The Grande Prairie Wheelers have been quietly sneaking up on Fort St. John in the race for second place in the NWJHL.
But on Friday night, the Huskies made a loud statement with a dominant win over Grande Prairie.
The Huskies struck four times in the first five minutes of the game, chasing Wheelers starter Tyler Vant Erve from the net. Fort St. John added four more in the second, ending up with a 9-2 win.
The Huskies top two lines looked very impressive all night long, cycling the puck well both on the powerplay and five-on-five, and creating all kinds of scoring chances. Showing their depth, the pups also got two goals from their third line (Luke McInerney) and two goals from defencemen (Tyson Pederson, Jesse Disher).
The Huskies got goals on the night from Kole Norris, Tyson Pederson, Luke McInerney (2), Robbie Sidhu, Dylan Apsassin, Cody Hildebrand, Jesse Disher, and Cody Kalb. Responding for Grande Prairie were Cory Littman and Patrick Pearson.
Garrett Muir earned the win in goal, making several strong saves, particularly in the second period, to maintain Fort St. John’s stranglehold on the flow of the game.
"We looked at it as a playoff game" said Huskies Coach Bob Kalb after the game. "Not a must win, in once sense, but it really puts us in a good position to cinch-down second place."
Cody Hildebrand registered a ‘Gordie Howe Hat-trick’ with a goal, two assists, and one of five third period fights. "We played good the whole 60 minutes" he said after the game, admitting the game lacked intensity in the third period, but indicating that the Wheelers had pretty-much given up.
The Huskies still have a pair of home games remaining this weekend, as they host the Slave Lake Wolves on Saturday night at 8 o’clock, and Sunday afternoon at 2. "We just need to make sure we don’t take them easy" Cody Hildebrand said of the games against Slave Lake. "AS long as we play our game, just like we did tonight, we’ll have no problem at all."