Chris St-Pierre

For The Community Press

KAPUSKASING – After the holiday break, the Kapuskasing Flyers were back in action last weekend to kickoff 2019 with three games in as many days. Friday night, they hosted the New Liskeard Cubs at the Palace for what was a fourth matchup between both squads this season.

In the opening minutes, the Cubs gained the lead on an awkward play in front of Carson Boutin. Tyson Bradford buried the puck low to give his team the advantage heading into intermission. However, the Flyers had other plans for the second period.

Despite never scoring on six power plays, Kapuskasing showed its usual colors at even strength, scoring back-to-back-to-back without any rebuttal from the opponents. Patrick Gagnon got help from Dawson Linklater and Ryan Maynard to tie it up early in the second.

Linklater would strike again scoring his first goal of the night a few minutes later. The « Hair line » closed out the period, with Brendan Aubertin setting up a beautiful play on a two-on-one allowing Samuel Vachon to beat Jake McGuire.

The final chapter was a bit choppier, but Dawson Linklater once again found the back of the net for his second of the night off an attempted stick check from the Cubs’ goalie. He secured the win for the Flyers 4-1 but that was only the beginning.

Saturday night’s contest against the Timmins Majors was a first of two last weekend.

Early in the first, Flyers goalie Josh Dubeault was beat by surprise off a wrister from Pierre Racicot. A few minutes later, Justin Alary retaliated with an unassisted wrap around goal to tie up the game. He was then followed by captain Alex Lapointe, assisted by Sam Lambert and Brendan Aubertin to give Kap a one goal lead heading into intermission.

Things got heated in the second period as the Flyers scored twice thanks to Lambert, with help from Lapointe and Carlo Smokowich Jr., and Alexandre Blais. Assisted by Zachary Dubé and Kyle Trottier. In the closing minute of the period, the Majors got frustrated, leading to a scuffle between Samuel Vachon and Gavin Martel. They would both spend the twelve following minutes in the box for roughing and inciting.

Heading into the third, Timmins looked to regain the lead. Eric Daigle scored on a redirected pass in the offensive zone to make it 4-2. Despite calling a timeout and pulling goalie Dylan Dallaire for the extra attacker in the last minute of the game, Alex Lapointe sealed the deal for the Flyers with an empty netter, giving Kapuskasing its second straight win in 2019 with a score of 5-2.

Sunday afternoon was more of the same for the Flyers as they dominated in the Majors’ barn to sweep the series. Interestingly, Brandon Perry’s team seemed more reserved on home ice.

Kobe Barrette opened up the score five minutes in on the power play to give Kap the lead. After an intermission, the quiet Timmins squad finally answered halfway through the second withthe Flyers at that point leading 4-0. Carson Cavalieri and Eric Daigle would put the Majors on the board. However, Kapuskasing struck twice to close out the second with a comfortable four-goal lead.

The extra ice at the McIntyre Arena allowed for some beautiful plays throughout the game.

Both teams took advantage in the third period, most notably Majors defenseman Cameron Dutkiewicz, who took a slapshot from the point to beat Carson Boutin up top, earning a powerplay goal.

Blane Boissonneault sealed the deal for Kap as he completed a shorthanded two on one rush to score his ninth of the season. The Flyers returned home with a well-earned 8-3 win under their belt. Kobe Barrette would end the afternoon with a four-point game, scoring twice and adding two assists.

Carson Boutin earned a pair of wins in net whilst Josh Dubeault won Saturday’s contest. Kapuskasing now sits second in the Great North Midget League (GNML) standings, mathematically assuring a second-place finish as the Sudbury Nickel Capital Wolves lost twice in three games last weekend.

This weekend, the Flyers face a difficult task of trying to best the North Bay Major Midget Trappers, who sit atop the GNML mountain with a perfect 28-0-0 record.

Preview: Big obstacles ahead for Kap Flyers

The Kapuskasing Flyers embark on a two-day road trip this weekend to face the top two teams in northern Ontario.

They will first visit Copper Cliff for a final meeting this season against the Sudbury Minor Wolves. With two months to go before the OHL Cup, Mardy St-Jacques talented squad is ranked 7th in the province. Ex-NHLer Cory Stillman’s son, Chase, is tied for the lead in points on the Wolves’ roster (14G-25A-39PTS in 18GP). He will also be representing Ontario during the Canada Winter Games held in Red Deer AB next month. The Wolves are currently on a six-game win streak, beating every single team in their path with the exception of the Flyers and the North Bay Major Midget Trappers.

North Bay will be the Flyers last stop Sunday afternoon as they face the Trappers for the first time since they got demolished on December 22nd 10-2. One thing will differ this time around, that being the size of Kapuskasing’s bench. Last time both teams met, the Flyers were without Carson Boutin, Zach Dubé and Justin Carrière. During the game, they would also lose Samuel Vachon and Samuel Lambert. 15-year-old goalie Ben Gaudreau would surely like to get another crack at the Flyers after closing out 2018 on a positive note. He is another northern youngster who will represent Ontario at the Canada Winter Games.

The Kapuskasing Flyers will visit the Sudbury Minor Wolves Saturday night at 7:30pm at the McLelland Community Center. They will then head east to the Powassan Sportsplex to face the North Bay Major Midget Trappers Sunday afternoon at 2:30pm.