FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – For the second time in just under a week the Fort St. John Huskies did battle on home ice with the County of Grande Prairie JDA Kings and the outcome was the same on the scoreboard. After defeating the Kings 5-2 last Saturday the Huskies followed that up with another 5-2 victory last night.
The Huskies were outshot 18-10 in the opening 20 minutes in large part to a four minute power play for the Kings late in the frame but goalie Brody Nelson stood tall as he did throughout the game with a number of big saves. His skaters in front of him rewarded him with a 1-0 lead.
The Kings would break through on the power play however early in the second to tie it up at one, but the Huskies got the goal back just 35 seconds later to reclaim the lead. They’d add their third tally of the game another 35 later to lead 3-1. A power play goal by Fort St. John with just under six minutes left gave them a 4-1 edge after two periods of play.
In the third the Kings clawed back a bit with a second power play goal, however Fort St. John put the game on ice with an empty netter to round out the scoring.
After the win Huskies assistant coach Todd Alexander said the turning point in the game were the two goals his squad scored immediately after the Kings tied the game in the second with Cayle Bell leading the charge with three points on the evening.
“It was our veteran line. They just went back to what we’ve been doing. We had pretty good success coming out of the corners tonight and that was the play right there. Walked out of the corner with a little give and go and of course it ends up on our top goal scorer’s stick. You’ve got to love when that happens when he’s right in the slot. That kid’s money from there. It was a big game by him tonight,” he said.
Goalie Brody Nelson had another solid game for Fort St. John as he made 40 saves. Alexander said he’s been a welcome addition to the club as he’s a big reason why confidence is growing on the squad with his big saves and ability to play the puck outside the crease.
“Brody’s been a good presence for us. He’s a veteran player. He’s stepped up for us and it helps when you get a little bit scrambly some points of the game and you feel the game is getting away from you and he makes a big save there it gives confidence on the bench,” he said.
Even strength the play was clearly in the favour of Fort St. John who limited the Kings scoring chances in large part because of the lack of time spent in their own zone.
“Five on five we know that we do a good job. We’ve got a good four line game going and we’ve got all the boys rolling. It shows in games like this when we can stay out of the penalty box and not disrupt the flow of the game when we have five on five,” Alexander said.
On the power play the Huskies went one for four on their opportunities while the Kings were two for six.
Scoring for the Huskies were Anthony Ruggiero, Cayle Bell, Ryan McDonald, and Kody Disher (2).
Next for Fort St. John is a game tonight on the road against the Beaverlodge Blades at 8 p.m.