After trading the lead three times, the AON Flames jumped out in front when it mattered, scoring twice in the second period to win 5-4 over the Firth Rangers in Oldtimer hockey Wednesday at Takhini Arena.
“Typical oldtimer hockey: you get the lead, you lay back, you give up the lead, you get it back,” said Flames’ Wade Harrison, who scored a hat trick in the game.
“The reason we were able to come back is because of our goaltending.”
Starting the second period up 3-2, the Rangers scored a pair of goals to take the lead. The leadoff goal was made by Gary Boyd, one-timing a pass from Ed van Randen in the left wing and finding the five-hole.
“We had five minutes there where we weren’t doing anything and all of a sudden we got our momentum back,” said Ted Hupe, who scored the Rangers’ first two goals, including his first shorthanded goal after eight seasons in the league. “We played hard and I was lucky to get two goals against this team, that’s something.”
However, 11 seconds later Harrison scored his third to tie. Just over a minute later, Flames’ Al Koehl popped out from behind the Rangers’ net to ram in a pass from Charles Broadhagen — who also registered a goal — for the game winner.
Flames led the league in the opening weeks, but have sunk down to the middle of the pack with a handful of loses in the last month.
“You’ll go through that winning streak — ours happened to be at the start of the season,” said Harrison. “Then we had a couple injuries and lost a couple of key players.”
Harrison points to the league’s well-balanced teams to explain the constant shifts in standings.
“This year is probably the tightest I’ve seen it from top to bottom in four or five years,” said Harrison of the league standings. “Typically you get a split in the league, where you have a top half and a bottom half. This year it’s very tight because any team can beat any team on any given night.
“All you have to do is lose a couple key players and that’ll make all the difference for your line.”
The matchup of the two teams set the scene for a bit of revenge for one Flames player.
Tuesday night Holy Family Elementary defeated Takhini Elementary in a hockey game between the two schools. Takhini Elementary principal, Kelly Collins, plays on the Flames while Holy Family’s principal, Hupe, plays for the Rangers.
“Every year we have a challenge game,” said Hupe. “My team trounced his team yesterday, so he’s getting back at me today.”
Stu Mackey also scored for the Rangers.
Edgewater takes game
as hotels clash
There was no room — er, no vacancy — for error as the leagues’ two hotel-sponsored teams, Yukon Inn and Edgewater Hotel, faced-off Wednesday. After watching a three-goal lead shrink down to one, Edgewater managed to hold on to take the game 3-2.
The loss means four in a row for Yukon Inn.
“We had chances in the first, we just didn’t capitalize on them,” said Inn’s Brian Boorse, who scored and assisted a goal by Mike Burnett. “It was a good game, back-and-forth, with lots of shots, and their goalie John (Grant) played well in the first period and (our goalie) Joe (Spalding) played well in the second.”
Edgewater had three power plays in the second period, but surprisingly only registered one shot on net in total.
“Our team needs to work on the power play, for sure,” said Edgewater’s Rick Seaman. “Usually we do better if we have a penalty, we seem to do better the more penalties we get — we seem to play better. We do better if we’re down.”
Coincidentally, Yukon Inn seems to share Seaman’s sentiment.
“We seem to score more shorthanded goals — not that we scored any tonight — than we do on power plays,” said Boorse. “You get a power play and you tend to pinch a bit more and you cough up the puck and next thing you know the shorthanded team scores.”
Scoring for Edgewater was Gord Peterson and Seaman in the first and Roger Hewlett for the game winner in the second.
“Our goalie John (Grant) is awesome and Wayne (Vallevand), Derek (Torgerson) and Shelby (Workman) are pretty incredible defencemen,” said Seaman. “And our new centre who moved up from defence, Gord Peterson, he’s phenomenal. Without these guys we wouldn’t have won this game.”
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