The Senior Canucks enter North Peace Hockey League action this week with a pair of important matchups against divisional opponents Hythe Mustangs and Grande Prairie Athletics.
Dawson Creek is looking to distance themselves from the Mustangs, who trail the Canucks by a single point for third spot in the West Division, while the Canucks can gain some ground against divisional leaders Grande Prairie.
“It’s a tight race between us, Hythe, Grande Prairie and Spirit River,” said Canucks’ forward Chris Stevens, who leads the Canucks in points with 11 goals and ten assists. “Every game against those teams means so much. You can go from first to fourth in hurry.”
Hythe hosts Dawson Creek on Thursday before the Canucks meet with Grande Prairie on Friday at Memorial Arena.
The Canucks, who are coming off a 17-6 win over High Prairie, sit seven points back of the Athletics and six back of the Spirit River Rangers, who both have eight wins this season. The Canucks are 4-3-2-0 on the year.
The Athletics got the best of Dawson Creek in their last meeting with the Canucks, downing the Senior’s 10-2 on Dec. 6.
“We have to be more focused and ready to go when the puck drops, everyone was a little relaxed,” said Stevens regarding the teams’ rematch on Saturday. “We weren’t ourselves and we didn’t play the way we know we can.”
The Canucks gave up four goals in the second period to allow the Athletics an 8-1 lead that Dawson Creek couldn’t come back from.
“When we play well we can compete with the best in this league but when we play bad we can be really bad so we have to be focused,” added Stevens, who says the club at time this season has been caught taking periods off costing them games.
In their only matchup this season with Hythe, the Canucks edged the Mustangs 6-5 on Nov. 23 for their second win of the season.
Stevens says the Canucks aren’t where they need to be at this point in the season and their upcoming games are good tests for them to right the ship.
“We just have to keep working at it and keep in guys heads that we have to play a full 60 minutes,” said Stevens. “In this league any team can comeback no matter how many goals you are down and we have to play all the way to that final buzzer.”