The intense pace to Sunday’s game was set right off the bat in the afternoon tilt, as the Navigators scored early to take a 1-0 lead, only for Fort St. John’s Dylan Houle to respond 30 seconds later, while on the power-play, scoring to even the score at 1-1. 

That trend continued as the first period progressed. The Navigators scored again to reclaim the lead 2-1, only for the Huskies to quickly even the score once again, as Robbie Sidhu made a perfect pass to Tyler Norris, scoring to make it a 2-2 game. 

Before the end of the first, Fort St. John gained its first lead of the game, as Dylan Houle scored his second of the period, which would go on to be the eventual game-winner. 

The North Peace Navigators upped the pressure in the second period, but the Huskies remained focused, following the calming presence of new goaltender Daimon Derouin, who continued to make save after save in his first start in net for the Huskies. 

After a scoreless second, the intensity jumped another notch as the third period progressed. However, the Huskies were up for the challenge, matching the intensity of the league’s second place team, playing an aggressive, yet composed defensive game. 

Derouin made countless big saves as the clock wound down, none bigger than with one minute left, as he stretched across his crease to make a toe save on a Navigators one-timer.  

The new Huskies netminder, who finished the game with 39 saves for his first win, said it was a special first game to be a part of. 

“I couldn’t be happier with how it went. Just so happy that’s the way it ended it. It’s a great group of guys and I’m so happy to be playing with these guys. I wish I could have got going earlier in the season, but that’s the way it goes and I’m happy I’m here now.”

Derouin also didn’t have much time to prepare for the challenging game, as he only began practicing with the team this week. 

The clock finally reached zero, with the Huskies bench, and the fans at the North Peace Arena, erupting in celebration over the huge 3-2 win. 

Following the game, head coach Gary Alexander said it was the best effort he’s seen from his squad this year, giving praise to his new goalie as well.”

“First 60 minutes we’ve put in all winter long and that’s what we’ve been preaching, what we thought we’ve been missing and we got a lot in the goaltender area. I thought the difference in the game was that he made the big saves when we needed it… But the boys worked through it too, they kept going with a short bench, they fought through really hard and 60 minutes makes a huge difference in a game like that.” 

Alexander added that his team rallied around the performance of Derouin, saying the team built momentum following the solid performance in net. 

Next on the schedule is a date with the Sexsmith Vipers, who now trail the Huskies in the standings by two points. The two will clash Saturday, January 19 in Fort St. John.