Dennis Rix scored once and added four assists to lead the Grande Prairie Athletics to a decisive 7-1 win over the visiting Dawson Creek Canucks Tuesday night.
The win ties the NPHL Final 1-1 with Game 3 back in DC Wednesday night.
It was all A’s in this one as they led 2-0 after one period and 6-0 after two.
The only thing that went wrong for the A’s was DC scoring with eight seconds left to break the shutout bid of goaltender Kiefer Smiley, who stopped 32 of 33 shots fired his way. Kevin Hope scored the goal.
Devin Bell gave GP the early lead with Dennis Rix scoring on a power play at 17:35. It proved to be all the offence GP would need.
In the second period, the A’s broke the game open. Mark Stojan scored 4-on-4, then Morgan MacLean made it 4-0. Tanner Labbe added to the lead before MacLean’s second of the night ended the second period scoring. Rix assisted on three of the four goals, and both by MacLean.
Blake Clement’s power play goal made it 7-0 with 1:36 left until Hope spoiled an otherwise perfect night for the A’s.
The A’s had gone 148 playoff games before registering their first shutout in playoff history in the 9-0 win over the Falher Pirates to clinch the NPHL semi-final, then almost made it two in three games.
The A’s and GP have now played 101 total games in their NPHL history, with DC holding a 51-50 edge.
The loss was also the first for DC this playoff season after five straight wins.
Dawson Creek 1 at Grande Prairie 7
Tuesday, March 12
Best-of-Seven NPHL Final
[Series tied 1-1]
1. GP, Devin Bell 5 (Mackenzie Caron, Paul Larocque) 7:34
2. GP, Dennis Rix 6 (Blake Clement, Morgan MacLean) 17:35 (pp)
Penalties: Brock Clement GP (slashing) 3:07, Andrew Buote GP (tripping) 9:04, Colin Mathieson DC (interference) 13:20, Kenny Murduff DC (interference) 15:56, Brock Clement GP (hooking) 18:03.
3. GP, Mark Stojan 4 (Dennis Rix, Sheldon Hubbard) 5:57
4. GP, Morgan MacLean 4 (Dennis Rix, Sheldon Hubbard) 8:29
5. GP, Tanner Labbe 6 (Lyndin Lewis, Paul Larocque) 9:46
6. GP, Morgan MacLean 5 (Dennis Rix) 17:43
Penalties: Tyrell Mason GP (interference) 4:38, Kevin Hope DC (interference) 5:12, Dolan Bjornson DC and Tanner Labbe GP (roughing) 10:13, Morgan MacLean GP (slashing) 11:19, Ryan Friesen DC (holding) 13:41, Brett Norman DC (slashing) and Tanner Labbe GP (cross-checking) 19:23.
7. GP, Blake Clement 5 (Dennis Rix, Morgan MacLean) 18:24 (pp)
8. DC, Kevin Hope 2 (Kenny Murduff) 19:52
Penalties: Blake Clement GP (hooking) 3:12, Jeff Taylor DC (roughing) 7:56, Dolan Bjornson DC (roughing) and Dennis Rix GP (slashing) and Blake Clement GP (slashing) 0:38, Spencer Gover DC (roughing) 17:02.
Shots on goal:
Goal: Kenton White, DC (Josh Round in at 8:24 of second period); Kiefer Smiley, GP.
Power Plays: DC 0-7; GP 2-6.
PIM: DC 18; GP 20.