Hockey teams usually don’t thrive while killing penalties.
However, that was not the case for the Fort St. John Huskies during their Sunday afternoon game against Beaverlodge. The 7-5 win over the Blades, marked the Huskies third home game in as many days.
The first period began somewhat disorganized for both teams, resulting in a lack of scoring chances for both the Huskies and the Blades. Both teams had trouble setting up in the opposition’s zones and neither goalie was tested early.
What was obvious, was the abundance of physicality, as both teams embraced the rough stuff, throwing the body any chance that presented itself. The game’s rough style eventually would catch up with both teams, as eight penalties were called in the first period alone.
Both teams had success on the penalty kill, as neither was able to score a power play goal in the first. Although, Fort St. John’s penalty kill would have the edge, as the team scored the game’s opening goal while short handed. Aaron Dendys, who had a four point performance Saturday night, would walk out in front of the Blade’s goalie, and backhand one past the keeper to open the scoring.
The second period saw much more offense, especially for the Beaverlodge Blades. The Blades were able to score four goals in the second period, as opposed to the Huskies, who scored twice in the second.
The Huskies entered the third period down 4-3 and with two men in the penalty box. Fort St. John didn’t get the start to the period they were looking for, as the Blades scored only 35 seconds in, on some nice puck movement, scoring five-hole to increase their lead to two goals.
Rather than get discouraged, the goal only seemed to motivate Fort St. John. After a turnover by Beaverlodge, Robbie Sidhu found himself on a short handed one on one. Sidhu made no mistake, skating by the Beaverlodge player and decking out the Blade’s goalie for a shorthanded beauty.
With the Huskies down by one, they were awarded a power play with eleven minutes left in the game. The dogs made no mistake on the man advantage, moving the puck around wisely, which lead to the game tying goal.
Six minutes later, Huskies forward Chris Sperling would take a slashing penalty, potentially allowing the game tying goal for the Blades. However, it was the Huskies penalty kill that would excel, as Dylan Apsassin would draw two Blade defenders to him, making a nice pass to Cody Hildebrand. Hildebrand buried the pass low blocker, scoring the eventual game winning goal.
Aaron Dendys would seal the game for Huskies, scoring his second of the game on an empty net goal.
The 7-5 win over Beaverlodge would come at a price though, as Huskie’s player Payden Wongstedt left the game ten minutes into the third period with what looked like a shoulder injury.
The Huskies next game will take place Jan. 15, as they look for their third win in a row in Whitecourt.