FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Northeast B.C./Yukon Trackers, capped off their record-breaking season with a win over the St. Albert Blues on Saturday.
The Trackers never trailed in the contest as Nathan Brownlee cracked the ice on the powerplay with the first goal with 11:48 to play in the first period, assisted by Cody Bueckert and Aiden Craig-Steele. The boys in blue and white carried their 1-0 lead into the first intermission.
After allowing the Blues to even the score, Connor Kindrat collected a pass from Craig-Steele and Jayden Viens and fired home a wrist shot. The visitors evened the score six minutes later. However, with ten seconds remaining in the middle frame, Brownlee regained the lead for the home side as he slid a backhand along the ice from in tight that banked off the post and in, Kindrat and Craig-Steele with the helpers on the 3-2 tally.
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The Trackers didn’t let up in the final frame as Cody Bueckert finished off a perfect tic-tac-toe with Curtis Hammond, Craig-Steele and himself for a two-goal advantage at 4:18. The teams traded unsuccessful chances as both goaltenders stood tall until with just over a minute to play on a delayed penalty for the Blues Logan Kimmie fired a shot from centre ice into an empty net after the visitor’s netminder mistakenly headed for the bench. The Blues did score a shorthanded goal with seconds to play, but it wouldn’t matter as the Trackers never looked back and took the game by the score of 5-3.
Craig-Steele led the way with four points, while nine different skaters chipped in with at least a point.
“It was a great win for the boys,” said head coach Gerard Dicaire. “We were missing a couple of guys, and the boys really stepped up, especially in the third period as we managed to push the pace and score that fourth goal. It’s great for these guys to end the season on a high note as they now prepare for the playoffs in Fort McMurray on Thursday.”
With the victory, the Trackers clinched first place in the Bouchier Division with 46 points for the first time ever.
Up next for the boys is a trip to Fort McMurray for their round-robin style playoff tournament which includes their division rivals. The action gets underway on Thursday evening. All the games will be streaming live on the Trackers Ustream page: www.ustream.tv/channel/nebctrackers