Fort St. John opened the scoring as Marshall Sidwell found the back of the net just over a minute into the game. Grande Prairie would tie things less than five minutes later, but Fort St. John responded 1:21 after the tying goal to make the game 2-1.
Fatigue appeared to set in during the second frame as the execution wasn’t as sharp especially in the defensive zone. Goaltender Travis McLean faced 17 shots in the period but the JDA Kings managed to score twice. The Huskies got a late goal in the final minute to knot things up at 3-3 heading into the final period.
Grande Prairie took the lead for good at the 8:16 mark of the final frame. They added an empty netter to round out the scoring in the contest.
After the game assistant coach Todd Alexander was proud of his group considering the circumstances and was already looking forward to meeting Grande Prairie down the road when the club has a full squad.
“I saw a really short handed hockey club working as hard as they can with the pieces that we have. I’m pretty happy with that performance if that’s the best that that team has on the other side. They’re in trouble when we get our seven bodies back that we need,” he said.
Playing with a short bench can pose a challenge from the coaching staff when it comes to balancing minutes and keeping players as fresh as possible. Penalties added to that challenge last night but the team did what they could with the situation they faced.
“Sometimes it gets a little bit dodgy like tonight when there’s a lot of penalty kills. They gave them a lot of opportunities on the power play so times it gets a little mixy-matchy and you can get lost in your line-ups but we did okay. The boys are paying attention on the bench and for the most part we had what we wanted together tonight,” Alexander explained.
Scoring in order for the Huskies were Marshall Sidwell, Wyatt Fellows, and Marshall Sidwell. Between the pipes Travis McLean stopped 36 of the 39 shots he faced in the contest.
Next for the Huskies is a home date against the Beaverlodge Blades at 8 p.m. on Friday night.