Despite their best efforts, the Falher Pirates will have to wait another year for the opportunity to hoist the Campbell Cup above their heads, as the Fort St. John Flyers are this year’s winning team for the coveted trophy.
“The guys played hard right down to the end,” says Coach Taylor Cote.
“It just wasn’t our day.”
He appreciates the fans’ support and looks forward to seeing them next season.
The Pirates hosted the Flyers on March 10 for game four of their best-of-seven playoff series for the Campbell Cup.
The first period started slowly, and then both teams upped their game in the latter half.
Jeff Shipton scored the Flyers’ first goal at 14:31, putting the puck in the basement. Adam Horst and Rick Cleaver received the assists.
The first period ended 1-0 in favour of the Flyers.
Both teams pulled out all the stops in the second period, with one goal by one team followed closely by one from other.
Just 17 seconds in, J.M. St-Pierre of the Pirates put the puck in from the side of the net. Pat Rowan collected the assist.
Just over three minutes later, Rick Cleaver fired the puck into the living room, giving the Flyers their second goal of the game. Jeff Shipton and Payden Wongstedt assisted.
Then, at 4:48, Jeremie Perron evened the score for Pirates by firing the puck into the basement. T.J. Cunningham and Trevor Tokarz received the assists.
At 10:44, for the first time in the game, Cunningham put the team ahead with his own goal. Craig Anderson and Joel Pelletier shared the spotlight with him. Check the Express’ Facebook page for a video of the goal.
But Rick Cleaver tied the game for the Flyers again at 12:16, making it 3-3. Jeff Shiption received his second assist.
Nonetheless, the Pirates upped the ante again at 15:27, when Pat Rowan scored the team’s fourth goal on an assist from J.M. St-Pierre.
The second period ended 4-3 in favour of the Pirates. However, that was the end of the game for the Pirates, as the Flyers came back with four more goals in the third period.
Rick Cleaver tied the game at 2:52, with Sam Brennan assisting.
Then Brandon Millin put the team in the lead at 6:52, with Jake Ebner and Jeff Fast collecting more assists.
At 12:58, Ebner put the puck in the attic, giving the Flyers their sixth goal and Fast another assist, while Daylen Pearson received on as well.
At 14:30, Lien Miller-Jeannotte scored the team’s seventh and final goal with assistance from Robbie Sidhu and Reid Campbell.
The game ended 7-4 in favour of the Flyers, leaving them one win away from taking the Campbell Cup.
The Pirates travelled to Fort St. John on March 13 for game five of their series.
Everything was on the line for the Falher Pirates that night.
The Flyers opened the scoring in the first period. At 3:42, Daylen Pearson put the puck in the basement, with Jeff Shipton and Adam Horst assisting.
Then Horst repeated Pearson’s success at 7:40, with Rick Cleaver and Reid Campbell assisting.
The Pirates finally got on the board at 14:08, when Jeff Chalifoux scored. Craig Anderson and J.M. St-Pierre assisted.
Just 48 seconds later, Morgan Eaton made the score two-all for the Pirates, with Darren Brochu and Neil Maisonneuve collecting the assists.
But the Flyers had the last word in the first period and they had a two-man advantage in the last minutes.
Horst scored his second goal of the game on the power play at 16:42. Shipton collected another assist, and so did Campbell.
The Flyers were out to dominate the second period with strong forechecking and speed. But the Pirates weren’t about to roll over and play dead, as they gained momentum later on.
At the start of the second period, Robbie Sidhu had a breakaway opportunity.
Sidhu took the puck down the ice and put it in on the approach. He was unassisted.
The next four goals were scored on the power play. Eaton scored for the Pirates at 2:46.
Then Horst scored one for the Flyers at 10:29. Brandon Millin scored the next one for the Flyers, at 14:01.
Craig Anderson scored the last power play goal, for the Pirates, at 16:38.
The score was 6-4 in favour of the Flyers at the end of the second period.
The third period proved decisive for both teams.
The Pirates regained their momentum and tied the game with two goals. Dallas Brochu scored at 6:36 and Craig Anderson scored at 8:17.
However, the Flyers edged ahead again at 10:46, when Rick Cleaver put the puck in on the approach.
The Pirates made one onslaught after another for the remainder of the period.
With less than a minute to play, the Pirates appeared to have scored the tying goal. But the officials declared it no goal, and the Pirates were embittered with the call.
In the final seconds, the Pirates pulled their goalie and put an extra attacker on the ice. However, the Flyers survived the onslaught. They won the game 7-6 and claimed the Campbell Cup for the 2017/18 season.