The Fort St. John Huskies played perhaps their best game of the playoffs in a 3-2 win on Thursday night to take a 3-2 series lead.
"We used the entire clock. We played well that game away from the puck, structurally, and that’s about as good as we played all year," said Coach Todd Alexander.
The Huskies led 1-0 for most of the game, until the Kings scored on a two-on-zero breakaway with eight minutes left and scored again two minutes later to take the surprising lead. Fort St. John didn't panic, and workhorse centre Dean Whitcomb scored a dirty goal in front with five minutes left to tie the game at 2-2.
With eight seconds left, the Huskies took the draw in the Kings zone. Whitcomb was able to track down the puck and get to the front of the net and buried it with 3.3 seconds left to stun the Kings and put the Huskies within one game of winning the championship.
"Whitcomb has been good all playoffs, a huge pickup for us at the deadline and a real grinder. He’s one of our top centreman and a fantastic teammate," Alexander said.
Whitcomb said he was just doing what he was brought to Fort St. John to do.
"That’s my goal, why they brought me here. Just here to grind, have bounces go my way, no fancy stuff around here, and it felt good. I'm ecstatic," said Whitcomb.
The Huskies travel to Grande Prairie on Saturday, March 23 where they will try to win Game 6 and clinch the series.
Game Five: County of Grande Prairie Kings at Fort St. John Huskies
Thursday, March 21, 2019, 8:00 p.m., North Peace Arena, Fort St. John
Scoring — Fort St. John, Gary Loewen (Brady Marzocco, Jared Loewen) powerplay, 8:31.
Penalties — Grande Prairie, Justin Rudyk (Boarding, 2 Min.) 9:34; Fort St. John, Alex Nimmo (Hooking, 2 Min.) 5:31; Fort St. John, Gary Loewen (Tripping, 2 Min.) 3:06; Grande Prairie, Blake Gillingham (Too many men, 2 Min.) 1:57.
Scoring — No scoring.
Penalties — Grande Prairie, Lauka Richard (Hooking, 2 Min.) 18:56; Fort St. John, Aiden Tegart (Tripping, 2 Min.) 15:36; Fort St. John, Cooper Wilms (Boarding, 2 Min.) 9:55; Grande Prairie, Corbin Duram (Hooking, 2 Min.) 3:14.
Scoring — Grande Prairie, Jacob Begin (Corbin Duram, Lauka Richard) 7:57; Grande Prairie, Blake Gillingham (Wyatt Lawrence, Cody Quinton) 6:00; Fort St. John, Dean Whitcomb (Jared Winkel, Alex Nimmo) 5:21; Fort St. John, Dean Whitcomb (Nolan Legace, Jared Winkel) 0:03.
Penalties — Fort St. John, Geoff Dick (Charging, 2 Min.) 16:02; Grande Prairie, Jeremy Niven (Boarding, 2 Min.) 15:36.
Powerplay — Fort St. John (1/5); Grande Prairie (0/5)
Goal (saves/shots) — Fort St. John, Jonathan Bateman (21/23); Grande Prairie, Will McCreight (38/41)