South Peace News
One lousy second!
The Falher Pirates lost the opener of the best-of-seven North Peace Hockey League final in heart-breaking fashion March 12 as the hometown Dawson Creek Canucks scored with one second left in the third period to steal a 2-1 victory.
Matt Schmermund and Alex Hanson assisted on the winning goal as the clock ticked away the final precious seconds with overtime looming.
But not fast enough!
The loss snapped the Pirates perfect 8-0 playoff record after sweeping the Grimshaw Huskies and Manning Comets in earlier rounds. The meeting marks the first between the Pirates and Canucks in NPHL history. The Pirates are gunning to bring a fourth title to Alberta’s Honey Capital, the Canucks their third to the British Columbia Mile Zero City.
The Canucks and Pirates battled through two scoreless periods before Chase Hendrickson scored his first goal of the playoffs in the second minute of the third. Previously, goaltender Ryan Noble of the Pirates and Dustin Fanning of the Canucks were perfect stopping 21 and 15 shots respectively.
Neil Maisonneuve tied the game at the 6:03 mark with his third of the playoffs with assists going to Eric Dentinger and Kevin Monfette.
The clubs battled the rest of the game scoreless until the final second.
The Canucks set a playoff record in the win. It was their eighth straight one-goal game in the playoffs. In the previous series, the Canucks and Spirit River Rangers set a record by playing all seven games of their series decided by one goal Four of the games went to overtime which is also league record. The Canucks tied another record by winning three overtime games in one series, matching the 1978 playoff run by the High Prairie Regals, who also won three overtime games in a semifinal series against the Grimshaw Huskies.
Game 2 of the series is in Dawson Creek March 14. The Pirates host the third and fourth games of the final in Peace River on March 16 and March 18. Ice has been taken out the home arena due to the SARDA Agricultural Trade Show.