That was a close one. If you were at the NPA this afternoon you witnessed one of the great goal tending performances in NWJHL history. Sheldon Longson stood on his head for the first 43 minutes of the game. It took 50 shots, that's not an error, 50 shots for the Huskies to finally beat Longson. The Beaverlodge Blades are the third worst team in the NWJHL standings but after two periods they were leading the Huskies 2 zip. The second period was pure domination from the Huskies who hit 3 or 4 posts to go along with the 15 or 16 spectacular saves Longson made in the period but the Huskies still trailed by 2 after the second. In the third period Cam McKinnon, Cody Hildebrand, and Dan Pappin scored in quick succession to give the Huskies the lead. The Blades tied the game up at three on a goal that Vlad would have wanted back. It was the end of his afternoon as Zach Blain came in and shut the door the rest of the way. Kole Norris found a loose puck at the side of the net and he roofed the puck to give the pups the 4 to 3 victory. The Huskies now have a three point lead over Dawson Creek and a game in hand in the battle for second place. Branden Smith had two assists and I thought Payden Wongstedt had a very good game on the back end. Steve Fast and Kole Norris looked sharp as well. Aaron Dumas had a fairly quiet game for the Blades whose stand out player was obviously Longson.
Some other things that stood out for me today. I hadn't really realized how bad the coffee is at the NPA until today. I still had two cups but I wasn't happy about either. At one point in the game Dan Pappin broke his stick and was forced to borrow a stick from Steve Fast as he skated by the bench. Guys must really hold their breath when someone else is using their lumber. I know I would be pissed if someone broke my stick but even worse would be if they scored using it. As we all know there are only so many goals in each stick. In one of the Flyers games this weekend someone, Kip Noble maybe, used a borrowed stick and ended up getting an assist. He then seemed to indicate he was keeping it. That would suck too. The Huskies next action is a road game in Grand Prairie next Friday and then Whitecourt Saturday. GP is still kind of on the cusp of that battle for 2nd place although it doesn't look like they have much of a chance of leap frogging all the teams ahead of them. The last time we were in Grand Prairie with the Huskies was on Halloween for one of the more entertaining games all year. The final was 8 - 7 Huskies. Zach Blain was pulled after the first with the Huskies trailing 5 - 1. Vlad came in and shut the door in the second as the pups staged the comeback. 5 to 5 after the second. In the third the Wheelers took the lead twice with Jordan Shipton tying the game at 6 then tying it again at 7 with 40 seconds left. Shipton then scored the winning goal in overtime to complete his hat trick. (Highlights here http://www.energeticcity.ca/news/11/01/08/huskies-win-8-7-over-grand-prairie-wheelers) Let's hope for more of the same this Friday. Whitecourt is a different story. They have beat the heck out of the Huskies twice in Whitecourt already and to be honest the fans in Whitecourt, the players and even the broadcast team in Whitecourt don't think the Huskies are a good team. Let's hope they show they are a good team on Saturday. Both games will be live on Moose FM Friday the pregame goes at 7:45.