FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St. John Huskies were a determined bunch, as they defeated the visiting Grande Prairie JDA Kings on Thursday night.
The Pups lost forward Josh Robinson to an upper-body injury early in the game after a hit from behind. The Huskies opened the scoring with 13:15 to play in the first period as Teagan McMullen finished off a pretty passing sequence between Matthew Apsassin, Darian Fay and McMullen on the man advantage. The home side skated into the first intermission with a 1-0 lead after carrying the play.
A minute after the visitors evened the score midway through the middle frame, Jeridyn Loewen collected a puck in the slot and fired a shot bar down to restore the lead for the home side, assisted by Gary Loewen and Geoff Dick. The Pups added to their lead while shorthanded as McMullen forced a turnover in the Kings zone, left the puck for Cody Brodhagen who fired a shot opposite side that beat the Kings netminder with 1:47 to go.
The Huskies carried the momentum from the second into the final stanza as Dick finished off a tic-tac-toe passing play between Nolan Legace, Jerdiyn Loewen and Dick who was all alone beside the net. Two minutes later Brodhagen deked out the visitor’s goalie on a breakaway off a stretch pass from Joel Bourgeois and Shawn Wilson. The Dogs didn’t allow any grade-A chances for the rest of the game as their goaltender Zak Babin faced four shots as the team skated to a 5-1 victory.
Ten players chipped in with a point while Babin stopped 16 of 17 shots, while the home side fired 41 shots on the opposing goalie.
“We played a full sixty minutes tonight,” said head coach Todd Alexander. “We hadn’t the first two games and you see what happens when we play a defensive style of game. We gave them maybe two odd-man rushes the entire game. The boys stepped up after Josh [Robinson] went down early and didn’t miss a beat.”
“Big win for us,” said Nolan Legace. “We need to carry this performance into their barn and look to come away with a win on the road on Saturday. We shut down their opportunistic style of game and stuck to ours.”
The Huskies lead the best-of-seven series, 2-1 and will look to grab a stranglehold on the series on Saturday night in Grande Prairie. Puck Drop is at 8:00 p.m.