The Huskies came out the gate fired up and ready to go from the opening puck drop, as the home team controlled the play from the minute the game began. It didn’t take long for that intensity to makes its way to the scoreboard, as Dayne Pedersen scored the opening goal of the game, tapping in a crafty Brighton Campbell backdoor pass just 2:28 into the game.
Tyler Norris doubled that lead at 15:58 of the first, as recent roster addition Tanner Fjellstrom made a nice move around a defender entering the Wolves’ zone and slid the puck to a wide open Norris in the slot, who fired a quick shot low blocker for the 2-0 lead.
The intensity doubled as the second period began, with bodies crashing into one another at every opportunity possible, making the animosity between these two teams quite evident.
Goals were aplenty in the second period, as Blair Karasiuk stuck the final nail in the coffin just 18 seconds into the period, cutting into the slot with the puck and firing a quick wrist shot past young goaltender Rhiley Laderoute. The goal was not only the eventual game winner, but also opened the offensive floodgates for the Huskies.
Fort St. John went on to score five more goals in the second period, including two on the power-play, along with the Wolves' only two of the game, also scored in the second.
As the goals began to pile up for the Huskies, tempers started boiling over, eventually resulting in two fights in the second period. The evening’s first match saw Jamie Watson tango with Nelson Anderson, followed by Dayne Pedersen dropping the gloves with Travis Malbeuf.
It was much of the same in the third, as the Huskies smelled victory, refusing to let up and continuing to keep the intensity high. The team scored twice more in the third, wrapping up the game and the series as the clock struck zero.
Plenty of Huskies hit the score sheet in the lopsided series winner, as Cody Hildebrand and John Apsassin each finished the night with three points, while seven other Huskies recorded multi-point games.
Even though his team provided plenty of offensive support, goaltender Travis McLean was sharp in net throughout 60 minutes of play, making 26 saves to earn the honour of first star of the game.
Following the series sweep, Huskies forward Jamie Watson says with the first series a thing of the past, the desire to continue winning is burning bright in the dressing room.
"Oh, you have no idea how bad we want to win. Just after that season, and the tough road we took, and we got something to prove to everyone that we are actually a great team. We have lots of support, so as long as we have fans, we’re going to keep killing it."
Watson added that along with the fans, the team plays hard for their coaching staff, who have put in countless hours to help the team develop throughout the season, something Watson says the team realizes and appreciates.
Looking to the next round, the challenge increases significantly, as the Huskies will take on the regular season’s top team, the Grande Prairie JDA Kings. Despite the heavy task at hand, Watson says he’s confident the team has what it takes to compete.
"Ya, GP it is, and it’s going to be a tough one. We’re going to have to come out hard and strong, stick together and be positive. We’ve come this far, we’re not going to quit. We are a hard working team, we’ve got a lot of talent with some new guys coming on, and we’re all clicking right now; it’s good."
The series between Fort St. John and Grande Prairie will begin next week, but the official date has yet to be released as other first round series are still taking place.