FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St. John Huskies snapped their three-game losing skid with an empathic win over the Sexsmith Vipers on Saturday night.
The first period remained scoreless until the Huskies potted the icebreaker with 6:55 to play in the opening stanza thanks to hard work from the grinder line as Alex Hartman buried a rebound to put the Pups up 1-0, assisted by Teagan McMullen and Shawn Wilson. Two minutes later Jacob Lang beat a screened Vipers goaltender for the 2-0 marker after taking a pass from Gary Loewen and Matthew Apsassin. A minute and thirty-six seconds later Gary Loewen scored the first of two goals within a thirteen-second span. The first was assisted by Jarod Lang on the powerplay, the second was a beauty of a solo effort by Gary Loewen. The Huskies skated into the dressing room after twenty minutes with a 4-0 lead.
The Huskies kept the pedal to the medal in the middle stanza with another goal at 15:44 when Jared Loewen fired a slapper from the point that beat a screened Vipers netminder on the powerplay, assisted by Apsassin and Powsey. Just under five minutes following that goal, Apsassin accepted a stretch pass from Dane Bateman at the Vipers blueline and pulled a ‘Charlie Conway’ triple deck from The Mighty Ducks movie franchise, beating the goalie just off the ice to the blocker side. The home side made it 7-0 when McMullen fired a shot from the left hashmark past a well-screened goalie after some great perimeter passing between Wilson, Jarod Lang and McMullen.
Gary Loewen scored his hat-trick tally nearly five minutes into the final frame after Bateman and Jacod Lang worked the puck along the boards before firing a shot on goal where Loewen deposited the rebound. The Dogs scored their ninth marker of the game at 9:17 shorthanded when Hartman won a race for the loose puck, fired a shot that snuck through and lay behind the Vipers goalie before McMullen tapped in the easiest goal of his career. The Huskies ended the onslaught with their tenth goal with forty-six seconds to play when Jeridyn Loewen riffled a shot top shelf where grandma hides the peanut butter on the powerplay, assisted by Jared Loewen and Sebastian Powsey. That would be all the scoring in this contest as the Huskies won by the score of 10-0.
Brody Greggain ate-up all 25 rubber biscuits fired in his direction for the shutout, while the Huskies fired 59 shots on the visitor’s goaltender.
Gary Loewen led the way with three goals and an assist, while eleven skaters chipped in with at least a point for the Energetic City boys.
“We needed that win,” said head coach Todd Alexander. “Even though we were playing a team that was short benched and lower in the standings the boys needed to stick to the gameplan and play a full sixty minutes which I thought we did, especially after the letdown on Friday night. The team plays the majority of the remaining games in January on the road and we can build some good momentum off this one.”
“I thought we controlled play from start to finish,” said goaltender Brody Greggain. “The boys really dug in and we outworked them in all facets of the game. I couldn’t be happier with the shutout, the boy s really made life easy for me in this one.”
With the win, the boys improve their record to 18-6, three points behind the first place Dawson Creek Jr. Canucks in the NWJHL standings.
Next up for the Huskies is a date with the Fairview Flyers on January 13th at the North Peace Arena. Puck drop is at 8:00 p.m.