It was a tough start for the Huskies, as right off the bat Fort St. John found themselves killing a 5-on-3 penalty. Despite killing off that 5-on-3 and gaining some positive momentum, another Huskies penalty resulted in a Slave Lake power-play goal, as a point shot was tipped in front of the net, past goaltender Travis McLean.
As the physical first period progressed, the Huskies showed their ability to bite back, as rookie Tyler Norris tipped in a point shot off the stick of Jordan Gies with only 1:15 left in the opening frame, evening the score at 1-1.
The Huskies wasted no time taking command of Saturday’s game in the second, as captain Cody Hildebrand popped in a rebound created from a Robbie Sidhu wrap-around attempt, giving the Huskies a 2-1 lead.
Fort St. John continued to pour on the pressure, but was matched by a solid performance in net by Wolves goaltender, Cutris Malbeuf, who made some key saves to keep his team in the game.
On the other side of the ice, McLean also showed he’s got some serious skill in between the pipes, making some very timely saves in the period, none bigger than 13 minutes into the second, where he made a huge blocker save on a Slave Lake breakaway, preserving the Huskies’ 2-1 lead.
That lead was strengthened in the third as Rookie Jayton Wieler scored his second goal of the year, followed by sophomore Dylan Houle’s first of the year, giving the Huskies a 4-1 lead in the final frame.
Slave Lake did score one more goal in the third, but it wasn’t enough to catch the Huskies, as the game concluded with the Fort St. John earning their first home and regular season victory.
Following the game, head coach Gary Alexander said despite the win, teams around the NWJHL haven’t seen the Huskies’ full potential.
“We’re showing what we are working on. We definitely have more talent than what the kids are giving themselves to believe in. So we are going to be a force to be reckoned with in another half-a-dozen games.”
The head coach also spoke about the strong effort of his goaltender, who made 34 saves for the team’s first win, many of them quality scoring chances.
“Travis had a hell of a game. It’s a good moral booster and we needed that out of him to get where we are going.”
The Huskies will have one week off, then it’s back to business on Saturday, Oct 20, as the team will hit the road to play the Beaverlodge Blades, who currently sit tied for fourth in the standings at 2-2-0.
SIDE NOTE: Following the game, a ring was discovered by a member of the Huskies organization in the women’s bathroom of the North Peace Arena. If you or someone you know has lost a ring please call Moose FM (250-787-7100), ask for Sean and describe it, to ensure it is returned to its rightful owner.