In the final game of the North West Junior Hockey League season, Riley Muise came up big, scoring a hat-trick for the Dawson Creek Junior Canucks. But it was all for not as the North Peace Navigators tripled his tallies, downing Dawson Creek, 9-3, on Friday to make it eight straight losses to end the season for the Canucks.
Muise started the game like a man possessed, scoring the Canucks first two goals to put them ahead 2-0.
The Canucks captain notched his first with just 25 seconds gone by in the first period, set up by defenceman Adam Huttema.
Huttema and Muise connected again on the powerplay with Connor Rose getting in on the act six minutes in to the frame. But soon after things quickly went south for the Canucks who dressed just 11 skaters for the road game.
The Navs’ Kevin Monfette scored late in the first to bring North Peace to within one. Monfette beat Canucks goaltender Colten Anderson with four ticks remaining in the period.
In the second, North Peace would continue where they left off in the first, scoring at will and shutting down the Canucks’ offence.
After allowing Dawson Creek 12 shots in the first period, the Navigators held the Canucks to 13 the rest of the game, giving up just six in the second period while peppering Anderson with 15.
Navs’ Dustin Long scored back-to-back goals to start the period and eventually tally a hat-trick as part of a 5-1 period for North Peace.
Long’s first came just 43 seconds after the first intermission, and he would score again at 3:34 to give North Peace a 3-2 lead.
North Peace began to pull away when Long’s linemate, Josh Peters, fooled Anderson with a powerplay marker a minute after Long’s second goal.
Ty Weibe would make it 5-2 for the Navs’ before Muise completed the hat-trick late in the second, assisted again by Huttema, who helped out on all three of Muise’s goals, and Brendan Lazinchuk.
North Peace would then go on to score four straight to end the game, while keeping the Canucks off the board in the third.
Long would finish the game with five points and Peters scored twice and assisted on two others.
Navs’ goaltender Patrick Earle stopped 22 of 25 shots, while Anderson made 25 saves in the losing effort.
The loss drops the Canucks to 12-21-0-2, good enough for sixth place in the NWJHL standings. They will now face the third seed Fairview Flyers in the first round of playoffs.