GRANDE PRAIRIE, AB. – The Fort St. John Flyers started off their NPHL playoffs with an extra time victory in Grande Prairie on Thursday evening.
The team allowed the home side to break the ice with the first goal but tied things up at 14:10 when Jeff Fast deposited a Steven Fast pass on Athletics netminder Darren Walker. The two teams skated into the first intermission deadlocked at ones.
The home side restored their one-goal advantage early in the middle stanza. A lead they held for nearly three minutes as Robbie Sidhu bulged the twine on the powerplay to even the score at 2-2, assisted by Joey Massingham and Reid Campbell. The Flyers took the lead courtesy Jeff Shipton at 12:04 as he scored the team’s second man-advantage goal of the period with Jeff Fast and Brady Busche collecting the helpers. The visitors took their one-goal lead into the final twenty minutes of play.
The Athletics poured on the pressure in the third frame as they evened the score at the midway point. That, however, was the only tally Travis McLean allowed on 17 shots. As this one required over time as the score after 60 minutes, 3-3.
Lien Miller-Jeannotte scored the game-winner at 6:25 after accepting a pass from Massingham and Sidhu to seal it for the Flyers. Final score Flyers 4 – Athletics 3.
Massingham and Jeff Fast lead the way with two points apiece, while goaltender Travis McLean made 45 of 48 saves.
“Nice to come out with a win,” said General Manager Lee Hartman. “Grande Prairie is a very solid team. We will have our work cut out to get through this round robin. Dawson Creek will be very tough Saturday.”
Next up for the Flyers is a clash with the Dawson Creek Senior Canucks on Saturday at the North Peace Arena. Puck drop is at 8:30 p.m.