And just like that, a much anticipated third period of action fizzled before the standing water had a chance to turn from liquid to solid.
The Fairview Flyers scored four third-period goals in a 5-0 win over the County of Grande Prairie Kings in North West Junior Hockey League action at the Crosslink County Sportsplex on Sunday afternoon.
The locals royals picked up an interference penalty four seconds into the third and the Flyers reciprocated, doubling the lead just 13 seconds later on a goal by Grande Prairie resident Logan Mazerolle.
From that point, the Kings did their best to help the visitors out as Head Coach Kyle Chapple noted.
“The biggest issue I had with (being down by two goals) was a whole bunch of hockey left in the third period, we shut it down and quit playing,” Chapple said. “We felt sorry for ourselves and the body language changed with the group and that’s something that will be corrected moving forward because we didn’t like (how) the attitudes turned once we got down (by two goals).”
The visitors then bagged two more goals by the 5:47 mark, turning a two-goal lead into a comfortable 4-0 advantage. The visitors added another marker at 14:13, plunging the knife deeper, with a twist at the end.
Lock the doors
There was a longer than usual post-game talk in the dressing room as Chapple and assistant Scott Walters laid down hockey law in Kings land.
“We talked about in the room after the game, we have to be better and not fold up and go away,” Chapple said. “One of the things I explained to the group was one of the key parts to our team last year was, the culture that we built, was a ‘never say die’ attitude. We have to get that back.”
Never give up
Chapple has been around the local loop long enough to know a lead can evaporate quicker than moisture in an arid climate. He’s been on both sides of games that appeared locked up.
But the coach didn’t witness enough spirit, leaving him disappointed and perplexed as well.
“It’s junior hockey and you can be down by three or four goals with five minutes left and tie the game,” Chapple said. “You play right to the end. I wasn’t impressed with the effort. Things like leaving our goalie (Wyatt Fournier) high and dry to get shots fired at him, Grade A scoring chances, I wasn’t impressed by that at all.”
Goals and grit
The Kings fired 30 shots at Flyers goalie Alex Sawchuk but Chapple wasn’t pleased with the general quality of the chances.
“We don’t play in the dirty areas,” Chapple said. “The shot is ripped but it’s from the blue line with no traffic. (We need to play) a little more fearless and if we do, the guys are going to get rewarded and we’re going to start winning games. We’re not the most physical group in the league but it doesn’t mean we can shy away from the dirty areas. If we’re going to rely on skill from the outside, we’re not going to win games.”