Flyers run away with playoff opener

The Senior Flyers opened their NPHL playoffs with a laugher on Tuesday night.

Were the 1st vs. 8th matchup not lop-sided enough, the Eagles showed up with only 8 skaters, meaning the game was little more than some high-tempo shinny. The Flyers slowly outran the Eagles, scoring 4 goals in the first period, 3 in the second, and 5 more in the third.

Lakeland scored 3 of their own, including a nifty burst from Andrew Lamouche, and a nice shot from Lloyd Ah-Kim-Nachie. Dustin Kersey led the way offensively for Fort St. John, with 2 goals and 2 assists.

Matt Shuya and Jeff Shipton also netted a pair each, while Tyler Loney, Kip Noble, Ian Munro, David Alexander, Paul Wiens, and Jeff Fast added singles. Ryan Bjorklund posted the win in goal, starting in place of Troy Hunt, who is out of town for a wedding. "I came to the rink not expecting to play, but when he wasn’t showing up I kind of figured I was going", Bjorklund said, adding "You always want to play. Especially with the week off – It’s good"

Matt Shuya, fresh off a broken nose and puntured lip in the final regular season game against Spirit River, was, like his teammates, disappointed with the game. Trying to prepare for the MacKenzie Cup in April, Shuya knows the team needs stiffer competition in order to rise to a higher level. He says it’s tough to avoid bad habits and cultivate better play in games of shinny like this. [asset|aid=957|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=eaee4c6543e4375fec13088cba8871c5-Shuya-feb17_1_Pub.mp3]

Game two of the series will go Thursday night at Lakeland (in McLennan, Alberta), with game three scheduled for Saturday night at 8:30, at the North Peace Arena.