A’s draw first blood in series over defending champs

Chris Clegg
NPHL.com Writer

Five different players scored to lead the Grande Prairie Athletics to a thrilling 5-4 win over the visiting Fort St. John Flyers Tuesday night in the first game of the West Division Semi-Final.
The A’s looked to have the game well in hand with a 5-1 lead in the third, but FSJ scored three goals in the final 11 minutes to make it close.

GP led 2-1 after one period on goals from Tyrell Mason and Paul Larocque with Jordan Gies replying for FSJ.
In the second period, Tanner Labbe and Dennis Rix scored to make it 4-1. Rix’s goal was shorthanded.
In the third, Sheldon McArthur scored the eventual game-winner at 8:51.
However, the game was far from over as Adam Horst scored at 9:40, then Robbie Sidhu at 13:37. Horst would score his second goal to make it 5-4 with 4:57 left but FSJ could not equalize, despite a power play with 2:16 left when Mason was sent off for interference.
The teams were a combined 0-12 on the power play, with FSJ getting skunked on seven chances, GP five.
FSJ outshot GP 34-32.
The second game of the series is back in FSJ on Thursday.

Flyers 4 at Athletics 5
Tue., Feb. 5
[Athletics lead series 1-0]

First period
1. GP, Tyrell Mason 1 (Andrew Buote, Morgan MacLean) 4:38
2. FSJ, Jordan Gies 1 (Robbie Sidhu, Sam Brennan) 14:26
3. GP, Paul Larocque 1 (Dennis Rix, Lyndin Lewis) 18:00
Penalties: Joey Massingham FSJ (cross-checking) 6:28, Adam Horst FSJ (hooking) 8:09, Devin Bell GP (interference) 12:05.
Second period
4. GP, Tanner Labbe 1 (Braden Crone) 12:58
5. GP, Dennis Rix 1 (Alex Curran, Lyndin Lewis) 19:35 (sh)
Penalties: Sheldon Hubbard GP (tripping) 6:46, Robbie Sidhu FSJ (tripping) 9:01, Morgan MacLean GP (slashing) 14:51, Tanner Labbe GP (slashing) 16:54, Mark Stojan GP (boarding) 18:51.
Third period
6. GP, Sheldon McArthur 1 (Brock Clement, Devin Bell) 8:51
7. FSJ, Adam Horst 1 (Rick Cleaver, Jeff Shipton) 9:40
8. FSJ, Robbie Sidhu 1 (Brandon Pfeil) 13:37
9. FSJ, Adam Horst 2 (Sam Brennan, Joey Massingham) 15:03
Penalties: Sheldon Hubbard GP (cross-checking) 3:11, Josh Bennett FSJ (interference) 10:50, Brandon Pfeil FSJ (slashing) 10:59, Tyrell Mason GP (interference) 17:44.
Shots on goal:

Fort St. John	10	14	10	-34
Grande Prairie 11 8 13 -32

Goaltenders: Flyers, Travis McLean; Athletics, Tyler Boe.
Power Plays: FSJ 0-7; GP 0-5.
Penalties in Minutes: FSJ 10; GP 14.