FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St. John Flyers downed the Grande Prairie Athletics on Thursday night, inching closer to a birth in the NPHL finals.
The short benched Flyers jumped on the home side early as Jake Ebner’s superb solo effort put his team in front 1-0 at 3:18 of the first period. Adam Horst made it 2-0 with just under two minutes remaining, assisted by Rick Cleaver and Colin Minardi.
Ebner added his second of the game at 3:49 of the middle frame after depositing a pass from Jeff Fast and Brandon Millin. Robbie Sidhu scored the 4-0 goal three minutes later after working a perfect give and go with Millin. The Flyers needed all four of those goals as the Athletics scored three straight to close out the middle period.
The boys in blue and white padded their advantage 1:49 into the final frame as Jeff Fast scored a beauty on a great individual effort. Sidhu put to rest any chances of a comeback by the Athletics as he scored the insurance marker as he found the net for his second of the night at 12:40. Final score Flyers 6 – Athletics 4.
Ebner and Sidhu lead the charge with two goals each, while seven skaters contributed to the win.
“Big win for us,” said General Manager Lee Hartman. “We were only able to get three defencemen to go on the trip last night.”
With the victory, the Flyers eliminate the Athletics from the playoffs and improve their record to 5-0-1. They need one more point to clinch the West Division and any combination of a Flyers win or loss in overtime or a Dawson Creek loss of any kind, the Flyers advance to the finals.
Up next for the team is a clash with the Athletics next Thursday at the North Peace Arena. Puck drop is at 8:30 p.m.