Let me start by saying that this is nothing against both the Slave Lake Wolves and the Sexsmith Vipers. In fact I was in Sexsmith Saturday night as the Vipers played their season opener against the Whitecourt Wolverines, and frankly the Vipers deserved better than the 6-4 loss. (Whitecourt then beat Beaverlodge Sunday by a score of 3-2) But there is a feeling that this weekend the Huskies will face their first real challenge of the season. Slave Lake and Sexsmith have given the Pups three tough games so far but the level of competition is about to take a step up.
First on the list are the Dawson Creek Jr Canucks on the road in Dawson Creek. A game you can catch live on the Moose at 7:45 Friday night. The Jr Canucks have returned a lot of veteran players this year and looked strong in the preseason when they beat the Huskies. But the Pups have a much more rounded roster now that the regular season is underway. This is going to be an all out battle due to the bad blood that always exists between the BC rivals. (the preseason game was a very chippy affair) The Jr Canucks have beaten Grande Prairie so far this season, the same GP team that beat Whitecourt, and it seems as though the Jr Canucks will compete with the Huskies, Wolverines, Navs and Wheelers for home ice in the first round of the playoffs.
Then on Saturday and Sunday the Huskies are on home ice against the Wolverines. It has been a fairly slow start for Whitecourt all things considered having lost to GP and narrowly beaten Sexsmith, Peace River and Beaverlodge by a combined 4 goals. They needed an empty netter to secure a win against Sexsmith as the Vipers were pouring it on in the third and Whitecourt also barely scraped past Peace River with a late goal securing the 3-2 victory in that one. So what am I trying to say here? That the Wolverines look ripe for the picking? Maybe. But that’s precisely why they are so dangerous. They have talented players, very good coaches and a front office that doesn’t accept losing. I expect the Wolverines to be much improved this weekend.
So the Pups have their first road game of the year against a very good team down the Alaska Highway in Dawson and then two on home ice against the Wolverines who are still the class of this league until someone proves otherwise. A big weekend looms indeed.