Flyers get their groove back

The Fort St. John Senior Flyers are back. At least that’s how it seems after they won both games on their home stand last weekend, making that three wins in a row. 

The Flyers beat Falher 9-2 in Fort St. John Nov. 16, and then beat the Grimshaw Huskies 6-3 Nov. 18 in their first home games of the season. That puts the Flyers’ record at 3-2, tied in points with first-place Dawson Creek in the west division, but second in the standings due to the Flyers having played more games. 

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Fans were right to be concerned after the Flyers dropped their first two games due to a lack of scoring and not enough defenceman to take on the road, but the team appears to have righted the ship, for now. 

“We have a lot of pride in this team. This is my fourth year doing this as a coach, and I can count on one hand how many times we’ve lost two games in a row,” Flyers head coach Andrew Leriger said. “It doesn’t go well with our team, so when we were down 5-2 to Falher last week (Nov. 9), our veterans stepped up and from that moment on we’ve been a different team.”

Since that moment, the offence has been back, with the Flyers scoring 10, nine, and six goals, respectively, over their three wins. The team has also been better defensively, with six defensemen on the bench during the two home games. 

On the defensive side of things, Leriger said the Falher game on Nov. 16 was the team’s best effort. 

“After the first period, we kind of shut the door down and didn’t really give them a lot and pressured them. That’s exactly the way we want to play.”

Leriger said before the Grimshaw game that the mood was good among the players, and that everyone was fresh due to the team not having a lot of ice time. As things get back to normal with regularly scheduled home games and practice time, the players will look to keep the momentum going as they hit the road for two games this week. 

The Flyers head to Grimshaw for a rematch against the Huskies Nov. 23, and then to High Prairie to play the Regals Nov. 25. 

“It sucks we have to go to Grimshaw on a Thursday, that just means we leave early and I guarantee you we’ll be short-handed. High Prairie is a Saturday game, so, we should get the players. But some guys take teams like High Prairie lightly and it’s scary when you do that because who knows what will happen,” Leriger said. 

After next week, the team’s long road trips are over, and it’s mostly just playing Grande Prairie and Dawson Creek, which Leriger and the team are looking forward to. 

On the season, the Flyers are being led by the usual suspects. Rick Cleaver leads the team, and league, with nine goals and 14 points, while captain Jeff Shipton is second in the league with 13 points, including nine assists. 

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