It didn’t come easy but the Grande Prairie Athletics saved their best for last as they scored three goals in the final twenty minutes Thursday night in Dawson Creek to come out with a 4 to 1 win.
A huge win sets up an even bigger game this Saturday night. Earning two points Thursday night has pushed the Athletics back into first place in the NPHL in the on going see saw between themselves and the Fort St. John Flyers. While the A’s still hold a game in hand on the Flyers they can officially claim top spot with a win this Saturday night at the Coca Cola Centre.
Scoreless after one the Athletics would find themselves down by one just three minutes into the second. It stayed that way for another ten minutes despite Grande Prairie having a few close calls around the Dawson Creek net. Eventually the Athletics started to click thanks in large part to the powerplay. The continued pressure finally paid off at 5:06 when Tyrell Mason managed to finally slide one past Canucks started JB Agar.
As time ran down in the third period it appeared as if the next goal wins mentality took over. Both clubs had chances but both goaltenders proved equal to the task.
Eventually the Athletics found a way. Tanner Labbe pushed the Athletics into the lead at 10:11 and the club never looked back. A couple of key saves and timely defensive plays opened up the third for Grande Prairie. They would add two more goals in the third and outshoot the Canucks 17 to 9 to win their 18th game of the season…good enough for a one point lead in the West division.
Shots on Goal:
Grande Prairie: 13
Dawson Creek: 16
DC – 17:55 – #64 Mike Lalonde from #8 Lewis Weaver and #17 Ryley Muise
GP – 5:06 – #4 Tyrell Mason from #11 Grant Rix and #17 Brock Clement
Shots on Goal
Grande Prairie: 22
Dawson Creek: 12
GP – 10:11 – #33 Tanner Labbe from #24 Adam Boytinck and #4 Tyrell Mason
GP – 8:49 – #20 Paul Larocque from #14 Matt Albanati and #27 Mike Mohr
GP – 2:11 – #9 Kelly McLeod from #4 Tyrell Mason (PP)
Shots on Goal
Grande Prairie: 17
Dawson Creek: 9