The Fort St. John huskies moved atop the NWJHL with a big win over Peace River on Friday night.
While the teams have been high-flying rivals for the past several years, it was a low-scoring game won on defense and penalty killing.
Peace River had the first real opportunity of the game, with a two man advantage early in the first. But the pups killed both penalties, and momentum shifted their way.
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Late in the first, a Cody Kalb shot seemed to cross the goal line, and the referee blew the whistle and signalled a goal. After a short conference, the officials decided it would be no goal, and the game remained scoreless.
In the second period, FSJ’s Riley Apsassin took a slash from Kyle Smith. But, with a delayed penatly coming to Smith, Apsassin chased him down, and tried to settle the score. Smith would have none of it – crashing to the ice and taking a few punches to the head. The result was a 2 minute penalty to Smith, and 2, 5, and a game to Apsassin. But, on the ensuing major powerplay, the Navs were unable to get any extended pressure, and the second period ended still scoreless.
Finally, in the third period, the Huskies opened the scoring. It began when Kyle Porter busted down the middle, took the puck into the corner, and threw it at the net. With Dustin Heitman heading to the net, and a Navs defender in tow, the puck hit something and went in. Heitman was credited with the goal, though he’s not sure how it happened.
3 minutes later, Dylan Apsassin got his own reward for crashing the net, and the pups were up by two.
Again, the Navs had a couple of powerplay chances to get back in the game, but the huskies PK came up big. Cody Kalb added an empty netter, and Fort St. John would win 3-0.
Earning his first shutout as a Husky was Zach Blain, who says he’s feeling more and more at home.
The Huskies penalty kill was 5/5, with all three pups goals scored 5 on 5.
The Huskies are now 4-1, with their next game scheduled for Friday the 17th in Dawson Creek. Catch it live on Moose FM.