The chances that Bear’s fifth goal was going to be the winner never crossed the collective Bear brains, but that was the result, as Fraser River roared back with four unanswered tallies in the 6-4 contest.
Bear had rumbled out to the early lead thanks to a peanut butter-seeking missile from Chris “Crown” Royle and a seeing-eye powerplay shot from “Smokin” Joe Mamic.
The theme continued, as Dan “The Thrill” Hills slid one in on a gorgeous move before Steve “Paperback Writer” Dodge backhanded one in between oxygen deficiency alarms.
After Ian “Heartbreaker” Hannah pounced on a giveaway and Colin “Clutch” Keis scored on a breakaway to make it six-nothing, Bear put it on autopilot, which ignited the Chevy Crew.
Fraser River had been thwarted by some miraculous saves early but saw a few bounces finally go their way, as a post-and-in shot from Jason “Junior” Johnson broke the seal before Kevin “Nightrider” Hesslegrave scored to coax the Fraser River fan to remain in their seat. A nifty rebound conversion by Rob “Sparky” Courturier led to frantic final two minutes after “Stand” Pat Beaudry rifled one in from the point to close the deficit to two.
The other contest, in the rink where all the banners live, saw a see-saw affair, with Serenity scoring the last two goals in regulation before nothing could be solved in the shootout, resulting in a 4-4 tie.
Scoring a pair apiece for their respective sides were a couple of players on the opposite ends of the FHL age spectrum, as BCS’s Jim “Soupy” Sales, who is at least 180 per cent older, and Serenity’s Darby Madill “Pickle” kept the game tight. Also finding the twine for BCS was Kris “Haymaker” Hayman, who hammered in a rebound, and Nathan “The Last” Strand, who roofed one from in tight.
The resilient Builder Bunch refused to let a two-goal deficit deter them, as Madill “Pickles” utilized a Kucherov-like breakaway move to get the rink shaking before Wade Price “Is right” knotted the score.
The shootout saw each squad manage a single goal to maintain the two combatants’ second-place deadlock.