FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St. John Huskies beat the league leading Grande Prairie JDA County Kings Saturday night by a score of 5-2.
After a night off, Jonathan Bateman manned the net for the home side. Both teams would play an evenly matched first frame as the Huskies fired seven shots towards the Kings netminder. Bateman would stand tall and stop all ten pucks shot in his direction. The Huskies would head into the first intermission deadlocked at 0-0 with the visitors.
The Huskies would counter the physical tone set by Grande Prairie with a fast paced style of their own which would lead to the icebreaker at 12:58 courtesy Jeridyn Loewen powerplay point shot somehow found twine behind a screened Kings goaltender. Assists on the goal would go to Josh Robinson and Jacob Lang. Not even a minute later Nolan Legace would add to that lead with a beautiful shot top shelf after weaving through King defenders. Geoff Dick collected the lone helper on the Huskies second goal. An unassisted shot from defenceman Jared Lang would fool the screened opposing goaltender to make it 3-0. With just under four minutes remaining in the middle stanza, Christian Stokes would deposit a rebound off a shot from Brandon Howard from the far circle to give the energetic city boys a commanding 4-0 lead heading into the final period. Bateman would stop all 12 Kings shots with the Huskies throwing 14 shots on the away goaltender.
The third period saw the Huskies play on their heels a bit as the County Kings applied some pressure. They would end Bateman’s shutout bid with 13:12 remaining in the contest. The Huskies penalty trouble would allow for the visitors to make things midway through the third with the score 4-2. The home side would not concede another goal as their netminder stood tall between the pipes. Nolan Legace would add an empty netter with just over two minutes remaining to seal it for the Huskies.
Jonathan Bateman would make 30 of 32 saves and pick up the win. The Huskies went one for eight on the man advantage and allowed one powerplay goal on six opportunities given to the Kings.
Goaltender Jonathan Bateman said, “We really tried to work on fixing our miscues from last night’s game against Beaverlodge. I felt we didn’t turn the puck over nearly as much.”
Nolan Legace who scored twice for the Huskies said, “We capitalized on our opportunity late in the second period which was huge. Especially when they applied some pressure throughout the third period and made things interesting.”
Assistant Coach Todd Alexander said, “We got into penalty trouble there in the third which gave the Kings some momentum and their two goals. I feel the team responded extremely well over the last half of the period. A big reason why we moved to 3-0 on the season.”
The Huskies next game will be next Friday when they welcome the Fairview Flyers to the North Peace Arena. Puck Drop is at 8:00 p.m.