It was a hungry Huskies squad that hit the ice Wednesday night.
Wednesday’s game against the Dawson Creek Junior Canucks was a big one for Fort St. John. Not only did their 6-3 victory see them beat Dawson Creek three games to two in the season series, but also saw the Huskies overtake the Junior Canucks for fourth in the standings.
The Huskies started the game looking determined to pass Dawson Creek. They were hungry for the puck, skated hard and tested Dawson Creek’s goalie early by firing shots from all angles.
Also noticeable, was the Huskies bench, which was finally full of bodies. According to Huskies assistant coach Jeremy Clothier, having a full roster is crucial for the team’s success. Recently, the Huskies line up had been decimated by injury, which is tough for any team to overcome.
Ty Gullickson was tested early and was up to the challenge. The Huskies goalie made a huge stick which lead to a three on two counter attack. The dogs made the most of the opportunity, as Brighton Campbell opened the scoring by burying a rebound coming from the odd man rush.
The Huskies were then awarded back to back powerplays. The first man advantage saw the Huskies unable to set up much offensively. However, the second powerplay worked to perfection, as Fort St. John moved their feet and cycled the puck extremely well. After some nice puck movement spaced out the Junior Canucks defense, Cole Calliou cut to the front of the net and backhand one past the Dawson goalie.
The Huskies also played excellent defensively, deflecting numerous shots fired at Gullickson, getting into the passing lanes and killed penalties to perfection.
The second period began with scoring chances at both ends of the ice. Fifteen seconds in, Dawson Creek wrung one off the post and at the other end, Jordan Gies found himself on a short handed breakaway but was unable to put the puck five-hole.
Roughly nine minutes into the second, Chris Sperling, Wednesdays player of the game, showed great skill in protecting the puck down low, passing it to Cody Hildebrand in front of the Dawson net. Hildebrand made no mistake, deking out the goalie to put the puck low blocker, making the game 3-0.
The two would hook up again seven minutes later, but this time it was Hildebrand setting up Sperling. Sperling received the pass cutting to the net, pulling the puck to the back hand and roofing it glove side.
Dawson Creek scored with two minutes left in the second, ending the frame with a 4-1 score in favour of the Huskies.
The third period would start off slow, but ended somewhat dramatically. Fort St. John was awarded a penalty shot, which saw Cody Hildebrand deke to the back hand only to hit the post. Both teams also scored two goals in the third.
The Huskies fifth goal came from Jaxon Glass, who received a nice stretch pass from Dylan Apsassin for a partial breakaway. Glass made a great effort to fight off a defender while deking out Dawson’s Goalie Jack Surgenor, putting the puck in off his forehand.
The Huskies final goal came courtesy of Connor Rose. Cody Hildebrand showed great skill in protecting the puck along the wall, spotting a streaking Rose. Hildebrand centred the puck across the crease for the Rose tap in.
After the game, Dawson Creek coach Mike Lazinchuk, talked about how his team needed to put forth a much stronger effort and had to play much smarter hockey. He also gave credit to the Huskies, who he said did a great job capitalizing when they got the chance.
Huskies forward Cole Calliou talked about the rivalry between the two clubs. He mentioned how both teams are extremely hard working, which should make for an exciting playoff series if the two teams meet in the post season.