The Huskies play their final game of December on Saturday – and in some ways, it’s a must win.
The Huskies have won four of their past six – but dropped the two games against teams they need to beat – Peace River and Dawson Creek.
They now find themselves tied for second place in the league, but with two more games played than Peace River, and three more than Dawson Creek, Fort St. John realisticaly sits in third or fourth place overall.
With the season entering the Christmas break – but two thirds complete – the playoff picture is beginning to materialize, and teams in contention are now in a dogfight to place in the top two or three spots. Finishing second would guarantee a team home ice in the playoffs until the finals, while either 2nd or 3rd place is good enough to avoid the powerful Wolverines until the finals.
The Huskies have been much better at home this season (10-1) than on the road (5-7-1), and play one of the weaker teams in the league, the Sexsmith Vipers. Still, the pups have struggled with Sexsmith this year, losing once in Sexsmith, and winning the other two matchups each by just one goal.
Coach Bob Kalb admits his team has been inconsistent, wondering at times which Huskies team will show up on any given night. Team defence has been the problem, with 4 of the top ten scorers in the league on the team, but mediocre goaltending and sloppy play in their own zone costing the team on more than one occasion. While Jordan Shipton comes to play every night, other players aren’t always committed to team defence, and Kalb isn’t entirely sure how to solve this.
Kalb says there are positives, such as the addition of Jesse Disher:
Kalb is also happy with Cam MacKinnon, who’s point totals have fallen off since scoring four goals in his debut, but has been one of the best defensive forwards on the team.
The Huskies host the Sexsmith Vipers at 8pm at the North Peace Arena on Saturday night.
Their next game won’t be until January, although they will also hit the ice for Skate with the Huskies, at 3pm on December 28th.