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Fort St. John didn’t exactly start the game off productively, as only 1:33 seconds into the game, the Huskies surrendered the first goal of the game. Ironically, it was former Husky Connor Rose who opened the scoring for Dawson Creek, slipping a lose puck past starting Huskies goaltender, Ty Gullickson.

Just when momentum seemed to be building for the league’s last placed team, back-to-back power plays for Fort St. John helped the Huskies get back on top.

At 4:52, Jordan Gies was the beneficiary of a good Huskies power play cycle, sliding in a rebound created from a Cory Langdon point shot.

With the game tied at ones, the Huskies’ second power-play, which came at 8:22 of the first, helped the pups retake the lead. The Huskies once again displayed some smart puck movement in the offensive zone, which led to Dylan Houle receiving the puck to the right of Junior Canucks goalie Tyler Doucet. Houle wasted no time with the puck, firing a snap shot low and hard, beating Doucet through the five-hole. The second consecutive power-play goal led to the Huskies retaking a 2-1 lead.

Following the game, Dawson Creek Head Coach Mike Lazinchuk said those two Fort St. John power plays were an important factor in the game. He said his team came out and were playing very well in the first, and scoring the first goal was a big momentum builder for his team. He said the Huskies scoring on both man advantages sucked the wind out of his team’s sails.

The Huskies weren’t done scoring in the first, as the 15:59 marker of the first saw Fort St. John take a 3-1 lead. Jamie Wark got the puck behind the goal line in the offensive zone, circled out into the slot and ripped a wrist shot short side, high glove.

The second period began very similarily to the first, as Dawson Creek cut into the Huskies lead by scoring 4:40 into the second. However, the goal seemed to spark the Fort St. John’s offense, as goals by Blair Karasiuk and Shawn Holliday gave the Huskies a 5-2 lead at the conclusion of the second period.

With the third period beginning with the Huskies leading by three, the final frame proved to be the most entertaining of the three. Not only did the Huskies score four more goals, with Dawson Creek scoring two for a final score of 9-4, but the period also included a couple brew-ha-has.

After a collision along the board at 7:31, followed by some shoving, Huskies forward Dayne Pederson and Bret Howard of Dawson Creek dropped the gloves in a spirited tilt which saw both players land a few good shots.

Eight seconds after the mayhem had settled, the puck was dropped for play to resume, only to see Huskies forward Brighton Campbell and Brody Brewster square off with one another. Both players seemed passionate about the tilt, as they continued to throw punches at one another even as the referees attempted to break the two up. It was the game’s second fight in less than ten seconds.

Once again, the lop sided score didn’t reflect the even scoring chances throughout the game, as Dawson Creek fired 36 shots at Gullickson, while the Huskies managed to get the puck on net 37 times. Ty Gullickson played quite well for the Huskies, stopping 32 of the 36 shots fired his way.

Following the game, both coaches talked about the tilts in the third period. Coach Lazinchuk praised both players for the first fight, saying it was an honourable fight, as both players were of equal size, and saw no problem with them squaring off. The second however, he was not too pleased with, and let his players know that there would not be a third.

He said he was pleased with the way his team played, as he felt they matched Fort St. John offensively, saying, “we just didn’t bury the many rebounds lying around the Huskies net.”

The coach also gave credit to Fort St. John, saying the team is very good at capitalizing on their chances.

Huskies bench boss Gary Alexander also gave his opinion on the fights, saying such events were not necessary in a 9-4 game, and the risk of a player injuring himself just is not worth the gratification of a fight.

Alexander also talked about the play of his team, saying he thought his team could have played a tighter game, especially defensively, and the team really needs to focus on playing a full 60 minutes.

It doesn’t get any easier for Fort St. John, as they will hit the road Friday evening to play in Peace River, then will host the NWJHL’s second place team. Saturday, Jan.14, the pups will welcome the Grande Prairie JDA Kings to town. The game will take place at 8 p.m.

For a complete look at the evening’s game sheet, visit the NWJHL’s official website.

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