Unfortunately it was an early exit for the St. James Canucks this year, as they lost a short, but hard-fought and close series against a tough Raiders team.
In game one, the Canucks struck first after Jeremy Idzikowski launched a rocket from the point. Captain Nick Stire assisted on the goal to give the Canucks a 1-0 lead. The Raiders would answer back throughout the rest of the game, scoring five unanswered goals to take a 5-1 lead. Devan Lobb added a goal in the third but it was too late as the Raiders skated away with a 5-2 win in game one. Kole Stockham and Justin MacKinnon assisted on the Canucks’ second goal.
Game two was a heart-breaker for the Canucks, who were just a matter of seconds away from forcing overtime before the Raiders scored the winning goal with 23 seconds left in regulation to win 3-2. Mitchell Lockhart scored both goals for the Canucks, with Stire picking up a pair of assists. Idzikowski also had an assist.
Game three was tightly contested right to the finish, with the Canucks once again falling prey to a late goal. The Raiders scored with less than five minutes left in regulation to take a 2-1 lead and would add an empty netter to take a commanding 3-0 series lead. It was a series that could have easily been 2-1 Raiders, or even 2-1 Canucks.
Nick Stire scored the lone goal for the Canucks in game three, with assists from Lockhart and Graham Philp.
The Canucks came out strong in a must win game four, with Nicholas Pierce scoring the only goal of the first period to put the Canucks up 1-0 after 20 minutes. The Raiders would answer back in the second though, scoring three goals to lead 3-1 after 40. They’d add another in the third to make it 4-1 before the Canucks would make their final push in the form of two goals from Adam Thurlbeck to pull within one. Unfortunately it was too little, too late and the Canucks’ season ended with a 4-3 loss to the Raiders.
David Friesen and Nick Stire had assists for the Canucks in game four.
The Canucks organization wants to congratulate the Raiders on a hard-fought series win and we wish them good luck in the playoffs going forward.
Chalk Talk Three Stars:
3 – Jeremy Idzikowski: Idzikowski had a goal and an assist in the series against the Raiders.
2 – Mitchell Lockhart: Lockhart had two goals and an assist in this series and finishes his MMJHL career with three goals and six points in 13 playoff games.
1 – Nick Stire: The captain was outstanding in the playoffs, scoring once and adding four helpers in the series against the Raiders. Stire finishes his MMJHL career with five goals and seven assists for 12 points in 16 playoff games.
The off-season. The Canucks would like to thank all the fans and sponsors who supported us throughout the entire year and everyone who volunteered their time to help our organization run smoothly! We also want to send a special thanks to the players for dedicating their time to the franchise. Before you know it, we’ll be hosting our third annual Golf Tournament in August and then starting another season of Canucks’ hockey in the fall! Stay tuned for updates for our 12th Annual St. James Jr. Canucks Sportsman Dinner, which takes place on Thursday, May 25th, 2017 at Canad Inns Polo Park, located at 1405 St. Matthews Ave. For more information, click here.