The Huskies against the Whitecourt Wolverines. Number 1 against number 2. The league's best team against maybe the only team that are capable of giving the Wolverines a run for their money. The Huskies lost all 5 against Whitecourt this season but 1 of those losses was in the OT and the two game before that were close. It was only the first two games in Whitecourt that the Huskies struggled in but that was a long time ago. Zack Blain has been magnificent in the playoffs and seems to be a big game goalie. He will have to be good. I think the top 2 lines for the Pups will have to be at the top of their games and Spence and Wongstedt have to be flawless as well. But those things can happen and I think this will be a good series.
A dominant force in the regular season. They have stud D men who can move the puck. A top notch puck stopper and 4 lines blessed with speed, toughness and skill. Rod Lavoie is the best scorer in the league and the Huskies will have to find a way to silence him and his linemates.
Key Player: Ryan Demharter. He was the reason the Wolverines were able to win the last 3 games of the regular season matchup as the Huskies had trouble solving the puck stopped. If he is good the Wolverines as good of a hockey team as you will find. They have too many good players at the other positions as well so I have to focus on goaltending.
X-factor: Jeff Chalifoux. He is a Gerry Young type player. Don't let him get under your skin and be careful when he is on the ice because he is just as likely to dangle you for a beauty goal as he is to spear you behind the play.
Two very good top line with Cody Kalb and Steve Fast two of the better offensive centers in the league. Spence, Apsassin, Wongstedt and the addition of Walters give the Huskies great top end talent and depth on D. Zack Blain has been outstanding in the playoffs as his sub 3.00 GAA tells us.
Key Player: I think it has to be Steve Fast. Capable of scoring or setting guys up. When he is on he is a 2 or 3 point a game type player. The top line has to be good for the Huskies but they need the second line to take some pressure off. Fast can be a difference maker in any game.
X-factor: Scoring from the back end. The Huskies got a ton of that in the Peace River series. If that trend continues they should be able to keep up with the Wolverines and make a real series of this.
Prediction: Wolverines in 6
The Huskies are a great team. I think the schedule hurts them. But they are good at home and have the confidence of coming off a hard fought 7 game series. How will Whitecourt respond if they are challenged in this series. I think the Wolverines are too good to lose this series but it won't be easy for them.