For the first time in a long time, the Flyers had a game on their hands.
Trailing 4-3 after two period, the Flyers had to fight back to win a game that was likely the best of the season so far.
Adam Loncan opened the scoring 8 minutes into the game, converting a Tyler Loney feed moments after the expiration of a powerplay. Before the Rangers had regrouped, Kip Noble made it 2-0, taking a feed from Todd Alexander in the slot, and wiring it past Matt Yesminski.
Rangers leading scorer Mike Lefley got Spirit River back in the game, when he busted up the middle, fired a snap shot at Troy Hunt, and then buried his own rebound.
For the first time all season, the Flyers didn’t own their opposition in the second period. In fact, for the most part, the Rangers took the play to the blue and white, with a few Flyers breakdowns proving costly.
Mark Wallman had missed the two previous meetings of the season, and showed his importance to his team, scoring twice within two minutes to put Spirit River in the lead.
Paul Wiens evened it up, with a seeing-eye slap shot that slid into the bottom corner of the net, unseen by Yesminski. But soon, Trevor Mazurek put the Rangers back in front, with a powerplay goal on a shot from the faceoff dot that somehow found its way through Troy Hunt.
And so, it was gutcheck time for the Flyers, heading into the third down by a goal. But the team was confident it could come back, and 8 minutes into the third, Adam Loncan got them back on even footing, when he fired home a Dustin Kersey centering pass, to make it 4-4. Loncan was an offensive force all night, though he gives some of the credit to Dustin Kersey, saying “it’s awesome to have a linemate that just keeps skating”.
5 Minutes later, Ian Munro stepped out of the penalty box, skated back into his zone, and then headed up ice, finding himself on a two-on-one with Luke Middleton, who was again playing forward for the night. Munro drew the defender to himself, and then fed Middleton, who’s shot was partially blocked by Yesminski, but the rebound trickled through, and found its way over the goal line, to give the Flyers the lead.
There were more tense moments to come, as the Rangers had four powerplay opportunities in the third period. But, the penalty kill stood tall, and a clutch blocker save by Troy Hunt with seconds left preserved the win.
The final shot count favoured Spirit River (35-33), with Fort St. John going 1/5 on the powerplay, and SR going 2/8.
No rest for the Flyers, as they host the Fairview Kings on Friday night – at 8:30pm.