So far, the road team has won each game, as Fort St John took game one in Grande Prairie Thursday evening, 6-3.
Back to Saturday’s game, which started very similarly to game one, as Grande Prairie took advantage of a Huskies turnover in their own zone. Lyndin Lewis, returning from injury to play in his first second round game, picked off a breakout pass in the Huskies zone, leaving him alone in the slot with the puck, where he shot quickly, five-hole, beating starting goalie Daimon Derouin for the 1-0 lead. A very similar play took place in Grande Prairie Thursday, for the JDA Kings to go up 1-0.
However, unlike game one, the Huskies were unable to tie the score in game two, as the first period concluded with Fort St. John trailing 1-0.
The second period saw Grande Prairie double their lead before the Huskies could get themselves on the board, as Adam Hodge tipped in a Tyler Knoblach point shot passed Derouin 5:33 into the second, following a face-off loss in the Huskies zone.
With the opposition leading 2-0, it was Fort St John’s turn to strike, as Blair Karasiuk scored his first of the series, on the power-play, tipping in a Taylor Greatrex bomb of a point shot 9:49 into the middle frame.
As the Huskies entered the third period trailing just one, it was Grande Prairie who scored the ever-important next goal, reclaiming the two goal lead with just 4:46 left in regulation. While on the power-play, Grande Prairie got their cycle game going, creating a point shot, where Daniel Bishop jumped all over a rebound, sliding the puck into the Huskies net for the 3-1 lead, which Fort St. John was unable to equalize as time expired.
Credit must be given to both goalies, who were very busy athletes Saturday evening, earning JDA Kings goaltender Sky Buller the first star of the night for his 29 save performance.
Both teams also found success with the man-advantage during Saturday’s game, as the JDA Kings went one-for-two on the power-play, while the Huskies went one-for-five.
Following the game, head coach Gary Alexander talked about how his team’s power-play needed to be sharper.
"It was off just like everything else was. We just didn’t seem to have the timing right and we struggled with a lot our passing, where we were pretty bang on in Grande Prairie."
The head coach also said his team needed to push the pace more in the second game.
"We were just that half step behind. Good things weren’t happening and it was because we took a half a second off at times and didn’t beat them to the puck at times. We had no center drive, it was all outside, and we didn’t force any plays down the middle. We made a few mistakes tonight that we didn’t make in Grande Prairie and let them off the hook."
Despite the loss, coach Alexander said much can be said by the Huskies out-shooting the JDA Kings in two straight games, and the team feels confident knowing they can walk into Grande Prairie and get themselves a win.
He also gave a sincere thanks to the crowd for their impressive support Saturday evening, as the stands were packed with Huskies fans, something that was lacking a bit during the regular season.
Game three hits the ice of the Grande Prairie Coca Cola Centre this Tuesday, March 5 and all the live action can be heard on 100.1 Moose FM.