Luckies forward player Tyler Poznikoff quickly scans the ice as he gets ready for his next move toward the Steelhead net. Houston Luckies lost a close 4-3 game to Smithers Steelheads Jan. 26.

Luckies lose close 4-3 game against Smithers Steelheads

Luckies lost 4-3 to Smithers Steelheads in their first playoff game Jan. 26, and games Feb. 2 and 3 determine who continues in playoffs.

Houston Luckies fought a hard game against the Smithers Steelheads last Saturday, keeping an even score until the final minute of the game, when Steelheads pulled ahead 4-3.

To stay in playoffs, Luckies need to win two games against Smithers this weekend – Saturday and Sunday at the Smithers Civic Centre Arena.

Even though the outcome was  disappointing,  Luckies played a good, hard game and held their own against the top team in the league.

Jaden Janzen, right wing Luckies player says he thought they played really good.

“We were getting  physical, we did the simple things, and we chipped it low. We outplayed them at times and we had some good chances. We were just hoping for the win,” he said.

Luckies assistant captain Derek Dinelle echoes Janzen’s thoughts.

“Fifty-nine minutes of the game I felt awesome,” said Dinelle.

“It was very disappointing with that last goal, but I think we played well. We played hard and we played our game,” he said.

Luckies forward player Skylar Hasell drives hard to the net in the game against Smithers Steelheads Jan. 26.

 

The game started out evenly matched, with the puck spending time on both sides of the ice.

Luckies right wing player Jaden Janzen scored the first goal with a minute left of the first period, deaking out a Steelhead defenceman and whipping the puck into the back of the net, making the score 1-0.

Second period brought Steelhead’s out with renewed energy, scoring their first goal and evening the board 1-1 only a minute and a half into the period.

The even score didn’t last long, as Luckies defensive player Glen Kelly, fired a slap shot which made it past the Steelhead goalie and brought Luckies back into the lead 2-1.

But Steelheads weren’t giving up the lead easily, and managed to even the score 2-2 only a minute later.

As both teams fought hard, energy and intensity built and players  took turns manning the penalty box.

As the second period wound down, Luckies forward player Skylar Hasell got his chance and scored another goal, taking a 3-2 lead for the Luckies with four minutes left.

But only half a minute later, Steelheads evened the score 3-3 with another goal.

Coming into the third period, Dinelle says he felt great.

“Tied game, third period, awesome home crowd: I felt really good,” he said.

But after playing hard for 19 minutes and 24 seconds in the third period, Luckies suddenly faced defeat when a Steelhead slap shot found the back of the net and Steelheads took a 4-3 lead with only 36 seconds left in the game.

It was a disappointing end, but both Dinelle and Janzen agree it was a good game and set their minds to the coming weekend, which will determine who continues in playoffs.

“We’re playing in Smithers, they are going to have the home crowd and home ice, but if we play like we did [last Saturday], I think it’s going to be another great game,” said Dinelle.