FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Huskies share the top spot in the NWJHL after a pair of wins on the weekend, doing it two different ways, with two different goalies.
On Friday night, the Huskies took on their fellow B.C. rivals in Dawson Creek, and Nathan Brownlee wasted little time scoring less than four minutes into the opening period.
Two quick penalties to the Huskies resulted in two powerplay goals against, and they found themselves trailing the Kodiaks 2 – 1. Late in the first, Conrad Wiebe got his first of the year with help from Jones and Kimmie to draw level at two.
In the second, it seemed like both teams were waiting for the other to make a move until a powerplay goal by Logan Kimmie halfway through the period broke the stalemate.
Kurtis Lee would join the scoring before the Kodiaks responded late in the second to make it 4 – 3 Huskies. But the Kodiaks wouldn’t roll over, and the Huskies made it a little harder on themselves by taking four straight penalties in the third. Thankfully, Huskies goalie Tyler McArthur stood tall in the net, making 16 saves to secure the 4 – 3 win.
Huskies coach Todd Alexander says it was a good team win.
“It’s a tough barn to play in, and we got in our own way a lot tonight. The penalties were not great, but we’ll clean it up.”
On Saturday, The Huskies travelled to Grande Prairie to play the JDA Kings, who only had a loss so far this season.
A shorthanded goal by the Kings was the only goal in the first, but the bulk of the drama unfolded in the second period. Jared Winkel and Kurtis Lee scored to give the lead back to the Huskies, and with just under five minutes in the period, tempers flared, discipline waned, and the Huskies found themselves in the doghouse.
Having to kill off a 5-minute major, the Huskies gave up two powerplay goals and the Kings led 3 – 2 going into the third.
A complete shift in momentum in the third resulted in the Huskies getting back to basics. Staying disciplined, getting shots and traffic at the net, and sticking with the game plan, while easier said than done, led to four unanswered goals from Kimmie, Winkel, Nimmo and Wiebe. After the final buzzer, the Huskies took the game 6 – 3. Daniel Sturgeon made 23 saves for his first win of the season.
Coach Todd Alexander says the third period was the Huskies’ best all weekend, but they will take a lesson from the weekend as a whole.
“No penalties, we had 20 shots to their six, and we scored four times,” said Alexander. “Discipline is not a word, it’s who we need to be. Moving forward, we will get better at it, as it can cost you games.”
The Huskies were hoping to move into their regular home at the North Peace Arena this week, but they’ll be skating at the Pomeroy Sport Centre for one more week. They take on the Fairview Flyers on Friday night at the Fairview Arena.