The Junior Canucks passed up a huge chance to move up the Northwest Junior Hockey League standings after losing 4-2 to the Fairview Flyers at Memorial Arena on Saturday.
“It’s a game we needed to win, a game we should of won,” said Canucks assistant coach Ashley Rude. “We didn’t play well in the first period, gave up two goals and had to play catch-up from there.”
In their last meeting with Fairview, the Canucks downed the Flyers 5-2 in October, but it was a different story Saturday as the Canucks waited for the last half of the game to show up.
The Flyers pounced on the Canucks taking a 2-0 lead in the first period with goals from Tanner Bjorklund and Brennan Romanovitch.
Drake Cunningham extended the Flyers lead in the second, scoring the eventual game-winner midway through the frame.
“We left ourselves in a bad position and didn’t do enough to get the win,” remarked Rude. “It’s super disappointing, especially against a team a lot further down the division than we are, we were playing in a game that could of put us in third place all alone, we just didn’t play a good enough game in the first half of the game to get a win.”
The Canucks looked to improve to 8-6 following a 2-1 win on Friday in Sexsmith over the Vipers, but blew the chance against a Flyers team that had only four wins before Saturday.
Canucks’ Justin Greyeyes goal with three minutes left in the second ended the shutout, and Kevin Hubert’s late third period marker brought the Canucks to within one, but that was all the Canucks had in them, dropping to 7-7 on the season.
An empty-net goal by Romanovitch guaranteed the win for Fairview.
“The play picked up in the second and third but it was nowhere near as good as it should be,” said Rude. “Problem was we had too big of a hole to dig out.
“There isn’t a bad team in the league, realistically, so we have to come out every night and play our game,” he added.
The Canucks stole one in Sexsmith on Friday, allowing 48 shots in their 2-1 victory over the Vipers. Goaltender David Readman earned his sixth win of the season, and Riley Muise and Bowen Ethier scored for the Canucks, both players finished the game with two points.