It’s now or never for the Junior Canucks as their season hangs in the balance entering tonight’s road matchup with the Fairview Flyers.
Down two games to none in the best-of-five North West Junior Hockey League quarter-finals, the ‘Nucks can force the series back to Dawson Creek on Friday with a win. But as of late wins are hard to come by.
“If we don’t win we’ll be done for the year and I definitely don’t want to be done,” said head coach Eric Fulton on Saturday following Dawson Creek’s Game 2 loss, in which the Canucks were held scoreless
Fairview is reportedly without star forward Jean-Marco St. Pierre, who did not travel with the team for Game 2. St. Pierre has 10 goals and 36 points in just 12 games this season with the Flyers, but if the Canucks can’t score it doesn’t matter who is on the other bench.
Finding the net has been the bane of the Canucks lately, who are in the midst of a ten-game losing streak that dates back to Jan. 18 when the Flyers outscored them 10-6 at Fairview Arena. In their last five games, including the playoffs, the Canucks are averaging 1.6 goals a game.
Fulton says the Canucks aren’t making the effort it takes to light the lamp.
“If you can’t score and you can’t put the effort to get to a spot where the goals come easier, you won’t win,” said Fulton, whose team outshot the Flyers 31-25 on Saturday but failed to challenge Flyers goaltender C.J. Wass.
“If you’re not willing to take those hits and slashes going to the net than you’re not going to score many goals,” he added curtly.
Frustrated by the Canucks scoring drought, Fulton said the players in front of him shouldn’t hold their breath for a lucky bounce.
“You can say we just need to get a break. But we don’t need to get a break, we need to earn some breaks and that’s by doing the little things we’re not doing right,” proclaimed Fulton. “The team we have in there should be able to carry this series farther than it looks like it’s going.”
In other NWJHL postseason news, the top-seeded Grande Prairie Kings made quick work of the Sexsmith Vipers, sweeping the series three games to none with a 6-0 shutout on Sunday.
The Fort St. John Huskies have also swept their series versus the Slave Lake Wolves. Fort St. John took command of the series with a 5-4 win on Saturday and a 4-3 overtime victory on Sunday in Slave Lake before returning to home ice on Monday where they blew out the Wolves 10-2.
Meanwhile, second ranked, North Peace Navigators, lead their series with the Beaverlodge Blades 2-0 and look to advance to the league semifinals, tonight, on home ice.