Midget Huskies ranked second in their league
Following a strong season so far, coach confident about squad's chances in up-coming league finals and provincials
Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 06:00 am
The Sundre midget tier 3 Huskies are aiming to repeat last year’s first-place finish in the North Central Minor Hockey Association’s league championship finals.
“We’re in second place right now,” coach Brad Price said in an interview. The team also has the most “goals for” in the league, he added.
The season has been going well for the team, which as of last week had played 18 games, winning 10, losing six and tying two, he said.
“We’ve had a little bit of a tough go with some injuries this year,” the coach said, adding the “short bench was working against us.”
Regardless, the Huskies have remained relentless in their drive and determination, he said.
“We’ve been really good at putting the pressure on. The boys never give up,” he said, adding that even when they’re behind, the Huskies usually manage to come back to win.
They recently had a packed weekend with three back-to-back games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 29-31.
They played against Stettler first, who they beat 8-0 in a clean-sweep shutout. The following game was against Eckville, the top-ranked squad in the six-team league, who defeated the Huskies 8-3. Then, they faced off against the West Country Chiefs, which is a combined team of players from Caroline and Spruce View, who they beat 5-4.
The Huskies came back from a two-point deficit against West Country, the coach said, adding the score was 2-0 for the Chiefs after the first period. But the Huskies came back to claim victory from the jaws of defeat.
“The boys got lots of heart this year,” he said.
As of last week, there were three games left in the regular season before playoffs. Between games, coaching staff have drilled the Huskies during practice on the team’s power play and penalty kill, he said, adding they’ve also been training hard on cardio and skating drills.
They played again last Saturday, Feb. 6 on the road in Rimbey. The Huskies were down 6-3 and managed to come back in the third period to win 7-6. That was a prime example of their determination, he said.
The Huskies are poised to do well in the regular league finals.
“We’ve got a real chance of winning the league,” said Price.
The main competition will be Eckville, which after 15 games remains undefeated this season with 14 wins and one tie.
“They’ll be the team to beat in finals.”
Provincials are also around the corner, with the first game lined up for Friday, Feb. 19 in Hanna.
“We’ve only got to beat Hanna and then we go to provincials,” the coach said, adding that he’s confident the Huskies will make it.
The next regular home game took place this Friday, Feb. 12 against Rimbey. It was the last home game for the regular season before playoffs, and a contest for second place, he said.
Due to the Round Up’s early deadline, that game’s results were not available before going to press. See next’s paper week for more.
The Huskies have played hard and it’s been a great season, he said.
“They’re a really enjoyable group of young men to coach.”
Helping to pump up and energize the team have been dedicated fans who come out to support and cheer on the local squad.
“Sundre’s known to have quite the fan turnout,” he said, adding other rinks the Huskies visit don’t seem to have as many supporters in the stands.
“We’ve probably got the best fan turnout in the league.”