the net on the power play for his second in the opening frame with 6:58 to go after accepting a pass from Bowie and Connor Kindrat, 2-0 Trackers. With just under three minutes remaining Logan Kimmie got in on the action with a great solo effort for the 3-1 tally.

Hammond made it 4-1 with 6:59 to go in the middle frame with the Bowie, Craig-Steele and Hammond connection working once again. The home side skated into the final 20 minutes of play with a 4-1 advantage.

Bowie added to his point totals on the night with his first goal, assisted by Kindrat at the 8:30 mark of the final frame, to make it 5-1. Nearly three minutes after the Colts bulged twine for the 5-2 marker, Bowie buried his second of the game after some great passing between himself, Hammond and Kindrat for a shorthanded goal. John Herrington added another for the 7-2 goal on the man advantage with 3:01 to play, assisted by Duncan Ross and Craig-Steele. Finally, Hammond tallied his second of the night with 59 seconds remaining with Craig-Steele providing the lone helper. At the final buzzer Trackers 8 – Colts 2.

Connor Bowie and Aiden Craig-Steele lead the way with five points each, while Curtis Hammond chipped in with a four-point contest. Dakota Olson made 24 saves in the victory.

Sunday mornings clash with the South Side Athletic Club Don Wheaton’s (Edmonton) was a much closer game.

Both teams tried to find their legs as both were playing back-to-backs for the first 15 minutes of the period. With 3:32 remaining Curtis Hammond bulged twine after taking a slick feed from Aiden Craig-Steele. Owen Floriant made it 2-0 with a buzzer beater after finding a rebound off a shot from Cayden Frenette and Noah Lang.

After a scoreless middle stanza, the third period saw the two teams trade goals. After the visitors cut the lead to 2-1, Hammond capitalized on the power play with a wrist shot that sent the Don Wheaton goaltenders water bottle flying with 14:54 remaining. Less than two minutes later the Trackers saw their lead slip to 3-2 after a powerplay goal by the Don Wheaton’s. Connor Bowie restored the two-goal advantage just over five minutes later with a perfect shot blocker side, assisted by Nathan Brownlee and Craig-Steele. After 60 minutes of play the home side 4 – Don Wheaton’s 2.

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Tyler MacArthur made 26 saves in the win. The line combination of Connor Bowie, Aiden Craig- Steele and Curtis Hammond combined for six points. With the recent outburst of offence, the Trackers now have four of the top twenty point producers in the Northern Alberta Midget Hockey League, with Bowie leading the way with 35 points.

The team sits in second place in the Bouchier Division standings with a 12-6-1 record, eight points behind the Peace River Royals. “It’s important for the team to establish themselves on home ice,” said head coach Gerard Dicaire. “We have talked about it a lot recently, this is our rink and our city we have to make it a tough place to play. The boys played well considering we had the game last night in Dawson Creek and then the early game in Fort St. John, we were not lacking any energy.”

Next up for the Trackers is a trip through central Alberta next weekend starting on Friday with a tilt with the Strathcona ACT Warriors. Puck drop is at 8:00 p.m.

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