FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – It was a fast-action game as the Fort St. John Flyers hosted the Grande Prairie Athletics at the North Peace Arena on Saturday.
Before puck drop, the Flyers were presented with their 2017-18 NPHL Championship banner along with the Lawrence Cup.
At 3:29 into the first period, Joey Massingham scored a fast one into the Athletics net with an assist from Adam Horst and Rick Cleaver.
Then with 11:21 left in the period, Reid Campbell shot the puck into the net with help from Tanner LeSann and Joey Massingham making the score 2-0 for the Flyers.
Nearing the end of the first, at 42 seconds, Grande Prairie managed to get a goal into the Flyers net, making it 2-1 in favour of the Flyers at the end of the first.
In the second period, things got a little difficult for the Flyers as the Athletics tied the score at 2-2. The play got quite physical as both teams battled over the puck.
With a power play advantage at 5:22 left in the period, Tanner LeSann scored a point on the Athletics with a feed from Reid Campbell and captain Jeff Shipton making the score 3-2.
The Flyers were able to maintain the lead as Steven Fast, made a goal at 30 seconds left on the clock with an assist from Robbie Sidhu and Jordan Gies making the score 4-2 at the end of the second.
At the start of the third, a penalty was given to the Athletics for having too many men on the ice.
At 3:24 into the period, the Flyers strengthened their lead as Tanner LeSann, with an assist from Joey Massingham and Lien Miller-Jeannotte, made another goal into the Athletics net setting the score at 5-2.
But the Athletics were not going to give up without a fight as they scored a point in a power play and then another goal at 13:05 left on the clock, making the score closer at 5-4.
At 9:38 left in the frame, Jordan Gies set the Flyers score 6-4 with an assist from Steven Fast and Robbie Sidhu.
Then Grande Prairie made the score closer by sending the puck into the net making it 6-5.
With 2:20 left in the third, the Athletics called for a time-out.
A decision was made within the final minute of play to pull the Athletics goalie as part of a last-ditch effort.
That effort proved not to be enough as the Flyers finished the game 6-5 over the Athletics.
Flyers coach Andrew Leriger says it was a great game for the team.
“It was a great game. Grande Prairie is a very skilled team, and we know what they bring – their speed, their physicality so we had to be on our game to do what we do best”, said Leriger.
Up next, the Flyers will be on the road as they continue to play the Athletics in Grande Prairie on November 3. Game time is 8:30 p.m.