Trackers blow late lead, tie Storm

#16 Curtis Hammond looking to score on the Storm's netminder on Feb.11th. Photo by Brady Ratzlaff.

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Northeast B.C./Yukon Trackers blew a late one-goal lead to tie the Grande Prairie Athletic Storm on Sunday afternoon.

After a scoreless first period, the Trackers found themselves down 2-0 midway through the second frame until Connor Bowie collected a loose puck along the boards, skated to the slot and fired a wrister top corner to cut the deficit in half at 10:09, assisted by Aiden Craig-Steele and Zury Reschke. Eighteen seconds after going down by two goals once again, Cody Bueckert beat a screened Storm’s netminder from the point on a great solo effort.  The boys were down by one goal going into the final period frame.

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At 12:58 of the final stanza Curtis Hammond accepted a Bowie pass in the neutral zone, skated down the wing and fired a shot through the defenceman’s legs over the blocker of the visitor’s goaltender to tie the game at 3-3. Then at 17:52 Devan Minard deflected a Duncan Ross point shot from eight feet out to give the team their first lead of the game, John Herrington with the secondary helper.  With under a minute to play the team allowed the tying goal. Final score Trackers 4 – Storm 4.

Bowie led the way with two points while eight players chipped in with a point.

“It was a game that didn’t have a lot of flow,” said head coach Gerard Dicaire. “After a bland first period, they took it to us in the first 10 minutes of the second but after that, I thought we started to play our brand of hockey. We just need to remember to close out games when we have a late lead.”

With the tie, the Tracker moved two points up on the Peace River Royals for the top spot in the Bouchier Division standings with 39 points.

Next up for the boys is a trip to Whitecourt for a doubleheader this weekend. Saturday’s game gets underway at 3:15 p.m. while Sunday’s clash with the Wolverines starts at 1:00 p.m. Both games can be watched online at: www.ustream.tv/channel/nebctrackers

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