Big night for Sidhu as Huskies win fourth straight

It was a perfect start for the home team, as the line of Sidhu, Norris and Hildebrand, hit the ice one minute into the game, producing the first goal. Sidhu and Norris worked a give and go to perfection, as Sidhu got the puck in the slot, using great patience to out wait goaltender Dylann Quinn, shooting the puck low, opposite corner to score his 19th of the season.

The goal was start of a stellar night on the ice for the Huskies leading point producer.  

With the Huskies leading 1-0, momentum shifted in favour of the visiting Blades, as Beaverlodge tied the game up 7:41 into the first, scoring on starting goaltender Travis McLean short-handed from a bad angle shot.

The lead was claimed by the Blades just over two minutes later, as Beaverlodge won a face-off in the Huskies zone, scoring from a slap shot from just outside the face-off circle.

Period two started with the Blades leading 2-1 and shots tied at nine a piece, and much like the Huskies quick start in the first period, the second saw Beaverlodge score 1:35 into the second to take a 3-1 lead.

Following the Blades third goal, the Huskies took command of the game, which began with a power-play goal from Cayle Bell at 8:24 of the second, who snapped the puck low-blocker following some good puck movement by the Huskies, to score the 17th goal of his rookie season.

The game was once again tied up at the 11:55 marker of the second, when Sidhu sprung Tyler Norris on a breakaway, who made no mistake, snapping a fierce wrist shot high-glove side, to tie the game at 3-3.

Even though he did not get an assist on the play, the Norris breakaway goal would not have been possible with the work of defenseman Daylen Pearson, who seconds before the goal, broke up a Blades three-on-one single handedly, which allowed for the quick transition goal.

Leading 22-19 in shots entering the third, the final frame belonged solely to the Huskies. The game winner was scored just 1:45 in, as Cayle Bell scored his second of the game, tipping a slow slap shot from Taylor Greatrex over the pad of Quinn.

John Apsassin scored the Huskies fifth goal, while Tyler Norris also netted his second of the game, concluding the evening with a 6-3 Huskies victory.

Back to Sidhu, along with his goal, the crafty veteran also chipped in with four assists, concluding his evening with a five point tally.

Travis Mclean played a solid game in net for the Huskies, making big saves throughout the evening to allow his team to complete the comeback, ending his night with a 28 save performance.

The victory was a significant one when looking at the NWJHL standings, as the four-point weekend provides the now sixth place Huskies a four point lead over seventh place Beaverlodge, while bringing them within two points of fifth place Dawson Creek.     

Following the game, Huskies head coach Gary Alexander said the win is indicative of the change in attitude within the locker room.

“We’re putting in for the most part 60 minutes a game, instead of half of that or less. We have some momentum going, our goaltending has been a big difference…We struggled a little bit at times tonight, but overall, our performance came to where we can actually win hockey games when we are doing the right things. Our attitudes are better, our behaviour is better and our efforts are better all the way around.”

The head coach also talked about his team’s ability to battle back from behind, specifically overcoming two goal deficits for the second straight night.

“In the early part of the year, we were getting up those two or three goals, then leaving it behind in the second…But at least now we’re battling back, we’re not losing our confidence and our self esteem, we’re in the ball game no matter what now.”

He says that confidence is huge for his team, who believe now they can come back regardless of the score, something he attributes to mental toughness.

Both the mental and physical toughness of the Huskies will be put to the test this Tuesday, when the boys head to Grande Prairie to take on the top ranked JDA Kings.

All the live action can be heard online on 100.1 Moose FM, as the Huskies battle for their fifth straight victory. The puck drops at 8:30, with the Moose FM pre-game show hitting the airwaves at 8:15 p.m.