PEACE RIVER, AB -- In possibly the biggest game of the season the Dawson Creek Jr. Canucks came to play and play for 60 minutes they did.
Cody Garnett was between the pipes for the Canucks while the Navigators countered with Bretton Stewart and the goalies were tested in the first. Both teams came out hard and after the first it was scoreless and each team had collected 11 shots.
In the second Dawson Creek scored early. Reid Smith (17) put a shot on goal from the side boards that just squeaked through the pads of Stewart and trickled past the line. Jason Higson picked up the assist on the goal that was scored at the 1:07 mark. Before the five minute mark had hit the lead was 2-0. This time it was Carl Dahlen (10) with the short side roof job on the power play. Credit the 'apples' to Colter MacLean and Tyson Keen.
The Navs got one back at the 10:32 mark. With just seconds left on a power play, Kelsey Dyck drove down the left wing and put a wrist shot high over the shoulder of Cody Garnett and the lead was 2-1. The momentum didn't last too long and at the 17:24 mark we had the game's Safeway Turning Point.
On a play created by Jason Higson in the corner a Nathan Bomben slap shot was deflected by Reid Smith (18) into the back of the net to make the score 3-1. Just 59 seconds later Jason Higson (20) broke in on a partial breakaway shorthanded and made a great move on Stewart and the Canucks were beginning to pull away up 4-1 after 40 minutes.
Brett Steward was replaced in the Navigator net by Michael Bauer to start the third and the team came out hard. Kyle Richardson found a rebound and put it past Garnett to cut the lead to two at the 3:18 mark of the third but that was as close as they would get. A pair of Jason Higson power play goals would round out the scoring making the final score 6-2 for the Canucks.
The Canucks outshot the Navigators 12-5 in the final stanza and 30-25 overall. On the power play the Canucks went 3 for 7 while the penalty kill was good 8 of 9 times.
Brass Scissors three stars: 1) Higson 2) Smith 3) Keen. Hardest working Canuck: Higson.
There were three fights on the night, all in the final five minutes of the third. First it was Lucas MacKenzie and Steve Melnyk. They fought to a draw. Second was Lewis Weaver and Kyle Smith. Both players landed some big blows but they landed them on each others helmets or so it looked like from the broadcast booth. Call it a draw. And finally the headline was Ryan Walker and Gerry Young. These two went at it and it was a GREAT tilt. Bombs were thrown and landed on both sides. I thought Walker landed a few more while PA announcer Orren Ford thought that Young landed a couple more. Call it a draw as well.
Next up for the Canucks is the final weekend of the season that will seem them host Grande Prairie on Friday and Peace River on Saturday. A victory of the Navs will clich 3rd place for the Canucks. They lead Peace River by 1 point now with 2 games left for each team and they trail Fort St John by 3 points but the Huskies have a game in hand.