FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St. John Huskies were in action this afternoon for their final regular season game.
Hosting the Sexsmith Vipers in what would be a preview of the upcoming series between the two teams during the first round of the NWJHL playoffs, it was the Huskies that would dominate the play from the get-go. Brandon Howard put the Huskies on the board just 1:35 into the first with an unassisted tally. Though Sexsmith’s goaltender would would stop ten of Fort St. John’s shots in the frame, he was no match for the Huskies’ power play. Sebastian Powsey made it 2-0 with just 26 seconds left in the period, assisted by Jared and Jacob Lang.
The Huskies would double their lead in the second period, with an early and a late goal. Adam Bowie made it 3-0 with a shot from the slot, assisted by Tegan McMullin and Geoff Dick. A few minutes past the midway mark, the Vipers would finally get one past netminder Brody Greggain. However, Fort St. John would continue to dominate the period, outshooting the Vipers 22-14. After a mad scramble in front of the net during another Fort St. John power play, Matthew Apsassin sprawled out on the ice to sweep the rebound in to regain the Huskies’ three goal lead. Gary Loewen and Jacob Lang tallied assists on the goal.
The Huskies came out of the second intermission clearly in control of the game. After just five short minutes, Drew Fudger banged one home to make it 5-1, assisted by Bowie. Seconds after the ensuing face-off at centre, Vipers right winger Joel Demarke tousled with his opponent, Fort St. John forward Bradley Dixon. After briefly fencing with their sticks, Demarke then hit Dixon with a two-handed slash to the face.
The game was delayed for several minutes while Dixon lay bleeding on the ice, and he was eventually helped off by the team trainer though he did not return to the game. Demarke was assessed a Match penalty for the hit, and also would not return to the ice. Opting to take the high road in response to the cheap shot, the Huskies quickly got to work to capitalize on the ensuing five minute power play. Winning the draw, Jacob Lang got the puck over to Matthew Apsassin. Apsassin then fed Gary Loewen, who made it 6-1 just four seconds after the start of the Vipers’ penalty, and ten seconds after Fort St. John’s fifth goal. The Huskies briefly lost momentum after taking a penalty to make it 4-on-4, but kept the puck mostly contained to the attacking zone. With just 3:17 remaining in the final act, Apsassin scored his second of the game, and the Huskies’ fifth power play goal, assisted by Gary Loewen and Jacob Lang. In the final minute, Shawn Wilson added an unassisted goal to seal the deal for the Huskies, with a final score of 8-1.
The Huskies are back on the ice next this coming Wednesday, February 15th for Game 1 of their best of five series against the Sexsmith Vipers.