Athletics Advance

Athletics Overcome Rangers

Despite falling behind by two early on and being outshot by nearly double the Grande Prairie Athletics found a way to win in Spirit River once again.

Spirit River dominated much of the first period and found themselves up early 2 to 0. Trevor Mazurek opened the scoring at 14:49 when he went wide and then banged home his own rebound on A’s starting netminder Darren Walker. A few minutes later the A’s found themselves shorthanded and the Spirit River powerplay went to work. Rangers forward Evan Boire’s pass found it’s way through a handful of skates to a wide open Alex Curran in the high slot who then found a way to put it through a couple of A’s defenders and into the back of the net.

That would be all the Rangers would put past Walker.

Despite controlling much of the first period and outshooting the Athletics 15 to 4 Spirit River simply couldn’t get anything going. With just 14 seconds left in the opening period forward Paul Larocque found himself alone in front of Rangers netminder Alex Wright and made no mistake making it 2 to 1 as the horn sounded.

Larocques goal seemed to lift the Athletics.

Grande Prairie’s offense started to get going. With two goals in the second at 13:26 and 8:54 Andrew Buote would help push GP into the lead for the first time in the evening and eventually be credited with the game winner. The A’s penalty kill took over after that killing all four of the minors that were handed out, including a four minute double minor.

With a one goal lead heading into the third the Athletics defense tightened up causing a handful of penalties and frustrating Spirit River.

Much has it done all season long the A’s powerplay would make their opponents undisciplined play pay.

A beautiful tic-tac-toe play started by Mike Mohr and Grant Rix was finished off by Blaine Bablitz stretching the A’s lead to 4 to 2.

With Wright on the bench for the extra attacker the Rangers tried to make it close but couldn’t solve the Athletics defense or goaltending.

The win stretches the Athletics lead in the NPHL division to five points over second place Fort St. John and 7 points up on Spirit River.

Next action for the team is this Thursday at the Coca Cola Centre when they host the Hythe Mustangs.

Game Summary

First Period:
14:49 – SR – #20 Trevor Mazeruk
10:50 – SR – #17 Alex Curran from #27 Evan Boire and #5 Mac Putio
0:14 – GP – #20 Paul Larocque from #13 Rollie Gladue and #4 Tyrell Mason

Shots On Goal
GP – 4
SR – 15

Second Period:
13:26 – GP – #19 Andrew Buote from #21 Kevin Poston and #24 Adam Boytinck
8:54 – GP – #19 Andrew Buote from #9 Kelly McLeod and #22 Blaine Bablitz

Shots On Goal
GP – 8
SR – 15

Third Period:
7:27 – GP – #22 Blaine Bablitz from #11 Grant Rix and #27 Mike Mohr (PP)

Shots On Goal
GP – 9
SR – 13

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