DAWSON CREEK -- A three goal night from Reid Smith paved the way for the Dawson Creek Jr Canucks' first victory of 2009. The sniper also added an assist as the hometown Canucks beat the visiting Sexsmith Vipers 8-3 Saturday night.
For the fourth straight game between the two teams Sexsmith got on the board first. This time it was 2:48 in when Ryan Gow beat Canucks' goaltender Cody Garnett on a one timer from behind the net. Dawson Creek would answer just under 2 minutes later. Charles Radke and Reid Smith broken in on a 2 on 1 and Radke hit Smith with a beautiful pass to tie the game at one. Before the period was up Dawson Creek would take the lead. With the Canucks' on a power play John Howes shoveld a rebound past Vipers' goaltender Steven Siebert to make it 2-1 after the first.
In the second, Dawson Creek continued to pour it on. Goals from Justin McLeod and Reid Smith would give the Canucks a 4-1 lead just past the midway point. Just over two minutes later, however, Sexsmith would stop the bleeding. Lucas Heiken would do a great job in the corner finding Kolby Collins all alone in front to cut the lead to two. But before the period was out we had the game's Safeway turning point. Jason Higson walked off the wall and pushed the puck into the back of the net to regain the three goal lead. That spelt the end for Steven Siebert's night, he was replaced by Brent Trarback. The score was 5-2 Canucks after fourty minutes.
Dawson Creek continued to pour it on in the third with a power play goal from Reid Smith followed by a one-timer from Jason Higson to make the score 7-2.
This is when things got interesting.
Ryley Roy scored his first of the game at 8:04 on a breakaway, beating Garnett high with a great shot. 7-3. The Vipers' weren't done there. Goals from Gow and Roy 22 seconds appart cut the lead to 7-5 but that was as close as the visitors would come. Colter McLean would round off the scoring on a beautiful passing play from Reid Smith and Charles Radke to make the final score 8-5.
Special teams was solid for the Canucks as the power play finished 2 for 5 while the penalty kill was a perfect 8 for 8.
Brass Scissors three stars: 1) Smith 2) Higson 3) Gow
With the win the Canucks improve to 15-7-2 on the season while the Vipers fall to 3-20-0.
The two clubs finish up the season series on Friday January 9th in Sexsmith. Dawson Creek will then move on to face Beaverlodge the following night. Both games can be heard on Peace FM (94.5/104.1 FM and www.peacefm.ca) starting with the pre-game show at 7:45pm PST and play-by-play at 8:00pm PST.