SPIRIT RIVER, A.B. – The Fort St. John Flyers continue to control top spot in the North Peace Hockey League’s West Division after a tilt against the Rangers in Spirit River on Thursday night.
The Rangers were hungry for a win after an 11-0 loss to the Grande Prairie Athletics on Tuesday night, while the Flyers came from behind to win 5-4 in Dawson Creek the same evening. This time the Flyers struck first, as Rick Cleaver scored on the power play less than four minutes in assisted by Daylen Pearson and Bryan Lewis. Though the Rangers tied things up 50 seconds later, the Flyers came alive in the second half of the opening stanza. Joey Massingham scored at the 10:10 mark on a feed from Cleaver and Jeff Shipton. Dan Pappin made it 3-1 Fort St. John at minute and fifteen seconds later, with assists going to Marshal Sidwell and Cole Calliou. With 3:32 left to play in the frame, Shipton made it 4-1 Flyers with the man advantage. Lewis and Arlo Hadlund recorded the power play goal’s assists. Shots on goal after twenty minutes were 21-8 in favour of Fort St. John.
After the first intermission, the Rangers seemed to wake up. The Rangers’ line of Alex Curran, Tanner Bjorklund, and Dlane Sather put a pair of pucks past Flyers netminder Travis McLean in the first half of the second period. McLean looked sharp in the period, stopping 23 of 25 shots on net. With 10:19, Robbie Sidhu again gave the Flyers a two-goal lead with an unassisted tally. Late in the period, Spirit River took a pair of minor and an equal number of Misconduct penalties. Massingham scored his second of the game, capitalizing on the power play assisted once again by Shipton and Cleaver.
The third period saw a number of Misconduct penalties handed out. No goals were tallied, despite a huge number of attempts by both teams. Travis McLean kept the door shut despite facing 35 shots on net in the third to help the Flyers to a 6-3 victory. Final shots on net were 86-65 in favour of Fort St. John.
The Flyers are back on home ice on Saturday night, when they host the Grimshaw Huskies. The puck drops at the North Peace Arena at 8:30 p.m. Saturday.