FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – For the first time ever, the Fort St. John Flyers have won the Allan Cup, Canada’s National Senior Championship. The Flyers earned the 102nd national title with a 3-1 win over the Bentley Generals on Saturday afternoon at North Peace Arena.
Todd Alexander, Chris Stevens, Ryan Carter and Rod Stevens scored for the Flyers, who led 1-0 after one period and 2-0 after two. Scott Hood scored the lone goal for Bentley, cutting Fort St. John’s lead to 2-1 midway through the third period before Carter added an insurance marker at 17:04 of the final frame and Stevens rounded out the scoring into an empty net in the dying seconds.
Fort St. John went through the tournament undefeated, beating Bentley 7-1 and the Clarenville Caribous 6-3 during round-robin play, and knocking off the South East Prairie Thunder, last year’s runners-up, 7-3 in Friday’s semifinal.
The Generals, who reached their third-consecutive national championship game and were looking to become the first team since the 1993-95 Warroad Lakers to win back-to-back Allan Cups, finished second behind Fort St. John in round-robin action (7-1 loss to Fort St. John, 7-2 win over Clarenville) before beating the Powell River Regals 5-1 in the quarter-finals and the Dundas Real McCoys 4-2 in their semifinal.
The Flyers became the ninth host team to win the Allan Cup since the tournament went to a round-robin format in 1992, the first since the Brantford Blast in 2008. The national title is the 12th all-time for British Columbia, second only to Ontario’s 48. The last B.C. team to win the Allan Cup was the Powell River Regals in 2006.
The Allan Cup is one of the oldest club-team hockey competitions in North America, having been first competed for in 1908. Only once in the past 103 years, in 1945, has an Allan Cup champion not been crowned.
Kenora, Ont. will host the 2011 Allan Cup in April 2011.