Junior Canucks beat Huskies at Fort St. John home opener

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Before Thursday’s game began, the Huskies organization presented a cheque for over $1,000 to the local SPCA, which was raised during the team’s annual pre-season fundraiser.

Following the reception of the donation, the game got underway, and the Huskies quickly found themselves trailing in their first game.

Only 1:13 into the opening frame, former Huskies forward Connor Rose received the puck up the middle of the ice, and used his speed to break up the ice and generate a shot on net, creating a rebound goal for Dawson Creek’s Shelby Oldfield.

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With the second period beginning 1-0 in favour of Dawson Creek, it didn’t take long for the Huskies to find their offensive touch. Three minutes into the middle frame, Robbie Sidhu hit a streaking Cody Hildebrand, who was recently voted by his teammates as the team’s captain for the second straight year, with a crisp neutral zone pass.

Hildebrand fought to not only maintain control of the puck, but to protect it from three Junior Canuck defenders, getting himself into shooting position, and snapping a lightning quick wrist shot high blocker, short side, to open the scoring for the Huskies season, and more importantly, tie the game at 1-1.

The tied score didn't last long, as Dawson Creek scored twice more in the period: once on a tip in from the point on the power play, and the other from a poor breakout pass, which led to a three-on-one goal, that beat Ty Gullickson's five-hole.

The third period proved to be the most exciting of the night. With the Huskies trailing 3-1, the team showed its no-quit attitude, scoring back-to-back goals to tie the game at 3-3.

The Huskies' second goal came off the stick of recently voted assistant captain Shawn Holliday, which was followed by a fitting power-play marker off the stick of the captain, Cody Hildebrand, who tied the game with his second goal of the night.

The game tying goal seemed to spark even more intensity in an already fiery game, as Huskies towering D-man Wyatt Anderson dropped the gloves with Dawson’s Blair Walsh.

After the mayhem ensued, the game resumed and unfortunately, it was the Junior Canucks who scored the last goal, as Riley Muise pegged the game-winning-goal at 15:17.

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The Huskies were unable to score another goal, and eventually lost by a final score of 4-3.

It was an entertaining opening game for the Huskies fans, who watched their team battle back in the third period to tie an evenly matched game, that saw both teams register 34 shots each.

Special teams also played a prominent role in the game’s outcome, as the Huskies went 1/4 with the man advantage, compared to Dawson Creek, who went 1/ 3.

The game concluded with Captain Cody Hildebrand scoring twice and adding one assist, while Robbie Sidhu, who was unable to put the biscuit in the basket, still finished with three assists.

Huskies assistant coach Jeremy Clothier says the team showed a strong work ethic, but were just unable to get the desired results.

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"We did a lot of good things right but didn't have much puck luck. The effort was good, we were really strong in the offensive zone, but still got some work to do in the defensive side, but we are still trying to learn our new systems. I thought we outplayed them, they just capitalized on the chances they got."

The Huskies will have a couple days to digest this loss, and then they will take to the road Sunday, October 7, to take on the North Peace Navigators.

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