FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St. John Huskies survived a scare from the Grande Prairie JDA Kings in Game 1 of the NJWHL semifinals on Saturday evening.
The Huskies showed no signs of a two-week break, as Sebastian Powsey scored the icebreaker with 15:48 to play in the first period, assisted by Jarod Lang and Jacob Lang. Two minutes later Powsey beat a screened Kings netminder from the slot after taking a slick feed from Jacob Lang and Josh Robinson. Aiden Tegart made it 3-0 at 11:21 as he found space between the goalie and the post with a high shot from in close, Darian Fay and Matthew Apsassin with the helpers.
The Pups made it 4-0 when Nolan Legace took a feed from Gary Loewen, skated into the slot and ripped a shot under the blocker of the Kings netminder at 3:51, Geoff Dick with the secondary assist. Five minutes later Fay accepted a pass from Apsassin and Tegart, skated behind the net and fooled the goaltender with a wrap-around for a 5-0 lead. The visitors got two goals back, but Jeridyn Loewen bulged the twine from the point on the power play with five seconds remaining in the middle frame to give his team a four-goal advantage going into the final twenty minutes of play.
The Huskies played on their heals in the third period as the Kings managed to score three straight goals to make things interesting at 6-5, however, thanks to Jacob Lang’s empty-net tally with a 1:17 to play the home side held on for the Game 1 win, 7 to 5.
Sebastian Powsey led the charge with two goals, while 12 players contributed in the win for the Pups.
“That was an interesting game for sure,” said head coach Todd Alexander. “We played well as a cohesive unit for the first twenty-five to thirty minutes. Then we were scoreboard watching, trying to be too cute and play as individuals which allowed Grande Prairie to get back into the game. They capitalized on the chances that we gave them on a lot of unnecessary turnovers. In the end, we came out with a win and now we move on.”
“It was a big show of character tonight,” said captain Jarod Lang. “It was a great learning experience for us that we can’t let up especially in the playoffs because the other team isn’t going to let up. It’s great to pick up the first win of the series, but now we move on to the next one.”
Huskies forward Sebastian Powsey left the contest after falling awkwardly into the offensive end boards midway through the third period. It has been confirmed that he broke his fibula and is done for the season.
Game 2 of the series in Grande Prairie gets underway at 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday.