FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The Fort St. John Senior Flyers Hockey Club honoured Gary Reeder before their game against the Grande Prairie Athletics Saturday night.
Mike van Nostrand, Flyers’ trainer and son of Flyers’ president Paul van Nostrand, gave a speech about Reeder’s contributions to the club before honouring him with an honourary puck drop and a banner to be raised in the North Peace Arena.
Reeder played for the Flyers in the sixties before joining the board of directors and providing colour commentary for the team. He served as Flyers’ general manager through the seventies and eighties.
Mike van Nostrand said it was a “special moment” to be able to honour Reeder and his contributions to the club.
“Throughout his time being involved in the club, he was always very generous with financial sponsorship for the team. He remained involved with the team until he had a hip injury and wasn’t able to do so anymore,” said van Nostrand.
“He still remains a loyal fan to this day.”
Following the ceremony, the Flyers hit the ice to take on the Athletics in a physically intense game that put Flyers goalie Ty Gullickson to the test.
The Flyers spent almost half of the first period shorthanded, with the Athletics scoring the first and only goal on the powerplay before heading into the second. Shots on goal were 23 to 10 for the Athletics.
The second period was scoreless again for the Flyers, with one goal for the Athletics. Shots on goal were 17 to 6 for the visiting team.
The second period was the most physical, with 15 infractions between the two teams, and a hit from behind that put Flyers’ Geoff Dick out of the game.
According to Flyers’ head coach Andrew Leriger, the “unnecessary penalties” were a result of his team continuously chasing the game in their zone.
“It was nice to see our guys stick up and defend each other especially after that brutal hit from behind that knocked Dick out of the game,” said Leriger.
“That put a spark in the team.”
The Flyers fought hard in the third period, resulting in more time spent in the offensive zone.
Adam Horst scored the Flyers’ first goal of the game on the powerplay about halfway through the period, with assists from Cayle Bell and Alex Nimmo.
With a little under five minutes left, Bell managed to tie the game, with assists from Joey Massingham and Horst.
Gullickson was solid between the pipes, keeping the Athletics’ attempts out of the net for the entire period. Shots on goal were 11 to 9 for the Athletics, and the two teams headed into overtime with a score of 2-2.
The Athletics managed to take the game in overtime, with a final score of 3-2 and shots on goal 51 to 25 for the opposing team.
Leriger said Gullickson’s goal-tending performance was outstanding.
“We were in the game because of our great goaltending,” said Leriger.
“Gully was unreal.”
According to van Nostrand, the game was a good stepping stone heading into Christmas break.
“It wasn’t the result they wanted, but the group showed a lot of character and grit near the end of the game,” said van Nostrand.
Leriger said he is pleased with his team’s performance in their last three games.
“With the last three games to end this 2022 year we took 3 out of 6 points,” said Leriger.
“With how our season has been so far, it’s a good step in the right direction. Hopefully, the boys come out in 2023 with the same momentum.”
The Flyers will now head into Christmas break, returning to the ice on January 7th to take on the Valleyview Jets.
The puck drops in the North Peace Arena at 8:30 p.m.
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