Athletics End Weekend With Split
The Grande Prairie Athletics managed to salvage the week after putting together their best defensive output to date defeating the Manning Comets Saturday night by a 6 to 1 score.
Grande Prairie (7-3-0) avoided a potentially disastrous week extracting a little revenge on the Comets after dropping an important game to the Fort St. John Flyers earlier in the week 4 to 3.
Forward Devin Bell would lead the way for Grande Prairie helping the A’s open up a 2 to 0 lead in the first period with goals at 17:40 and 13:45.
From goal out the Athletics were solid. Grande Prairie defense was steady and the penalty kill was perfect. Starting goaltender Darren Walker was only faced 14 shots on the evening and Grande Prairie only found themselves short handed twice during the evening.
Grande Prairie would add to their lead in the second period and put the game out of reach with goals from newcomer Tanner Burns (10:51) and Paul Larocque (8:52).
The third seen much of the same.
Following another goal by Burns at 10:09 Bell would cap his impressive night scoring his third of the evening with a bar down shot on Comets starting goalie Braden Gamble with 2:25 remaining. The only thing left to be decided would be if Walker could pick up his second shutout of the season…which wouldn’t happen.
Comets forward Matt Boyd found a bounce find his stick before tucking one in behind Walker at 1:06.
A win helps Grande Prairie keep pace with both Spirit River and Fort St. John. After weekend action Grande Prairie remains tied with Fort St. John at 14 points but the Flyers have a game in hand.
The Athletics now close out the first half of the NPHL season with two more games this Friday and Saturday night. Grande Prairie will travel to play Fort St. John in a very meaningful game Friday night before closing out the Christmas break with a game at home Saturday night against the Falher Pirates.