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Slow starts and a lack of energy has plagued the Fort St. John Huskies in a number of games over the past two seasons. This year steps are being taken to solve that problem as right off the hop to begin yesterday’s first post-training camp practice, players were put through a fast paced, up tempo session from start to finish.

Assistant bench boss Todd Alexander said yesterday’s skate wasn’t a one-off, and marks a change in philosophy in the way sessions will be run going forward.

“We want to be a lot faster. We looked at a lot of video and a lot of stats from last season and we didn’t have great starts and that comes down to the coaching staff’s responsibility. We’ve got to start harder and faster and get into games quicker instead of playing from behind all the time,” he stated.

The pace caught the players by surprise, but Alexander is confident it’s something they can handle given the way the squad looks on the ice up to this point.

“It definitely took everybody out of their comfort zone tonight including the coaching staff. It’s not like we’ve been able to run stuff like this for the last couple of years but we also have the players to do it now too. That plays a big part of it. You can’t just throw a group of guys and expect that they’re going to get it. You have to try to play within the strength of your team,” he said.

The Huskies have four more practices before starting their exhibition schedule on September 16 as they’ll skate with the Dawson Creek Junior Canucks in Chetwynd.

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