By Jon Zacks
It looked like they just couldn’t wait to redeem themselves. After a disappointing 6-4 loss in Slave Lake on Saturday night, the Huskies got back on track Sunday, with a 13-2 win over the Wolves.
It was another crazy game in Slave Lake, with the Huskies served at least 12 penalties. Four different Huskies were thrown out of the game, and two suffered injuries and were unable to finish. In the end, there were only 8 skaters left on the Huskies bench. But, unlike the previous night, the pups didn’t allow the officiating or other adversity to bring them down, and they skated to a lop-sided win.
Dylan Apsassin had a monster night offensively, notching 3 goals and 6 assists, for a nine point night. “It seemed like the puck was just following me, and I was just in the right place and the right time” he said afterwards, adding “if if wasn’t for my linemates and my teammates I wouldn’t have been able to get those points.”
Apsassin’s linemates also got in on the act, with Steven Fast scoring 2 goals and five assists, and Kole Norris chipping in 2 goals and 3 assists. “It’s fun playing with those guys” said Apsassin of the chemistry he is finding with the second line. “Speed and skill” said Coach Bob Kalb of the line. “Speed kills in this game, and they’ve got the skill to go with it.” His comments were exemplified by a sensational goal from Norris, who batted in a knee-height pass from Fast, leaving Wolves goaltender Travis Chartier exasperated.
The Huskies top unit also got on the scoresheet, with Cody Kalb registering 1 goal and 4 assists, and Cody Hildebrand notching 3 goals and 2 assists. Robbie Sidhu was held off the scoresheet, and had to leave the game because of a minor injury in the second period.
In all, Fort St. John got goals from Steven Fast (2), Dylan Apsassin (3), Luke McInerney, Kole Norris (2), Cody Hildebrand (3), Tyson Pederson, and Cody Kalb. Responding for Slave Lake were Dustin Ghostkeeper and Alex MacIsaac. Ty Gullickson backstopped the Huskies to his second win in three days, making some key saves particularly on the second-period penalty kills.
“It went surprisingly well, after all the stuff that’s gone on here” said Coach Kalb of his team’s effort. Although the Huskies scored 13 goals on the night, their penalty killing may have been their most impressive attribute. They faced 131 minutes in penalties, and allowed only 1 powerplay goal (one of Dylan Apsassin’s goals also came on a 5-on-3 Wolves powerplay). The big win helped erase a lacklustre performance the night before, and sent the Huskies into the final weekend of the season on a high note.
“I think we’re coming together on some specialty teams, we certainly got lots of practice killing penalties this weekend” said Coach Kalb of his team’s readiness. “We’re in a good spot right now.”
The Huskies wrap up the regular season with a big two-game set against unbeaten Whitecourt. The Wolverines will visit the North Peace Arena for games Saturday (Feb. 13th) at 8 o’clock and Sunday (Feb 14th) at 2.