Navs force Game 5
No one figured it would be easy. For the Grande Prairie JDA Kings game 4 was a lesson that winning the deciding game is going to be the hardest to accomplish.
Facing elimination the North Peace Navigators gave everything Grande Prairie could handle Friday night controlling most of the game and walking away with a 6 to 2 win. Despite being outplayed during stretches throughout the game the Kings still managed to have a glimmer of hope along the way.
Much to the delight of the contingent of Kings fans who made the trek on the fan bus Grande Prairie opened the scoring early on in the game when Ryan Trudeau, who was returning to the lineup, put home a goal on the powerplay at 4:54.
It was short lived and it would be the only lead of the game for Grande Prairie.
A mere 20 seconds later Jeff Tookey roofed a shot past Kings starting goalie Sky Buller, just three minutes later Josh Peters would redirect a shot on the Powerplay past Buller sending the Navs on there way.
Peace River would outscore Grande Prairie 2 to 0 in the middle frame extending their lead to 4 to 1. Samuel Lauzon opened the scoring at 1:06 of the second period and Fred Schmidt would add another once again on a Navigators powerplay at 6:14.
Grande Prairie had it’s chances but for the most part it seemed like it would be one of those nights for the Kings. Missed shots, missed opportunities and overall sloppy play for much of the night dominated the story for Grande Prairie.
Hoping to gain some life in the third Grande Prairie got what it needed scoring just 0:34 seconds into the final period when Daniel Bishop put home a loose puck after it was knocked down in mid air. A few moments later Grande Prairie found themselves pushing Peace River and looking to pull to within one hemming them in in their own zone but failing to convert on a handful of quality chances.
Eventually the missed chances caught up to the Kings and within a one minute span the Navigators put the final nail in the coffin for game 4 scoring twice at the 11 minute mark. Lauzon and Tookey both notched there second of the night much to the delight of the home crowd.
That was the bad.
Now the good.
Grande Prairie still leads the best of seven series 3 games to 1 and will now look for a chance to close it out on home ice on a rare Sunday night game at the Coca Cola Centre.
It won’t come easy. Having arguably controlled the last four periods of action Peace River appears to be finding their stride and now it will be up to Grande Prairie to respond.
The Kings would like to say a special thanks to the 40+ fans who made the trek north tonight to cheer on the Kings, we hope to see everyone there for game 5 of the NWJHL finals.
Please note that the game will be scheduled at 7:30 pm instead of the regularly scheduled 8:30 starts in Grande Prairie.
JDA County Kings vs Fort St. John Huskies
JDA County Kings vs North Peace Navigators