It was a game about redemption and a good cause on Wednesday night at the North Peace Arena when the Fort St. John Senior Flyers took on the Spirit River Rangers.
After losing 8-6 to the Rangers on Nov. 24, the Flyers game out with a
physical, yet disciplined game and earned the 5-3 win.
“We did what we set out to do and stay out of the penalty box for the most part,” said Flyers head coach Darrel Leahy after the game. “We stood up to them. They got their gloves in our face and we dropped the gloves and set the tone. We played well.”
“That was the plan tonight,” he added,“ to come out with a win and we accomplished that.”
The Flyers came out of the gate with a strong first period, going up 2-0 after 20 with goals from Brett Loney (short handed) and Kole Norris.
In the second the Flyers took advantage of the odd-man advantage as Loney scored two power play goals within 50 seconds to earn a hat trick, but the Rangers came back with a bit more pressure and managed to get two past Flyers’ goalie Troy Hunt to bring the game within two.
The Rangers came out of the gate in the third with some fire and outshot the Flyers 12-7 that period, putting major pressure on Hunt who held the fort during four Flyers penalties.
“It was a good game from Hunt, which was nice to see,” Leahy said. “Troy made some good saves and kept us in there, and that’s what we need from him.”
Hunt got run over eight minutes into the third and retaliated, taking a roughing penalty.
“He got run over just before that,” Leahy said, chuckling. “I don’t know if he got the right guy, but he was getting somebody. That happens. He’s been known to stick up for himself.”
With a goal from Tyler Loney early on in the third, the Flyers had enough of a cushion to keep the Rangers at bay, despite a late goal from the Rangers’ Alex Curran.
“We didn’t throw the puck away in our end which was a big problem we had in Spirit River. And they didn’t get too many power plays,” Leahy said.
“Their games against us are always physical. We managed to be fairly physical and stay out of the penalty box which was the main goal tonight.”
The final shot total for the game was 34-27 for the Flyers.
Half of the gate fees for Wednesday's game will be donated to the Flyers' Movember campaign. A total amount was not calculated by deadline.
Fort St. John’s next game will be Dec. 15 versus the Hythe Mustangs at North Peace Arena, which is also the team’s teddy bear toss.
“Please come,” Leahy said, “Come all and bring your teddies.”