Spirit River extended their season-series lead on the Senior Canucks to 3-0 with a 10-8 win
Thursday night at Memorial Arena.
In a game that matched the intensity often reserved for the postseason, Dawson Creek fell
behind early allowing the Rangers a 4-1 cushion after the first period.
But the Senior’s battled back with a flurry of powerplay goals in the second, drawing even at 4-
4 with markers midway through from Chris Stevens, Ryan Walker and Adam Loncan, all scored in the span of a minute.
Stevens, who ended the night with two goals and an assist, said the Canucks have come to
expect a “fight to the finish” every night they face the Rangers, but time and again have come out on the wrong end of the scoreboard.
“It definitely felt like playoff hockey out there, that’s for sure,” said Stevens after the game. “We did a good job coming back but once again got off to a slow start that ended up hurting us.”
Deadlocked at 6-6 to start the third, the Rangers went up 8-6 with goals from Mike Lefley and
Dustin Sather. Lefley, Sather and Alex Curran each had hat tricks for Spirit River. Curran added four helpers to finish with seven points, and Sather notched three helpers of his own.
Jason Higson finished with two goals and four points for the Canucks and junior call-up Brett
Norman scored twice in the final frame to give the Senior C’s a fighting chance before the clock
“It’s tough, you look in the standings and think we are six or seven points behind them [Spirit
River] and that’s the three times they beat us,” said Stevens about giving up three straight to the Rangers.
“They’ve been close games all three times coming down to the last five minutes, but we just
have to find a way to shut them down. We are giving up too many goals and we have to stay out of the box.
“Our powerplay is clicking so I think if we can stay out of the box and take advantage on the
powerplay then we’ll be good,” he added.
The Canucks’ powerplay was definitely a bright spot for Dawson Creek; seven of their eight
goals came while on the man-advantage in a game that saw no shortage of penalties.
There were 30 infractions called between the two West-Division rivals who are on path to
face one another in the division semifinals. The Rangers and Canucks are in second and third
respectively in the West; Thursday’s win gives Spirit River a seven-point lead on the Canucks.
"We don’t like them and they don’t like us and I’m sure we’ll end up seeing them in the
playoffs,” said Stevens, foreshadowing more postseason-style hockey to come between the two.
The Canucks are back on home ice Saturday against the Manning Comets of the East
Division. The puck drops at 8:30 p.m.