FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St. John Huskies defeated the Sexsmith Vipers to close out their regular season play, first overall in the NWJHL standings.
The Huskies opened the scoring at 13:22 of the opening period courtesy Geoff Dick, assisted by Gary Loewen and Nolan Legace. They added another less than four minutes later Jarod Loewen fired a shot from the point off a pass from Teagan McMullen and Sebastian Powsey, that fooled the visitor’s netminder. The Dogs outshot the Vipers 21 to 3 in what was a dominating period of play.
The middle stanza saw much of the same as the first 20 minutes. Shawn Wilson made it 3-0 at 9:35 of the frame after deflecting a Dane Smith shot from 4 feet out, Joel Bourgeois with the secondary helper. The Huskies skated to the second intermission with a three-goal lead.
Matthew Apsassin buried a rebound fifty-two seconds into the final period off Powsey and Dick chances in tight. Six minutes after the Vipers broke Brody Greggain’s shutout bid, Apsassin added his second of the night on the powerplay after some slick passing between Jarod Loewen and Dick. Final score Huskies 5 – Vipers 1.
Geoff Dick lead the way with a three-point night while Aspassin and Jarod Loewen each chipped in with two points. Greggain made 14 of 15 saves in the victory.
“It feels so good,” said head coach Todd Alexander. “After a back and forth affair in Dawson last night and coming away with the overtime victory we knew what we had to do tonight and we did it. We accomplished one of our goals at the beginning of the year, a feat that has been a long time coming.”
“The first round bye will be great the heal the bumps and bruises,” added team captain Jarod Lang. “We have a couple of guys that need to rest time to be fully ready to go come our next game in the playoffs. Having a full complement of our roster will be an advantage in the biggest games of the year.”
The Pups finished the regular season in the top spot in the NWJHL standings with a 27-7-2 record or 56 points. This will mark the first time the team gets a first-round playoff bye in over a decade.
League playoffs get underway on February 12th, while the Huskies won’t play their next game towards the end of the month.