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The game’s opening period began with an extremely physical pace considering its pre season status. Bodies were flying in all directions as both teams looked excited to get back to competitive hockey.
Fairview would be the first team to strike, scoring approximately five minutes into the opening period, a big milestone, as it was the first goal for the newly instated team.
Trailing 1-0, Fort St. John responded halfway through the opening frame, as sophomore Blair Karasiuk received the puck atop the face-off circle to the right of Fairview’s net, wristing the puck short side, high glove and tying the game at 1-1.
However, the lead did not last long, as Fairview worked the cycle while on a power-play, shooting and beating a screened Ty Gullickson for the 2-1 lead.
The second period began with the Flyers leading 2-1, a score that would remain until the third, as both teams seemed to put scoring on the back burner in the second and focus primarily on the physical side of the game.
Tempers would begin to boil over as the second period progressed, which resulted in the Huskies lone goal scorer, Blair Karasiuk, dropping the gloves and engaging in the team’s first fight of the season.
As if losing Karasiuk for the remainder of the game wasn’t significant enough, the Huskies lost arguably their most offensive weapon halfway through the second, when Robbie Sidhu took a high stick to the face, forcing him to leave the game with a facial cut.
Following the game, Huskies assistant Coach Jeremy Clothier confirmed that Sidhu was ok and the injury would not result in him missing any significant time.
The third saw Fairview increase their lead, as the team scored five minutes into the final frame, to produce the final score of 3-1.
Credit must be given to Huskies goaltender Ty Gullickson, who stopped a number of quality scoring chances and came up with some extremely timely saves to keep the Huskies in the game.
Congratulations must also be directed towards Fairview, as their players looked excited to be on the ice playing in the NWJHL, and earning a hard fought first victory as a new team.
The Huskies will travel to Fairview Saturday, to play game two of the teams’ home-and-home series. Assistant coach Jeremy Clothier says his team will need to match the excitement Fairview demonstrated at the North Peace Arena.
“We need to improve on straight effort; our guys have to have the want to do it. [Coaches] can’t give it to them, they have to want it. We can yell and scream all we want but if they don’t want it, we are wasting our breathes.”
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