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The Fort St. John Huskies were rewarded for a strong showing last night as they faced off against the Grande Prairie JDA Kings. The Huskies won the game 4-2 and handed Grande Prairie only their fourth regulation loss in 23 games.

Fort St. John got off to a great start in the game as they opened the scoring just past the three minute mark of the first period. In what could have changed the direction of the game however, Grande Prairie was able to tie the game with 32 seconds remaining in the frame.

Not shaken by giving up the late marker the Huskies continued their strong effort and were rewarded mid way through the second. The team found the back of the net 11:06 into the period, and increased their lead to 3-1 just two minutes after that.

Entering the third the Kings were pressing the action trying to get back into the game. They got within one on the power play with just over ten minutes left in the third, but that’s as close as they would get as Fort St. John tacked on an empty netter with 1.6 seconds left on the clock.

Head coach Gary Alexander said after the game that the team played well from start to finish and having a near full roster played an important part in being able to do that.

“We had a pretty full complement of players which helps a whole bunch. We put 60 minutes of hockey in tonight and that’s a big difference from 20-25. You have to start out like you’re going to finish. If you don’t start out good you’re not going to finish good either,” he said.

The win was an important one in the standings as it allowed the Huskies to keep the pressure on the Dawson Creek Junior Canucks for home ice advantage in what seems like an inevitable first round playoff series.

“We’ve got two games left with them, one here and one there and that will make the difference between home advantage in the first round. It’s important that we close the gap each and every night now,” Alexander stated.

The team has added three new players over the past week and a half and it’s played a big part in roster flexibility for the Huskies as well as improving the squad overall when it comes to talent.

“We just didn’t have the numbers before and we’re finally getting to a complement where somebody misses and we can still have a full line-up. I can’t remember many times this winter that we actually dressed 20 junior hockey player,” Alexander explained. “Whenever we dressed 20 we had two or three midgets mixed in amongst us. We had a real young club to begin with and it’s taken a long time for them to transition from midget hockey to rougher and tougher junior B.”

Travis McLean was solid as per usual between the pipes as he turned aside 36 of 38 shots. He said the win over Grande Prairie was big in building confidence going forward.

“It’s huge. It means that we can beat any team in the league. on any given night no matter what the standings say, if you’re first and you’ve lost only two games this year and we’re one of them that means that any team can win,” he said.

Scoring in order for the Huskies last night were Josh Robinson, Cayle Bell, Josh Robinson, and Jerome Thorne.

Next for the Huskies is a game on the road tonight in Beaverlodge. The team will next be on home ice on January 30 as they host the Beaverlodge Blades in a make-up game from before the new year.


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