The Fort St. John Huskies had a win and a loss for the second straight weekend.
The loss, a 6-5 defeat, came Friday, October 4, on the road to the Sexsmith Vipers.
The Huskies, however, were able to rebound with a much better effort Saturday night, at home, edging out the County of Grande Prairie Kings 4-3 to improve their record to 3-2 on the season.
Rookie Connor Kindrat scored twice in less than eight minutes to lead the charge, after the Kings opened the scoring just 27 seconds into the game.
Kindrat’s opening goal came off the face-off.
“I just got in a good spot and all the boys put up a good screen and it just went in.”
The former Tracker’s second tally was on a rush.
“The boys (Nick Loewen and Logan Kimmie) gave me a great pass in a great spot and you can’t not score when you get a pass like that.”
Kindrat now has three goals and three assists through the club’s first five games this season. Jared Winkel and Nick Loewen added the other goals to round out Fort St. John’s scoring.
Unlike Friday’s loss against Sexsmith, where the Huskies fell behind early and weren’t able to recover, head coach Todd Alexander felt his team didn’t panic Saturday.
“That’s the thing that’s good about our group, we don’t worry about that stuff. We talk about it a lot, to drop what has been in the past really quickly and get on to the future,” said Alexander, who feels the Kings’ opening goal wasn’t any reflection of his team’s play early on.
“I’m sure if you ask our goalie (Tyler McArthur) I know he would like to have that one back.”
McArthur went on to make 20 saves and pick up his first-ever win with the Junior B club.
Alexander maintains it’s a good milestone for his young goalie.
“His first victory, the second time out. We’re really looking forward to watching his growth, how his progression (development) goes this year. He’s got the tangibles to be a real good goaltender.”
As for the Huskies, it’s back on the road for the next two games starting Friday night, October 11, in Fairview. It’ll be the first match-up of the season between the two teams.
“I know they’re a big team,” said Alexander. “I talked to a couple of other guys in the league (about Fairview), they like to hit. They got a couple of big wins for themselves in the last week.”
The game in Grande Prairie on Saturday, October 12, will be the third game between the Huskies and Kings already this season. The Huskies have won the first two matchups.
Alexander said he’s not looking to change anything up.
“For the most part, you’re more worried about what we’re doing ... Our systems, our game, and our style ... We’re trying to build on our identity and get to those plays so you don’t have to think about them anymore, they just happen.”
Alexander say two key players, forwards Alex Nimmo and Brady Marzocco, won’t be in the line-up this weekend.
“Alex is out definitely. Brady is out indefinitely and (Joel) Bourgeois, we’ll see how he is. He might get worked into practice.”
The Huskies’ next home game is October 18 against the Dawson Creek Junior Canucks.
— Dave Lueneberg