Same old, same old story for Pirates

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

A season long trend for the Falher Pirates continued Jan. 11 when they lost a hard-fought 6-5 NPHL tilt to the visiting Dawson Creek Canucks.

The 6-7-0-1 Pirates are 0-6 against the Canucks and Grande Prairie Athletics this season, but 6-1 against the Grimshaw Huskies and Manning Comets.

In the statistics are for losers category, the Pirates should have won. The outshot the Canucks 49-34 and were 4-for-9 on the power play while DC was 2-for-6. Although the Pirates clicked on four power plays, they fell one short of evening the score.

The Canucks never trailed. Joey Massingham and Evan Weaver gave the Canucks a 2-0 first period lead. The Canucks led 3-1 after one period after Trevor Tokarz closed the gap to 2-1 with an unassisted effort, only to see Reid Campbell restored the Canucks’ two-goal lead.

In the second period, Kevin Hope made it 4-1 just under seven minutes into the period and it looked like the visitors were home and cooled.

However, the Pirates rallied on power play goals from Darren Kramer and Morgan MacLean to close the gap to 4-3.

However, as they did all night, the Canucks padded the lead when Levin George scored with 2:02 left.

Jeff Taylor’s power play goal early in the third period gave the Canucks a 6-3 lead. The game wasn’t over, however, as the Canucks kept taking penalties. MacLean’s second power play goal of the night coupled with Dallas Brochu’s power play marker with 3:37 left made it 6-5.

Try as the might, the Pirates could not equalize.

Payton Lee stopped 44 of 49 shots to record the win while Ty Gullickson stopped 28 of 34 shots to take the loss.

In addition to his goal, Campbell added three assists for the Canucks while Walker Cote and Robbie Sidhu each added a pair of assists for the Pirates. It’s interesting to note Campbell and Sidhu both played with the Fort St. John Flyers last season.

The loss dashed any slim chances the Pirates had of placing as high as second in the standings. Couple with a 5-4 Grande Prairie win at Grimshaw the same night, the Pirates can place no better than third in the standings. GP and DC are both 11-1-1-0.

The Pirates are all but a cinch to place third. They lead Manning by six points and the Huskies by eight. The Pirates and Huskies have five games left, the Comets six.

The Pirates are back in DC Jan. 16 and return home to face the Huskies Jan. 18. After another week off, the Pirates close their home schedule with a game against Grande Prairie Jan. 25. The final week of the regular season sees the Pirates at Manning Jan. 31 and Grimshaw Feb. 1.

North Peace Hockey League Standings

Team GP W L OL SL GF GA Pts

Grande Prairie 13 11 1 1 0 73 43 23
Dawson Creek 13 11 1 1 0 85 50 23
Falher 13 6 7 0 0 67 64 12
Manning 12 3 9 0 0 31 74 6
Grimshaw 13 1 10 1 1 47 72 4

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