Flyers bounce back to even series

Flyers win 8-2 over Grande Prairie Athletics

The Flyers needed to bounce back after their poor outing in game three, and they did so in style, in a game four blowout on Saturday night.

Ryan Carter made an immediate impact in his first game of the playoffs, scoring on his first shift, to give his team a kick-start in the key matchup. 5 minutes later, Jeff Shipton blocked a shot, and then caught up with the loose puck, earning a breakaway from centre ice, which he neatly deposited past Lincoln Carriere. Minutes later, Ryan Carter got his second of the game, when he backhanded a Clayton Bahm feed through the legs of Carriere on a short-handed two-on-one. Having conceded three goals in slightly over a period of hockey, coach Brian Elliot decided it was time to test first-string goalie David Larson’s ankle, and Carriere’s night was done.

But, Larson’s entrance wouldn’t change the course of the game. Before the first period was out, Ian Munro banged a Todd Alexander rebound into the goal, to give the Flyers a 4-0 first intermission lead.

Early in the second, Ryan Carter made it a hat-trick, when he carried the puck behind the net and banked it off a leg in front for the Flyers’ first powerplay goal since game one.

It was Carter’s first game in weeks, and he said he was excited to rejoin his teammates.

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Carter spent the game on a line with Dustin Kersey and Adam Loncan. The three combined for 14 points, and Carter said it was a nice fit despite not having practiced together much.

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Soon after Carter’s third, Todd Alexander exposed the Grande Prairie defence again, beating two A’s to the outside right, and then cutting in and around Larson.

Grande Prairie would add two goals of their own, a snap-shot that went past defender Mike Shipton and eulded Chad Vizzutti, and a Scott Taje powerplay marker, and the A’s managed to level the playing field in the latter stages of the third period.

But, the Flyers regained control in the third, with Adam Loncan adding another powerplay marker, when he cut from the side of the net and outmanouvered David Larson in close. Then, Matt Shuya made it a goal for each line, when he converted a Wade Hocking rebound, for a final score of 8-2. A

nd so, the Flyers rebounded from a game three hiccup, to even the series, and regain home-ice advantage.

The team scored twice on the powerplay, and also kept the Athletics to one powerplay goal on 8 opportunities.

Chad Vizzutti also got more support from his defence, and controlled virtually all of his rebounds, as his team limited scoring chances for the A’s.  Vizzutti said his team moved the puck better and made fewer mistakes, but more importantly, got back to its usual style of play.

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With the Series now tied 2-2, game 5 will be on Sunday at 7:30 in Fort St. John.

Listen to a game four highlights package

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