As the calendar creeps closer to the Fort St. John Huskies regular season opener in Sexsmith on September 28, the Huskies begin exhibition play this weekend against a different opponent than usual. The Huskies will be in Dawson Creek this weekend to play two exhibition matches against the Canadian Women’s National Team at the Encana Events Centre. The first game is Friday, September 14 at 4 p.m. against Canada White, and the second on September 15, at 3 p.m. is against Canada Red. The schedule of all the games Canada will be playing can be found below.
“That’s going to be a really good test for us. These girls are playing the highest level, and they’re going to be hungry and desperate to make that hockey club. There’s 40 girls but only 25 make the team,” said Huskies Head Coach Todd Alexander.
Since the Huskies can’t body check in the two games, Alexander is eager to see which of his players are good with their stick and who can stick with the puck.
“It’s a big opportunity for these girls, and I look forward to see the competitiveness and the habits these women possess and it’ll show our guys what it takes to get to the next level,” Alexander said.
The Huskies next preseason test is September 22 in Peace River against the North Peace Navigators. That game will begin with a ceremony honouring the late Darcy Haugan, the Humboldt Broncos head coach who was killed in the bus crash. Haugan is from Peace River and has family living in Fort St. John, and was previously the head coach of the Navigators before taking the job in Humboldt.
Alexander is waiting for more players to return to camp who have attended other Junior A camps. The Huskies have had several key players advance to higher levels, but say that’s a good problem to have.
“We prefer to have guys moving on, and aren’t worried about it. At the end of the day we’ll have strong team again,” he said.
Canadian Women's Team Schedule
Thursday, September 13
Canada Red vs White, 7 pm
Friday, September 14
Huskies vs Canada White, 4 pm
Jr. Canucks vs Canada Red, 7 pm
Saturday, September 15
Jr. Canucks vs Canada White, 12 pm
Huskies vs Canada Red, 3 pm
Sunday, September 16
Canada White vs Red, 8:30 am
Email sports reporter Dillon Giancola at email@example.com.