Wheelers hand Huskies first loss

The Fort St. John Huskies played their second game of the season against the Grande Prairie Wheelers on Saturday night. For the second straight game, they took an early lead. And for the second straight game, they lost the lead.

This time, there would be no late heriocs.

Cody Kalb and Erik Pederson both scored in the first period, to give the Huskies a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes.

The second period was uneventful, with GP’s Cody Atkinson scoring the only goal, to narrow the gap to 2-1.

In the third, the Wheelers continued to press. They took advantage of some own-zone mistakes by the Huskies, and controlled much of the period. Halfway through the final frame, with the teams playing 4 on 4, Cory Littman found some room on the right hand side, and beat Zach Blain with a wrist shot to the glove side, to tie the game 2-2. 4 minutes later, Mark Sauchenko sped through the Huskies zone, fired a low snap shot, and then buried his own rebound, to put the Wheelers ahead 3-2.

Coach Bob Kalb was disappointed with another blown lead. He says the collapse was caused by mental mistakes.

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With only 2 minutes left, Paydon Wongstedt created some space, and took a wrist shot that grazed the post. But, that would be the only chance the Huskies could create, and Grande Prairie would hold on for the win.

New goalie Zach Blain got the start for FSJ. After a shaky start, Blain got better as the game went on, and says he felt reasonably comfortable in front of his new teammates.

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Blain, originally from Kitimat, has just arrived from a camp in Princeton. He says he doesn’t know yet who will be the starting goalie, or if that decision has been made.

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Coach Kalb says he was impressed with the play of his new netminder.

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With their new look blue and grey jerseys, the Wheelers were coming off a win in their own home opener on Friday, a 7-5 decision over the Beaverlodge Blades. At 2-0, their next game will be next Saturday, (Oct 4th) again in Fort St. John against the Huskies.

Before that, the Huskies will play their first road game of the season. On Friday night (Oct 3rd), the pups will be in Beaverlodge to face the Blades. The game starts at 7 pm PDT (8pm in Beaverlodge) – catch it live on Moose FM.

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