Huskies lose in 2nd overtime to Slave Lake Wolves
After providing some stiff competition in game 1 on Friday night, the Slave Lake Wolves found one more gear, winning game two in a thrilling double overtime affair.
The first 20 minutes was not a goot session for the Huskies, who struggled to find their legs and their passing game despite a relaxing day off in Slave Lake. Slave Lake would score early, when Tyson Price struck on a powerplay 6 minutes in, to give the Wolves their first lead of the series. With 5 seconds left in the period, Steven Fast won a defensive zone face-off, but Kyle Pichette won the puck back, and centred to a wide open Tyson Price, who banged home his second of the game, and third of the series, with 0.9 seconds left in the period. The Huskies disputed the goal, arguing the clock had started late, giving SL extra time, but the goal would stand, and the Wolves would take a 2-0 lead into the dressing rooms.
Things started going more Fort St. John’s way in the second. While the Cody Kalb’s top line cycled the puck well, it was Steven Fast, Cam MacKinnon, and Cody Hildebrand who catalyzed the resurgence, with Hildebrand breaking the ice for Fort St. John 6 minutes into the second. 4 Minutes later, Dylan Apsassin fired a low slap-shot past a screened Travis Chartier, to tie the game 2-2. But, Slave Lake would not give up. With 4 minutes remaining in the second, Kyle Pichette found a loose puck after a lengthy scramble in the Huskies crease, and stuffed it home to put SL back in the lead. But, with 38 seconds remaining in the frame, Cody Hildebrand would score his second of the game, when he fired in a rebound on a Jon Spence point shot that had been tipped by Cam MacKinnon.
With the game tied 3-3 heading into the third period, the officiating continued to be a factor. There were several late off-side calls, a couple of questionable icing calls, and puck played over the glass by SL goalie Travis Chartier, which the referee insisted was legal in the NWJHL. But the players continued to battle physically, particularly the Wolves, desperate to avoid going to Fort St. John trailing 2-0. 5 Minutes into the third period, Payden Wongtedt would score on a scramble, to give the Huskies a 403 lead. The Huskies penalty kill continued to shine, until, with 2:40 remaining, Kyle Pichette would score his second of the game, to tie the game 4-4, sending the Wolves and their fans into an excited delirium, and sending the game to overtime.
In the (first) overtime period, the pace was fast, and the action furious. For 20 minutes the teams hustled to score a winner, but neither would be able to cash. Both teams had chances, including a missed breakaway by Tyson Price, a sure-goal for Cam MacKinnon fired over an empty net, and a simply sensational glove save from Travis Chartier, robbing Dan Pappin of a certain goal, on a snapper from the slot which looked labelled for the corner. Late in the 4th period, Payden Wongstedt was assessed a boarding penatly, but the Wolves would be unable to get any sustained PP pressure, and the game would go to double overtime.
The second overtime period would be a little less high-flying than the first, but certainly not lacking in intensity. Finally, 10:06 into the period, 90:06 into the game, a Slave Lake shot missed the net, and bounced off the end-boards to Tyler Couch. Couch had played very little in the game, but fired a sharp angle shot off the skate of Zack Blain and in, to give the home team a dramatic win.
Listen to this highlights package
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And so, with the best-of-five series now tied 1-1, the scene will shift to Fort St. John, with games 3, 4, and 5 (if necessary) tentatively for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Stay tuned to energeticcity.ca for final game times, as soon as they are confirmed.