Chris St-Pierre

For The Community Press

KAPUSKASING – As the end of the month rolls around, the Flyers approach the final moments of the regular season. After a tough few weeks, the boys in blue looked to get their mojo back against the New Liskeard Cubs and the Timmins Majors.

Glen Denney’s troops went down to New Liskeard’s Don Shepardson Arena last Friday to launch a two-game series against the Cubs.

Despite the cold air of the night, the Flyers were properly warmed up in the first period. Carlo Smokowich Jr. scored his fifth and sixth goal of the season in the first ten minutes, with help from Justin Carrière and Kobe Barrette. The later would also go on to bury the puck, giving Kapuskasing a 3-goal lead heading into intermission.

The Cubs would start showing signs of indiscipline in the second chapter, giving a first powerplay to the Flyers. Zach Dubé would succeed with the man advantage, scoring his third of the year. Samuel Vachon followed suit a few minutes later. The Cubs were visibly frustrated as they went back to the dressing room, trailing by five goals after 40 minutes.

Said frustration would make an appearance during the third period. After a sixth Flyers goal scored by Barrette, Dawson Linklater was hit with no warning after the whistle by Brady Lacharity. Alex Blais would come the aid of his teammate and both offenders were sent to the box. The Cubs’ number 19 was far from done.

After Kapuskasing’s seventh goal scored on the powerplay by Ryan Maynard, Lacharity would get into another scuffle, this time with the 16-year-old d-man. He was wrestled to the ice and his slow recovery pushed Kobe Barrette to protect his teammate.

Flyers head-coach Glen Denney had to tip his hat to both Blais and Barrette for standing up to the opposition. New Liskeard would get a single goal in at the end of the third, as a bad decision from Carson Boutin allowed Zach Lajoie to score on the PP. The Flyers would return home with a 7-1 win, and the rivalry was just hitting it’s stride.

Two words can describe Saturday’s game : officiating and faceoffs. The Cubs and the Flyers went at it for a second time and the first twenty minutes was filled with good hockey. The teams were tied 1-1 after one. Ryan Maynard was the lone scorer for Kapuskasing.

Things started getting out of hand in the second period as the Flyers racked up penalty after penalty, while New Liskeard, playing with a short bench, got a lot of liberties.

Head coach Glen Denney explains that “(my) challenge was for the first thirty minutes, we had to defend our guys. The whole game, there was either a cross check to the head, a hit in the back, a spear or a slash, not a single thing was called the whole time. When I got a bench minor, I’d had enough. I have a responsibility to defend my guys, and the referees have the same thing. […] My frustration isn’t with the fact that all of a sudden there’s a penalty, it’s about making it (the call) the same damn way. I don’t care if they have a twelve-man bench or not, if they (the referees) sit there and see those numbers and call it a certain way, that’s their prerogative.”

New Liskeard would end the second with a two-goal lead. Kapuskasing replaced Josh Dubeault with Carson Boutin for the final twenty minutes, hoping to see different results in net. In the last period, Ryan Maynard would score his second of the game, but it was not enough for the Flyers to close the gap, whom struggled in the faceoff circle. Despite pulling Boutin in the final minutes, the Cubs held strong to win the last bout of the season against Kapuskasing.

With a tough loss hanging over their heads, the Flyers bounced back in the best possible way the following afternoon in Timmins. They immediately took the lead against the Majors, with Kobe Barrette scoring a powerplay goal off a deflection.

After a quick break, things looked worrisome in the second period as Timmins scored twice following Ryan Maynard’s fourth goal of the weekend to tie it up. However, Alex Blais’ hard work finally paid off as he and Carlo Smokowich teamed up to beat Dylan Dallaire shorthanded, giving Kapuskasing the lead once again.

The Flyers would seal the deal in the third period, scoring twice leading to a 5-2 win against the Timmins Majors. With Kapuskasing back in the game following a 4 out 6 point performance last weekend, the season ends this weekend with a double header at the Sports Palace against the anomaly of the GNML, the North Bay Major Midget Trappers.