DC’s OT Win Solidifies First in West

Chris Clegg
NPHL.com Writer

Matt Schmermund’s power play goal in OT lifted the visiting Dawson Creek Canucks to an important 4-3 win at Grande Prairie Jan. 3.
Schmermund’s second goal of the night 3:47 into OT occurred only eight seconds after Devin Bell was sent off for interference.

The win capped a third period comeback which saw GP lose for the first time this season when leading after two periods. GP was 7-0 when leading after two periods. It was also DC’s first win this season when trailing after two periods. DC is now 1-2.
Spencer Gover opened the scoring for DC in the first period, but Dennis Rix tied the game late in the first, then gave GP the early lead in the second. Mike Lalonde’s PPG tied the game before Blake Clement’s goal restored GP’s lead 3-2 after two.
DC has now won three of four games vs GP this season with two of wins coming in OT. The teams meet in GP Jan. 17 and back in DC Jan. 24 to conclude the season series.
With the win, DC [11-2-0-0] extends its lead in the West Division to five points. DC and GP [7-3-3-0] each have seven games left so DC has a near stranglehold on the division, barring a collapse.
DC has also now won three straight in GP, including both games this season, and four of the last five.
DC is now a perfect 7-0 on the road while GP drops to 5-2 at home, both losses to DC.

Canucks 4 at Athletics 3 (OT)
Thu., Jan. 3

First period
1. DC, Spencer Gover 4 (Kyler Krantz, Matt Schmermund) 14:59
2. GP, Dennis Rix 10 (Blake Clement) 18:24
Penalty: Tanner Labbe GP (cross-checking) 19:43.
Second period
3. GP, Dennis Rix 11 (Linden Calliou) 2:11
4. DC, Mike Lalonde 6 (Kole Norris, Evan Weaver) 4:51 (pp)
5. GP, Blake Clement 6 (Tyrone Kipling, Dennis Rix) 15:18
Penalty: Calvin Neustaeter GP (hooking) 3:27.
Third period
6. DC, Dolan Bjornson 6 (Matt Schmermund) 15:25
Penalties: Kyler Krantz DC (tripping) 3:18, Jeff Taylor DC (tripping) 3:37.
7. DC, Matt Schmermund 11 (Evan Weaver) 3:47 (pp)
Penalty: Devin Bell GP (interference) 3:39.
Shots on goal:

Dawson Creek	12	13	10	 5	-40
Grande Prairie 11 11 14 4 -40

Goaltenders: Canucks, Kenton White; Athletics, Kiefer Smiley.
Power Plays: DC 2-3; GP 0-2.
Penalties in Minutes: DC 4; GP 6.