The Fort St. John Huskies hosted the County of Grande Prairie Kings on Friday night, looking to start the new year with their second straight win. Instead, the Kings won their fourth game in a row, 7-5, as they continue to move up the standings. The Huskies have 35 points, and remain one point back of Dawson Creek for first in the league, while the Kings now have 23 points and are sitting in fourth.
Fort St. John had leads of 3-2 and 5-4 in the game, but in the third period, the game got away from the Huskies as the Kings scored two quick goals and the Huskies were unable to get the equalizer. Both teams did play at a high tempo and with lots of energy, but it wasn't focused or structured.
"When you just skate around with energy but aren’t doing anything, it hampers the team. We just skated around and didn’t do anything," said Huskies Coach Todd Alexander.
The Huskies were especially bad on the penalty kill, allowing an alarming four powerplay goals on seven tries.
"We played really soft on the penalty kill tonight. It was as poor as I’ve seen in a long time," Alexander said.
The Huskies won't have much time to figure out what went wrong as they're back on home ice tonight to play the North Peace Navigators. The Navigators are in third place with 28 points, but have lost five of their last six games, and will no doubt be looking to turn their season around.
"We’ll move on. We want to work hard and fix the things we want to fix. We’ll see if we respond and what we bring to the table on Saturday," Alexander said.
County of Grande Prairie Kings at Fort St. John Huskies
Friday, January 11, 2019, 8:00 p.m., North Peace Arena, Fort St. John
Scoring — Fort St. John, Gary Loewen (Geoff Dick, Jared Loewen) powerplay, 3:20; Fort St. John, Jared Loewen (Brady Marzocco, Gary Loewen) 6:53; Grande Prairie, Louka Richard (Justin Rudyk, Jeremy Niven) powerplay, 8:23; Fort St. John, Chase Gregory (Geoff Dick, Gary Loewen) 9:52; Grande Prairie, Blake Gillingham (unassisted) 11:26.
Penalties — Grande Prairie, Grant Yee (Tripping, 2 min.) 2:30; Fort St. John, Cooper Willms (Tripping, 2 min.) 4:02; Grande Prairie, Jacob Begin (Hooking, 2 min.) 5:47; Fort St. John, Geoff Dick (Tripping, 2 min.) 6:41; Grande Prairie, Tyler Bueckert (Cross Checking, 2 min.) 14:25; Grande Prairie, Louka Richard (hit to the head, 2 min., 10 min. misconduct) 16:50.
Scoring — Grande Prairie, Tyler Bueckert (Jaiden LaPorte, Blake Gillingham) powerplay, 7:51; Grande Prairie, Nick Miller (Riley Szo, Corey Soorsma) 8:40; Fort St. John, Jared Winkel (Chase Gregory, Nathan Bragg) 10:33; Fort St. John, Geoff Dick (Gary Loewen, Brady Marzocco) 15:07.
Penalties — Grande Prairie, Justin Rudyk (Spearing, 4 min.) 3:21; Fort St. John, Geoff Dick (High Sticking, 2 min.) 7:44; Fort St. John, Gary Loewen (Roughing, 2 min.) 16:02.
Scoring — Grande Prairie, Wyatt Lawrence (Jaiden LaPorte, Blake Gillingham) powerplay, 6:48; Grande Prairie, Louka Richard (Jacob Begin, Jeremy Niven) powerplay, 9:07; Grande Prairie, Jacob Begin (Louka Richard) empty net, short handed, 19:46.
Penalties — Grande Prairie, Brent Headon (Slashing, 2 min.) 4:26; Fort St. John, Brady Marzocco (Cross Checking, 2 min.) 4:58; Fort St. John, Nathan Bragg (Tripping, 2 min.) 8:16; Grande Prairie, team penalty (too many men, 2 min.) 10:47; Grande Prairie, Brent Headon (Roughing, 2 min., unsportsmanlike, 2 min.) 16:29; Fort St. John, Aiden Tegart (roughing, 2 min., unsportsmanlike, 2 min.) 16:29; Fort St. John, Matthew Apsassin (Tripping, 2 min.) 16:47; Grande Prairie, Jaiden LaPorte (Cross Checking, 2 min.) 18:18.
Powerplay — Fort St. John (1/9); Grande Prairie (4/7)
Goal (saves/shots) — Fort St. John, Jonathan Bateman (23/29); Grande Prairie, Will McCreight (30/35)
Email sports reporter Dillon Giancola at email@example.com.