“It feels pretty good right now,” Fort St. John Huskies’ Dayne Pedersen said following Saturday’s game against the Beaverlodge Blades at North Peace Arena.
With their 8-1 win over the Blades on Saturday night, the Huskies have tied Slave Lake in points in the North West Junior Hockey League and have won five of their last six games.
“All of us are going together, bonding, sticking together, doing everything as a team,” Pedersen said about the streak. “It feels really good. All of us are clicking and playing as one.”
The season didn’t start that way, however. The Huskies were struggling for the first half of the year, trying to find some chemistry and ways to win games. Now their issues seem to be in the past.
“I don’t know what it was, we finally came together, started playing some hockey and now we’re one,” Pedersen said.
On Saturday the Huskies barely gave the Blades an inch on the ice. Period after period Fort St. John had control of the puck, bombarding Beaverlodge’s Dylan Quinn with shots, averaging 12 a period and only getting 10 minutes of minor penalties throughout the game.
Robbie Sidhu opened scoring in the first with 16 seconds left on the power play, going high stickside past Quinn to get the crowd going. Five minutes later Cayle Bell got another, getting hipchecked after his shot and flying through the air like Bobby Orr as the puck went in the net. Pedersen made it 3-0 to end the period, and shots were a telling 15-3 for Fort St. John.
With a beautiful cross-crease pass from Jamie Watson, Bell scored his second of the game early in the second before Beaverlodge’s Cody Darke got the Blades’ only goal of the night, denying Huskies’ Daimon Derouin the shutout.
For his second power play goal of the night, Sidhu scored to end the second period with assists to Blair Karasiuk and Bell (third point), then completed the hat trick only seven minutes into the third for his 21st goal of the year.
“It was pretty nice to see him get going again and come out flying,” Pedersen said about Sidhu. “He’ll do that once in a while but we need him doing that all the time, he’s one of our leaders.”
After a power-play goal from Cody Hildebrand with eight minutes left in the game, Pedersen scored his second goal of the night to become the Huskies’ third multi-goal scorer of the game.
“It feels pretty good for all of us actually doing something, keeping our heads up, playing the game,” he said. “We’re coming around finally.”
The Huskies’ next game will be in Dawson Creek as they take on the Junior Canucks for the second time in less than a week. After the two teams racked up 198 penalty minutes last Thursday at North Peace Arena, the Huskies are hoping to be more disciplined while keeping the physicality up.
“[There’ll be] probably more discipline between the guys,” Pedersen said. “It’s always been a rival between us. So we’ll come out flying, hitting, do whatever we can to get that W.”
When asked if there will be more fights on Wednesday, he laughed.
“Probably. We’ll get it going again.”
The Huskies’ next home game will be Friday, Feb. 9 against the Fairview Flyers.