The Fort St. John Huskies (5-5-1) didn’t allow a shot from the Beaverlodge Blades (1-10) in the third period at North Peace Arena Friday night.
It was pure dominance from start to finish.
In the pups’ chance for redemption, after falling to the Blades 8-6 earlier this year, the home side made no mistake, with a 7-0 rout.
“This time around we had to clean things up, we tried to stay as structured as we can in a game like this,” assistant coach Todd Alexander said.
“It goes to show how much of a lack of effort we had last time when we were there and I think that was the biggest thing. We worked hard all the way through this game… it was a lot better and a lot nicer game to watch.”
Matt Apsassin whipped the crowd into a frenzy early on in the game, with a toe drag move right out of a video game before going bar down for the first goal of the night. Apsassin added his second of the night in the second on a nifty backhand goal in tight. The 19-year-old forward clearly added a dynamic to the Huskies offensive game that had been missing through eight contests before he joined the squad.
“Matt always has a lot of skill. He had a lot of skill last year and he’s had other demons he’s had to fight through. Lots of guys come to this program and they learn the hard way. No one man will ever win a hockey game,” Alexander said. “He’s had a hard path, he’s made some tough choices, but I’m real proud of right now he’s bounced back and stepped up and he owned up to the things that he did and here he is and now he’s playing an important role.”
Brandon Howard, Jacob Lang, Josh Robinson, Drew Fudger and Adam Bowie each added goals for the Huskies.
Jonny Bateman made a few clutch saves in a relatively quiet night with the shutout on just 14 shots.
Alexander added the third period blanking had a lot to do with his the pups continued commitment to neutral zone pressure.
“Our neutral zone play was fantastic,” Alexander said. “The boys were paying attention to the layers and the weak side guy was really stepping up and knocking a lot of passes down. Not only were we able to break plays up in the neutral zone, we were able to attack right away and that’s the thing we were really able to enjoy tonight was how fast we can get back on the attack after a turnover.”
The Huskies will face a hungry Dawson Creek Junior Canucks squad on Wednesday, Nov. 9 at North Peace Arena.