FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Huskies buried four power play goals to cruise past the Grande Prairie Kings 4-2 on Friday night at the North Peace Arena.
Special teams were the difference as Jared Winkel had two of the Huskies’ four goals with the man advantage, and goaltender Tyler McArthur stopped 14 of 16 shots to lock in his 10th win of the season.
Jared Winkel opened the scoring in the first period with a blast from the high slot when the Kings’ penalty kill got pulled down low.
The Kings answered eight minutes later after a shot from the blue line was deflected in the slot by Mason Kyllo.
Again on the power play, Winkel found himself wide open in nearly the same spot to bury his second goal of the game. The Huskies went to the dressing room with an 11-6 lead in shots, and a 2-1 lead on the scoreboard.
Not to be outdone, Jaydon Gordey capitalized on a Kings power play opportunity to tie the game at 2-2 early in the second.
That’s where the game came apart for the road team, as they took two major penalties and three minors in a row, taking all the momentum out of their bench. The Kings only managed a single shot on net in the second despite scoring on the chance.
The Huskies, on a nearly 13-minute stretch on the man advantage, got goals from Nick Loewen and Kurtis Lee. Loewen got tangled up with Joel West in the corner, and the two decided to settle the score without their gloves. Both players were ejected for the scrap.
Neither team scored in the third period, and the Huskies stayed disciplined to the final buzzer.
Heart-and-soul of the Huskies, captain Cayden Frenette says they expected to find themselves on the power play if they stayed focused.
“Discipline was huge. We know how Grande Prairie plays, and we knew we could get some power plays if we focused on the scoreboard,” said Frenette.
Kurtis Lee extends his 11 game point streak to 12 with a four point game, Nick Loewen had a pair of points, and the power play went 4-for-9.
“We were setting it up pretty well. We could definitely bury it a little more, but sometimes it comes, sometimes it doesn’t.”
The home team made the job a lot easier by shutting down any offensive attempts by the Kings, using their sticks to break up passes and slow down rushes. On the penalty kill, getting pucks all the way down the ice generated energy for the Huskies.
“We have a really good penalty kill setup. That first 8 seconds is a rodeo, and if you can jump on a loose puck and get it down the ice, that’s great. If we can skate it down and kill off more time, even better.”
The Huskies will head to Fairview Saturday for another tough test against a team that doesn’t back down in the Flyers.