Dillon Giancola: Can the Fort St. John Huskies go back-to-back?


Achieving something in back-to-back years is very special, at least in terms of a competition or accomplishment. Like, for the second straight year I wasn’t fired or didn’t break my arm, but I’m not about to take a picture of myself and point to my arm in celebration.

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But if I won a championship in sports, any kind, it would only be that much sweeter the second time around. Sadly, and I don’t say this lightly, I’ve never won a championship, let alone two back-to-back. Even if I did — say I won a golf tournament or a bowling league — it would be awesome, but feel like a fluke because I know I’m not that good.

But if I were to make it to the bowling final the next year, even if I didn’t win, I would have the biggest smile. It would be proof that all the time I made people go bowling with me — my friends, women on various first dates, even my 90-year-old Nan — wasn’t in vain.

The Fort St. John Huskies all of a sudden find themselves in basically the same situation. Sure, they might not appreciate making the NWJHL Final for the second straight season being compared to my imaginary bowling prowess, but it is what it is.

Last season, the Huskies were flat out dominant, that’s all there is to say about it. They started the regular season 10-0, for crying out loud, and they won the final in just four games. There was no doubt they would win, and they did.

This season has been a different story. From the get-go, it was more of a struggle. Almost half of the players were different. The former leaders were all gone. Thankfully, the team had new players ready to step into that role, and had some excellent players join the team.

From the start, it was clear this team could be great, but it was unsure if they would be. And yes, they haven’t won the title yet, and how that plays out remains to be seen. But, they bounced back from two very tough semifinal losses — one by a score of 10-4, the other in a game that they had 56 shots — only to win the next two in very convincing fashion in less than 24 hours.

Teams don’t always make it through that. They also don’t usually get a chance at winning back-to-back championships, let alone win them both. Yes, if you followed the Huskies last season, it’s no surprise they’re back here. But it’s sure hard to fathom how in the previous seven years they hadn’t made one final.

Because no matter how hard you work, how hard you try, how good the people around you are, nothing is certain and things don’t always go your way – in life, in sports, in work.

But sometimes they do.

In this imaginary bowling scenario, the best part about doing so would be holding the trophy and having hilarious journalists like myself photograph me while I hold up the number two sign. I haven’t seen a team do that since the 1998 Detroit Red Wings . However, because of their resilience, the Huskies will have their chance at winning their second straight NWJHL Championship and taking that elusive picture.  

Email sports reporter Dillon Giancola at sports@ahnfsj.ca.

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