Skip to content
Join our Newsletter
Join our Newsletter

Schives puts finishing touch on Warriors

Fairlie solid in net, improves on league-leading goals-against average in 3-1 win over West Kelowna

Dylan Schives’s first career goal in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with the Quebec Remparts was a carbon-copy of the one he scored Wednesday night at Rolling Mix Concrete Arena.

But there’s no question in the 20-year-old Prince George Spruce Kings defenceman’s mind, which of those two rink-length rushes made the most impact.

With less than a minute left in regulation time and the Kings tied 1-1 with the West Kelowna Warriors, Schives took off and left five West Kelowna Warriors in his wake, ending the play by chipping in a wrist shot in behind goalie Johnny Derrick into the net from close range.

It was only his second goal of the season for Schives it stood up as the winner in a 3-1 victory in front of an RMCA crowd of 603.

“My first one was pretty similar but I think I like this one more – the game-winning goal,” said Schives, a native of Tilbury, Ont., who joined the Kings in the off-season last summer. “My parents were watching (in Ontario) and they have the time difference. I’m sure my mom was screaming loud and proud.

“Honestly, I had the room and the coach (Alex Evin) had been stressing for me to move my feet and I seen an opportunity and obviously, when a shot comes up like that I take it. If you shoot you score sometimes and I was thankful to get that one. Sometimes it’s alright for the D to get a little offence.”

The Warriors had a chance to tie it not long after that when they worked the puck in deep and Alexi Van Houtte-Cachero let go a shot that goalie Jordan Fairlie somehow managed to track through a crowd in front. He stuck up his trapper and quickly flipped the puck to John Herrington, who found the empty net 150 feet away for his second goal of the game.

The Kings’ penalty killing was a huge factor. They held off the Warriors on all six chances and Fairlie was a big part of it, never getting caught out of position and swallowing rebounds. When the puck did get free in front of him the Kings defence was there to clear it away.  

The Kings had to consider themselves a bit lucky to get out of the first period with the lead after playing six of the first 20 minutes shorthanded. Luc Laylin helped their cause with a right-wing rush to gain the zone and he wisely dished the puck to Herrington, whose initial shot from the slot was stopped by goalie Johnny Derrick. The rebound came back to Herrington and he rapped it in for his 15th goal of the season with 7:41 off the clock.

The Kings have the third-best penalty-killing stats in the BCHL and they certainly proved worthy of their lofty status, keeping a tight box assembled in front of Fairlie to take away the shooting lanes. Warrior shooters did get to Fairlie a few times but the league’s stingiest goalie, who came into the game with a 1.65  goals-against average, was equal to the task.

“We try to stay disciplined but sometimes we can’t handle it, we have to watch our sticks more,” said Schives. “We stress on the PK staying tight and not giving them chances and Fairlie has been a wall for us. To be honest, I think we have the best goaltending in the league with (Aaron) Trotter and Fairlie. They’re both great teammates and they work so hard. They’re just so committed and they work together and for sure it helps our team out. It’s good to see them get rewarded for the work they do.”

Chase Dafoe tied it for the Warriors, 8:04 into the third. He took a centring feed from Tyler Crystall just outside the crease and fanned on the shot but the puck slid through the legs of Fairlie.

The fans who did show up to watch were treated with an evenly-played, fast and hard-hitting game between two of the top teams in the BCHL. With the win, the fourth-place Kings improved to 16-9-2 1-0 and they moved to within five points of the third-place Warriors (19-11-0-0-0).

“It was our first game back at home in a month, we hadn’t played here since the stat of December and we wanted t come back and have a good game and I think we did that,” said Fairlie, who made 34 saves as his team was outshot 35-28. “We came back and needed a good performance to beat a really good team.”

“Now the rosters are frozen so these are the guys we’re going with and we want to make a big playoff push. We want to make a ripple this year so we’re going to do whatever it takes to win. Defensively, we’ve kind of clicked. Our last three games I think we have two goals against so we’ve been doing what we can to shut things down. Now we have a few more games at home and we can build off the energy of the crowd.”

LOOSE PUCKS: The Kings host the Merritt Centennials in their next game at RMCA on Saturday. The game was moved up from its originally scheduled Jan. 25 date to give the Kings another weekend game at home during what was supposed to be the BCHL all-star break. That event, planned for this weekend in Penticton, was cancelled due to the pandemic…Warriors defenceman Tyson Jugnauth, who made NHL Central Scouting’s list this week as the 134th ranked North American skater - the highest-ranked BCHL player -  suffered an upper-body injury near the end of the first period when he took a hit in the corner and did not return. The Warriors also lost centre Brennan Nelson when he was on the receiving end of open-ice hit from Kings captain Kolton Cousins… Kings left winger Nathan Fox took a point shot from Kilian McGregor-Bennett off the side of his mouth with six minutes left and went to the bench in obvious pain but didn’t miss a shift.   

BCHL Wednesday summary

Warriors 1 at Spruce Kings 3

First Period

1. Prince George, Herrington 15 (Laylin, Marciano) 7:41

Penalties – Bhabra PG (hooking) 1:23, Wright PG (interference) 12:45, Cousins PG (boarding) 15:23.

Second Period

Penalties – Fraser PG (tripping) 2:54, Rubin WK (cross-checking) 3:50, Bar-Lev-Wise WK (boarding) 4:09, Rheaume PG (tripping) 10:29, Legault WK (interference) 12:57.

Third Period

2. West Kelowna, Dafoe 9 (Crystall, Evans), 8:04

3. Prince George, Schives 2 (Bhabra) 19:07

4. Prince George, Herrington 16 (Fairlie) 19:30 (en)

Penalties – Lawn WK (double high-sticking) 0:37, Roukounakis WK (roughing), Cousins PG (roughing) 8:52, Rheaume PG (hooking) 9:33.

Shots on goal by

West Kelowna    13           14           8             -35

Prince George    6             11           11           -28

Goal – West Kelowna, Derrick (L,14-7-0): Prince George, Fairlie (W,7-2-2-1).

Power plays- WK: 0-6; PG: 0-5.

Attendance – 603.

 Referees  -Matt Hicketts, Derek Hicketts; Linesmen – Anthony Maletta, Riley Balson.