The Fort St. John Flyers needed a win in a big way last night against the Fort Nelson Yeti and through 38 minutes of play that was very much in question as the score was tied at one. To the Flyers credit they forced two turnovers in the final two minutes of the second period to take a 3-1 lead and they carried that momentum into the third period on the way to a 7-2 win.
Much like they did in their opener against Terrace the Flyers dominated the opening 20 minutes of play in the game but only had a 1-0 lead to show for their efforts. After giving up an early tying goal in the second the Flyers took complete control in the period’s final moments. A turnover in the Yeti zone was cashed in by Adam Horst with 1:35 left, and with 41 seconds left Rick Cleaver intercepted a break out pass at the red line and took it the other way for a snipe top corner for the two goal lead.
Fort St. John carried the momentum forward into the third as an innocent looking shot by Brad Fast from the neutral zone fooled the Fort Nelson tender and found its way into the back of the net. The Flyers kept the pressure on to add three more goals before time expired.
Head coach Gerard Dicaire said despite not playing well in the middle frame, the late second period goals were the direct result of hard work and played a big role in ensuring a Flyers victory.
“We didn’t have a solid, solid second period,” he admitted. “We probably played five minutes of decent hockey and we were fortunate enough to get two there and it comes from shooting the puck and getting to the net. From there on it gave the boys the confidence they needed to carry through the rest of the game.”
The win was a big one for the Flyers as they didn’t want to go down 0-2 in a three game round robin but they still need a win Thursday afternoon at 5 p.m. against Powell River on Moose FM to guarantee themselves at least a spot in the semi final game on Friday.
“It’s absolutely huge,” Dicaire said. “We needed to win and we’ve got to win tomorrow. It gives these guys confidence especially when we’ve had trouble when scoring some goals. Now they can come out and not grip their sticks as tight.”
Scoring on the night was Brad Fast (2), Adam Horst (2), Rick Cleaver (2), Brighton Campbell.
Should the Flyers win Thursday afternoon it sets up two scenarios: The team would face the Fort Nelson Yeti in the semi final game should the Yeti lose to Terrace Thursday night, or a more complicated situation could present itself if Fort Nelson defeats Terrace as it would create a three way tie for first with the clubs having records of 2-1.