by Mac Olsen
The Falher Pirates’ arch rivals, the Smoky River Rangers, paid a visit on Nov. 7 and demonstrated their tough approach to the game.
The Pirates responded in kind and there were lots of penalties for both teams in the course of the game.
Still, the Rangers held the upper hand from the third period on, and won the game by a score of 7-3. For coach Shawn Gervais of the Pirates, the lessons are there.
“This is part of growing together,” says Gervais.
“It’s going to take us four or five games to get some chemistry again. But Spirit River played a touch game. They don’t give you any breaks.”
J.M. Saint-Pierre opened the scoring for the Rangers at 3:14 of the first period. Dustin Sather and Morgan Eaton received the assists.
However, the Pirates evened the score at 9:55 on a power play opportunity. Morgan Maclean put the puck in the net with the help of Neil Maisonneuve and Pat Rowan. The net came loose after the puck went in and the Rangers contested, but the officials declared it a valid goal.
The Rangers had the last say of the first period. At 12:17, Frederick Tanguay put the puck in the net on the approach. Saint-Pierre received his second assist and Alex Curran received one as well.
The score was 2-1 at the end of the first period.
The Rangers extended their lead at 11:11 in the second period, when Mike Lefley slipped the puck in the net. Dustin Sather and D’Lane Sather collected the assists.
But the Pirates moved to within one again less than a minute later. Jay Anderson put the puck in the net on the approach, with Craig Anderson’s help.
Check out a video clip of Anderson’s goal on the Smoky River Express’ Facebook page.
Several major penalties were handed out during the game, including at 18:47 of the second period. Trevor Mazurk of the Rangers and Shane Smith of the Pirates each received a two-minute penalty for roughing and a 10-minute misconduct.
The second period ended 3-2 in favour of the Rangers.
Spirit River demonstrated they were in charge throughout the third period, with speed and strong forechecking, forcing the Pirates onto the defensive.
Alex Curran gave the Rangers their fourth goal of the game at 7:56. Curran put the puck in the net at point blank range, with Paul Larocque collecting the assist.
The Pirates protested, but the officials declared it was a valid goal.
But the Pirates came back a short time later, on the power play. Brock Clement slipped the puck in the net at 10:35, and Maclean collected the assist.
However, it was downhill for the Pirates from there, as they faced the Rangers’ onslaught.
At 14:25, Saint-Pierre scored his second goal of the game. Mazurek and Tanguay collected the assists.
The Pirates protested that the net came loose before the puck went in, but it was declared a valid goal.
Seconds later, Evan Boire scored the Rangers’ sixth goal, when he fired the puck high into the net on a rebound shot. Khalin Marsolais and Curran received the assists.
Dustin Sather scored the Rangers’ seventh and final goal at 15:39, slipping the puck in from the side. Curran and Lefley received the assists.
The game ended 7-3 in favour of the Rangers. Shots on goal for the game were 38-29 in favour of the Rangers.
On the road to
The Pirates travelled to High Prairie on Nov. 12 to play against the Regals, faring better against them.
The Regals scored the only goal of the first period. They also scored two goals in the second period.
The Pirates scored one goal in the second period, then four more in the third period.
The Pirates won the game by a score of 7-3. Shots on goal for the game were 57-40 in favour of the Pirates.
The next home game for the Pirates is on Nov. 21, when they will host the Dawson Creek Canucks.