DC at GP Preview [Thu., Jan. 17]

Chris Clegg
NPHL.com Writer

Dawson Creek at Grande Prairie [Thu., Jan. 17]
LINE: Grande Prairie by 1 1/2

Easily the biggest game of the week! GP has to win to keep any hopes of first place alive. DC leads by three points with one game in hand. If DC wins, they take a five-point lead and GP has only three games left and it’s virtually over. All DC would need to clinch first would be a win, overtime loss or shootout loss in their last four games.
It’s not hard to figure out why DC and GP are elite clubs. DC and GP dominate the NPHL statistics leaders board. DC leads in 14 of 28 categories, GP 5. And DC and GP are ranked 1-2 in 11 of the categories.

DC ranks first in PP and PK units, while GP is fifth in PP and second in PK.
GP ranks first in shots on goal per game while DC is second, but DC ranks first in shots on goal allowed, GP second. Overall in shots on goal for and against, DC is first, GP second.
DC is also the least penalized team in the NPHL while GP is the sixth most penalized. However, DC draws the least amount of penalties while GP draws the fifth most. If GP takes penalties, DC’s PP could be the difference. GP also takes more stick foul PIMs per game than anyone in the league, DC is second least.
Both teams start quickly. DC scores the first goal of the game more than any other team at 66.67% but GP is second at 6.25%. Scoring first translates into a perfect 10—0 record for DC to rank first while GP is 8-2 to rank third.
Both teams are decent if allowing the first goal: DC is 3-2 to rank second while GP is 2-4 to rank fourth.
Both teams excel if leading after each period. GP ranks first with an 8-0 record when leading after one, but DC is 7-0 to rank second. After two periods, DC is ranked first with a 12-0 record while GP is ranked third at 9-1.
DC ranks second in goal scoring for and against in each period. GP ranks third in the first period, fourth in the second period and a league best +32 in the third.
Something to watch might be the third period. GP ranks first in goals scored at 2.88 per game while DC gives up the fewest goals at 0.93 per game.
DC has yet to lose a game this season they have led.
DC has won three of four vs GP this season including 6-3 and 4-3 OT wins in GP. DC actually plays GP tougher in the Swan City: DC is 4-1 in GP in their last five visits but only 3-2 at home. However, I’m picking GP to win based on the simple fact I can’t see any team sweeping a strong GP team three straight at home this season. But I will take the extra goal and take DC with the goals.

NOTE: David Temple, former NPHL linesman and avid NPHL fan, sets the lines, which are set on the Sunday previous for the games from Jan. 15-18.


The Season Series

1. Thu., Nov. 8 – Grande Prairie 2 at Dawson Creek 3 (OT)
2. Thu., Nov. 29 – Grande Prairie 8 at Dawson Creek 5
3. Thu., Dec. 6 – Dawson Creek 6 at Grande Prairie 3
4. Thu., Jan. 3 – Dawson Creek 4at Grande Prairie 3 (OT)
5. Thu., Jan. 17 – Dawson Creek at Grande Prairie
6. Thu., Jan. 24 – Grande Prairie at Dawson Creek

The Stats Pack
[Ranking in Parenthesis]

Category			Dawson Creek		Grande Prairie

Record 13-2-0-0 [1-West] 10-3-3-0 [2-West]
Power Play 23-60, 38.33% [1] 18-78, 23.08% [5]
Penalty Kill 10-56, 82.14% [1] 21-97, 78.35% [2]
Shots For 45.40 per game [2] 45.63 per game [1]
Shots Vs 33.53 per game [1] 36.31 per game [2]
Shots Diff +178 [1] +149 [2]
PIM For 14.40 per game [1] 32.06 per game [6]
PIM Vs 16.33 per game [1] 27.75 per game [5]
PIM Diff +29 [3] -69 [6]
Scoring 1st 66.67% [1] 62.50% [2]
Record Scoring 1st Goal 10-0 [1] 8-2 [3]
Record Allow 1st Goal 3-2 [2] 2-4 [4]
Lead After 1 Period 7-0 {2] 8-0 [1]
Trail After 1 Period 1-2 [4] 2-3 [T2]
Lead After 2 Periods 12-0 [1] 9-1 [5]
Trail After 2 Periods 1-2 [1] 0-5 [5]
Goals Scored in 1st 1.80 per game [4] 1.69 per game [5]
Goals Scored in 2nd 2.40 per game [2] 1.63 per game [4]
Goals Scored in 3rd 1.93 per game [2] 2.88 per game [1]
Goals Allowed in 1st 1.20 per game [1] 1.31 per game [2]
Goals Allowed in 2nd 1.07 per game [T1] 1.19 per game [3]
Goals Allowed in 3rd 0.93 per game [2] 0.88 per game [1]
Goal Diff in 1 +9 [2] +6 [3]
Goal Diff in 2 +20 [2] +7 [4]
Goal Diff in 3 +15 [2] +32 [1]
Come From Behind Wins 26.67% [3] 18.75% [4]
Blown Leads 0% [1] 18.75% [4]
Team Stick Fouls 3.07 PIM/Game [2] 5.00 PIM/Game [7]