The Stony Plain Flyers are off to a good start.
The team defeated the Spruce Grove Regals 5–3 during the Flyers’ home opener at Glenn Hall Centennial Arena in Stony Plain on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021.
“It was an excellent effort by the boys. They stuck to the game plan and it paid of huge in the end,” said Head Coach Craig Leibel.
The game started off in favour of the Regals who closed out the first period leading 2–0. In the second period, the Regals elevated the score to 3–0 before the Flyers’ Jordan Pink scored the team’s first goal of the night. The period ended with a score of 3–1 for Spruce Grove.
Everything changed in the third period with an early goal by the Flyers’ Dylan DeBlois. Stony Plain tied up the game 3–3 thanks to Rhett Dempsey lighting up the lamp around the thirteen minute mark. Shortly thereafter, Drew Perneel gave Stony Plain a lead followed by a fifth and final goal by Jacob Lovsin less than a minute later. The third period came to a close with a score 5–3.
“Everyone got a little more comfortable and we weren’t as scrambled so everyone started working with each other. It’s about using each other as teammates and moving our feet,” said Flyers’ Captain Rhett Dempsey.
Leibel contributed his team’s comeback in the third period to discipline and sticking to the game plan. A strong offensive team, the Flyers are most successful with what Leibel calls the “skate and pass” strategy whereby the team efficiently moves the puck towards the defensive zone of its opponent.
The players were understandably elated to be back after two seasons interrupted by the pandemic. Dempsey and Assistant Captain Eric Perneel agreed it took a while to get the team back in shape over the summer but they’re expecting a good season nonetheless. Both players have high hopes for the championship this year.
“We were a bit slow at the start but we started going once we got our feet underneath us and it felt really good to play again,” said Perneel.
The Flyers will face the Morvinville Jets at Glenn Hall Centennial Arena tonight at 8:30 PM.
“I think the boys now know what they’re capable of. We made a lot of progress and we’re going to be much stronger team going into the next game,” said Leibel.