Friday, December 5, 2008

Wheelers 5 Canucks 4 OT

GRANDE PRAIRIE AB -- The Dawson Creek Jr Canucks were on the road in Grande Prairie and on Thursday night overtime was needed.

It was the fourth meeting between the two clubs and the Cancuks got on the board early. At the 1:00 mark of the opening period Tyson Keen sent a snap shot on goal from the blue line. The Canucks' Lucas McKenzie got a stick on it to deflect it past goaltender Kris Dika and into the back of the net.

Cody Garnett was back between the pipes for the Canucks after missing six games with an injury and the Wheelers got to him in the second. Michael Podruzney put a Jeff McVey pass behind Garnett to tie the game at 1 just under four minutes into the period. And just 1:31 later Grande Prairie had their first lead of the game. Another one-timer from the home squad beat Garnett and the score was 2-1.

Before the period was out, Dawson Creek had tied the hockey game. On the power play, defenceman Trevor Dahlen let the shot go and the rebound came right to the waiting stick of Ryan Walker who buried the puck past Dika.

The visitors regaind the lead in the third. Carl Dahlen finished off a great second effort play scoring on his own rebound while driving to the net and it was 3-2 for the Canucks. The lead lasted until the 14:07 mark of the third. With the Wheelers on the power play Nick Fitzpatrick jammed a rebound into the Canuck goal and that set the stage for overtime.

Dawson Creek had the first opportunity but on the transition the Wheelers took advantage. McVey won the race to a loose puck in the Canucks' zone and found Cory Litman in front who put a move on Garnett and slid the game winning goal into the back of the net just 39 seconds into the extra frame.

Special teams weren't as big of a factor as in games prior. The Canucks went 1 for 6 on the power play while the Wheelers were 1 for 7.

Brass Scissors three stars: 1) Jeff McVey 2) Lucas McKenzie 3) Gerritt Lacey

The loss is the fourth straight for the Canucks but head coach Duncan Redfearn feels that there were positives shown on Thursday.

"We saw a lot of good things that we haven't been doing in the last couple of weeks tonight. To take positives out of the game, our defensive zone (play and) goals against was the lowest it's been in the last three games so we're happy with that. It's a step in the right direction. We took a point out of the game tonight. Of course you'd like to take the other point in an overtime win or a shoot out but it's a step in the right direction and we'll build off the positive things tonight and look forward to tomorrow night."

The Canucks (11-6-2) will return home to face the Sexsmith Vipers (3-13-0) at the Memorial arena. Peace FM will be on the air with all the action starting with the pre-game show at 7:45pm PST and the play-by-play at 8:00pm PST.

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