FORT ST. JOHN B.C. – The Fort St. John Huskies received some hardware before beating the Dawson Creek Kodiaks 4-1 on Wednesday in the fifth game of their playoffs series.
Before the national anthem and puck drop, Northwestern Junior Hockey League Vice President Tim Warner presented forward Kurtis Lee with the league’s top scorer. The league’s top goaltender went to Tyler McArthur, and the final award went to Todd Alexander for the coach of the year award.
Starting off a pivotal game five, both teams had a big defensive struggle in the earlier minutes of the first period, with neither team wanting to let in the first goal of the game.
As the clock was winding down in the first period, Huskies’ Alex Nimmo scored just as time expired to take a 1-0 lead into the second.
The Huskies put another puck in the back of the net after some good chances that miss the target. Raymond Dick tallied his first goal of the playoffs in the second frame, pushing the lead to 2-0 for the Huskies.
A beautiful spin-around goal by Cole Cowen added to the Huskies’ lead in the third period and kept the pressure on Kodiaks.
Then, in comes top league scorer Kurtis Lee on the power play to make it 4-0 for the Huskies, adding on to a dominant performance after back-to-back losses.
The Kodiaks end McArthur’s brick wall performance with a goal scored by Tighe Strauss.
The Huskies are now one win away from heading to the finals.
Alexander says he was happy with the team’s ability to get back to the structure they’ve worked on all year. As for his award, he says it’s more of a testament to the coaching staff as a whole this season.
“I’m not big on personal accolades for myself, but an award that can show that the coaching staff put a lot into this season, so proud of all those guys for helping me out a lot, just for a background for years as head coach.”
The key moment for the Huskies was the last-second goal by Nimmo, which swung the momentum of the first period in their favour.
“I definitely think that goal at the end of the first period today was a backbreaker for them, for going into the second period. It’s a totally different hockey game, and it just kind of excelled our confidence going into the second,” said Nimmo.
Huskies take the series lead 3-2.
Game six is on Friday night in Dawson Creek. Puck drops at 8 p.m.
Huskies president Michael Basco also recognized long-time Huskies volunteer Sara Lang with the President’s Award before the start of the game for her dedication to the team.
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