The two teams first met two Saturdays ago in Spirit River, where the Flyers suffered an 8-6 loss at the hands of the Rangers, something they obviously had on their minds entering Wednesday’s tilt, as the Flyers came out looking determined and focused.
That's something Flyers head coach Darryl Leahy said they intended to do.
"That was the big plan tonight: play physical, stay out of the penalty box and come out with a win, and that’s what we did."
The first period belonged solely to Fort St. John, who outshot, outhit and outhustled Spirit River in every area of the ice. With Tyler Loney serving a penalty at 10:24, brother Brett lent him a helping hand, scoring a short handed beauty, keeping the puck on a two-on-one, and roofing the puck short side on his backhand, providing the Flyers a 1-0 lead.
The lead was doubled with 1:10 remaining in the first, as former Fort St. John Husky Kole Norris, playing his first season with the Senior Flyers, got the puck alone in the slot, made a nice backhand, forehand deke on Rangers goalie Scott Frayne, and slipped the puck low blocker for a 2-0 Flyers lead.
The first concluded with the Flyers up two goals, while out shooting the Rangers 13-4 in the process.
The Brett Loney show continued in the second, as the big number 22 continued to cause havoc for the Rangers. At 5:05, the Senior Flyers worked a power-play to perfection, cycling the puck in the offensive zone, as Girard DiCaire slid a pass over to his fellow point man, Brett Loney, who ripped a low one-timer to beat Frayne's five-hole.
With the scoreboard reading 3-0 in favour of Fort St. John, Brett Loney completed his hat-trick just 52 seconds later. With the Flyers once again on the power-play, Loney received the puck in the high slot, quickly wristing the puck low, and the puck eluded Frayne and slid five-hole, providing the Flyers a comfortable 4-0 lead.
Loney’s hat-trick goal was the eventual game winner as well.
With the game looking like it belonged to the home team, Spirit River spiced things up at the conclusion of the second, scoring twice on Flyers starting goalie Troy Hunt, the first coming with 1:58 on the power play, then again at even strength with 1:05 remaining, wrapping up the second with a 4-2 Senior Flyers lead.
Along with four goals, the second period also provided a few tilts for the fans to enjoy, as both Jeff Fast and Aaron Scheppers exchanged fists with Spirit River players at different times in the period.
The third period produced single goals from both teams. Fort St. John struck first, as Tyler Loney saw how much fun his brother was having scoring goals, that he decided to include himself in on the fun. After Kole Norris carried the puck into the offensive zone drawing two defenders to him, he centered the puck in front of the Spirit River net, which was whacked past Frayne by Tyler Loney, producing a 5-2 Flyers lead.
Spirit River managed to score one final goal before the game concluded, but it was too little, too late as time expired with the score reading 5-3 for Fort St. John.
Along with a strong outing on the ice for the Flyers, a solid performance was also demonstrated by Troy Hunt in net, making 24 saves for the win for Fort St. John.
Brett Loney finished the game with three goals, Luke Middleton wrapped up the game earning four assists, while Kole Norris scored once and earned an assist in the win.
Following the game, coach Leahy spoke about what his team did differently Wednesday then the game two Saturdays ago that resulted in an 8-6 loss
"First of all, we played a little more in their end. We came out of our end well and didn’t throw the puck away in our end, which was the big problem that we had in Spirit, and they didn’t get too many power plays."
The Flyers will have a week until their next game, being played Thursday, December 13 in Grande Prairie. Following that away game, the Flyers are back home on Saturday, December 15 against the Hythe Mustangs. Saturday’s game is a special one, as it will include the Flyers' annual Teddy Bear Toss.