It was a tough start for the Huskies, who found themselves down two goals in the first ten minutes, thanks to an even strength goal seven minutes in, followed by a power play marker halfway through the first.
However, the Huskies bit back before the conclusion of the opening frame, as Brighton Campbell took a bounce pass off the boards, finding himself one-on-one with a Flyers defender. The Huskies’ assistant captain made a nice move chipping it around the Fairview player, skating in on a partial breakaway, scoring high-blocker on Flyers goaltender CJ Wass, cutting the lead to 2-1.
The second period began much like the first, intense, physical and very tight checking. Three minutes into the second, the Huskies found themselves on the power-play, prompting the coaching staff to take a time-out to clarify their message entering the man-advantage.
The time-out worked like a charm, as the Huskies executed some textbook puck movement, resulting in a cross ice pass from Robbie Sidhu to fellow line-mate Cody Hildebrand, who one-timed the puck low for the game-tying goal.
The game only remained tied for 55 seconds, as the Flyers responded quickly, banging in a rebound in front of starting netminder Ty Gullickson to retake the lead 3-2.
Roughly 11 minutes into the second, Huskies sophomore Blair Karasiuk took a pass from Cayle Bell and found himself on a two-on-one, making a nice move around the Flyer defender, and sliding the puck over to Dylan Houle, who tapped the puck in to tie the game at 3-3. The goal was Houle’s third in two nights, while he and Bell have now combined for eight points in the past two games.
Tempers began to rise and the intensity reached a new level as the game progressed, as fans in attendance watched what could be a physical rivalry develop between the Flyers and Huskies. The intensity reached a boiling point at the conclusion of the second, as Huskies big d-man John Apsassin dropped the gloves and squared off with an equally big opponent in Drake Cunningham, in what was an intense, spirited tilt.
It was a bit of an uneventful third aside from a couple penalties on each side. The Huskies started the final frame on the power-play, but were unable to capitalize. As the final period concluded, a scrum ensued following the whistle, which resulted in a Fairview power-play to start overtime.
As the Huskies took to the ice a man down in the extra frame, the crowd nervously watched as the Flyers set up their power-play in Fort St. John’s zone. Despite some stellar shot blocks by Cody Hildebrand, the Huskies were unable to escape the short-handed situation, as Fairview fired a low shot from the point, beating a screened Gullickson for a 4-3 final score.
Following the game, Coach Alexander said the team still needs to ditch some of their old tenancies, but is confident those changes will happen.
“We’re battling with what our new systems are and our old habits and when we get into tough moments we just can’t seem to pull it off. But I think one of these days we’re going to turn a corner and we’re going to be a different hockey team, but until then there are a lot of ups and downs.”
Despite the loss, Alexander added he felt it was a one of the best all around efforts he’s seen out of his club so far.
The Huskies will have Saturday off, and then get right back on the ice for a rare Sunday afternoon home game against the Slave Lake Wolves. Sunday’s afternoon game begins at 2 p.m.