A’s open series with thrilling win

Chris Clegg
NPHL.com Writer

The Falher Pirates scored the first two goals of the game and the last two goals of the game.
Now, if they could only work on the middle portion of the game.
The Grande Prairie Athletics stole home ice advantage away from FAL in the first game of their NPHL Semi-Final series Feb. 21 with a 6-5 win in a penalty-filled affair with 63 penalties in minutes and 16 power plays between the clubs.

Neil Maisonneuve and Kevin Monfette scored power play goals in the first seven minutes to stake FAL to a quick 2-0 lead in the first period.
However, in the last 12:09 of the period, GP scored three goals to take the lead. Alex Curran scored on a power play before Blake Clement and Curran’s second of the game gave GP the lead.
In the second, Tanner Labbe’s unassisted effort gave GP a 4-2 lead. It was the only goal of the period.
In the third, Kelvin Neustaeter gave GP a 5-2 lead at the 7:00 mark.
Later, Monfette’s second power play goal of the night pulled FAL to within two goals, but once again GP took a three-goal lead on Dennis Rix’s goal with 4:14 left.
Little did anyone know that would be the game-winner.
GP ran into penalty trouble and FAL rallied. Dakota Mason scored with 3:04 left and Joel Pelletier with only four seconds left to make it a one-goal game but there was no time left mount a final rush.
Game 2 of the series is back in GP Saturday night.

Athletics 6 at Pirates 5
Thursday, Feb. 21
[Athletics lead series 1-0]

First period
1. FAL, Neil Maisonneuve 2 (Dallas Brochu, Pat Rowan) 5:55 (pp)
2. FAL, Kevin Monfette 2 (Joel Pelletier, Dakota Mason) 6:24 (pp)
3. GP, Alex Curran 1 (Brock Clement) 7:51 (pp)
4. GP, Blake Clement 3 (Brock Clement, Dennis Rix) 12:20
5. GP, Alex Curran 2 (Dennis Rix) 16:11
Penalties: Braden Crone GP (tripping) 2:29, Dennis Rix GP (high-sticking double minor) 5:37, Rocky Collins FAL (kneeing) 6:49, Blake Clement GP (slashing) 9:51, Tyrone Kipling GP (roughing) 13:18, Brian Sommers FAL (tripping) 19:46.
Second period
6. GP, Tanner Labbe 3 (unassisted) 9:10
Penalties: Blake Clement GP (tripping) 3:08, Jay Anderson FAL (interference) 13:29, Paul Larocque GP (holding) 16:23.
Third period
7. GP, Kelvin Neustaeter 1 (Linden Calliou, Tyrone Kipling) 7:00
8. FAL, Kevin Monfette 3 (Joel Pelletier, Jay Anderson) 10:22 (pp)
9. GP, Dennis Rix 4 (Alex Curran) 15:46
10. FAL, Dakota Mason 4 (Pat Rowan, Darren Kramer) 16:56
11. FAL, Joel Pelletier 1 (Trevor Mazurek) 19:56 (pp)
Penalties: Tanner Labbe GP (roughing) and Paul Larocque GP (tripping) 9:41, Andrew Buote GP (slashing) 11:31, Jay Anderson FAL (slashing) 13:07, Alex Curran GP (roughing) and Marco St.-Pierre FAL (cross-checking) 18:49, Blake Clement GFP (misconduct) and Darren Kramer FAL (cross-checking major, roughing minor, game misconduct) 19:20, Tyrell Mason GP (slashing) 19:32, Paul Larocque GP (cross-checking) 19:56.
Shots on goal:

Grande Prairie	10	12	 9	-31
Falher 20 12 14 -46

Goaltenders: Athletics, Keifer Smiley; Pirates, Chad Rycroft.
Power Plays: GP 1-5; FAL 3-11.
Penalties in Minutes: GP 36; FAL 27.