It was a mixed opening weekend of the new OJHL season for the Haliburton County Huskies, who dropped a 4-2 decision on the highway to rival Lindsay Muskies on Friday earlier than securing a 4-3 additional time win over the Pickering Panthers in Saturday’s house opener.
The blue and white went into the ‘Battle of Hwy. 35’ Sept. 8 filled with confidence having received 11 of their 13 video games with the Muskies since the beginning of the 2021/22 season. It was a scrappy opening jiffy as each groups tried to take control. Huskies defenceman Hunter Martell registered the game’s first shot, firing the puck low from the faceoff circle, drawing an excellent save from Ethan Fraser in the house goal.
Johnathan Mead, acquired by the Huskies last week from the Georgetown Raiders, was spectacular within the early goings, persistently finding the puck and driving play. He was unfortunate not to register his first level 9 minutes in after finding Declan Bowmaster in house on the level, just for the 17-yearold’s shot to cannon back off the submit.
Seconds later, the Huskies thought they’d discovered the breakthrough. Jack Staniland shot low from the blueline, with the puck showing to beat Fraser earlier than striking the iron at the back of the online and coming again out. The officers known as no objective on the play.
“I didn’t have the greatest view, however I heard the sound you often hear [on a goal], like a jingle at the again of the web,” stated winger Ian Phillips, who watched the play from the bench. “The guys on the ice had been somewhat closer they usually thought it was a goal.”
Staniland was despatched to the box at 14:53 for interference, but the Huskies stored pushing. Captain Patrick Saini chased down a unfastened puck behind the Muskies web, coming away with possession and going shut on a wraparound try. Lucas Stevenson then had a breakaway, which was nicely saved by Fraser.
The Muskies landed a sucker punch with a minute to go in the interval, Devin Shoreman beating Vlad Visan to give the house aspect a one objective benefit heading into the break.
The Huskies thought that they had one other powerplay alternative a minute into the second after Nate Taylor was called for boarding after a dangerous hit on Saini, however Mead was handed a roughing after the whistle minor for his reaction. The Muskies added a second on the following four-on-four play, scoring via Owen Fitzgerald.
Phillips, Gavin McGahey-Smith, and Lucas Marshall all went close to getting the Huskies on the board, with the visitors dominating the puck for giant spells in the second. It was to no avail although – Brandon Nye added a third for Lindsay at 17:42, beating Visan bar down after a scramble in entrance of the web.
The Huskies started the third on the man advantage but couldn’t create any significant scoring opportunities. Staniland had a shot from the purpose nicely saved by Fraser, before taking a harsh interference penalty halfway by way of the interval. Lindsay capitalized on the opportunity, with Cole Patey adding a powerplay marker with 9:32 remaining.
With the clock ticking, Rhyse Brown missed a golden alternative to get the Huskies on the board – firing a rebounded puck broad from dead centre after Fraser had denied Raine Nadeau.
Bowmaster lastly ended the shutout with a little over two minutes remaining, stripping a Muskies defenceman of the puck behind the online and wrapping around to beat Fraser.
There was a frantic finish. Muskies defenceman Nick Galeazza was handed a double minor for kneeing with 1:54 left on the clock – leading to Huskies coach Ryan Ramsay pulling Visan and ending the sport six-on-four. Saini and Mead had been each robbed by Fraser, who completed the game with 38 saves, before Staniland added a consolation at 19:42.
Despite the loss, Phillips mentioned the group took encouragement from the efficiency after outshooting their rival 40 to 22.
“I don’t assume we performed badly at all – we had a few breakdowns in bad areas that ended up costing us, but we created lots of probabilities. We hit four or five posts, which, if a few these go our method, then it’s a very totally different recreation,” said Phillips, who will function one of many Huskies alternate captains this season. “We’ll build off this and keep enhancing the extra we play collectively.”
Win on residence ice
It was standing room only inside S.G. Nesbitt Memorial Arena Saturday as 510 fans witnessed the return of junior hockey to Minden.
The Huskies had to battle from behind after Nolan Connolly notched a powerplay marker for the visiting Panthers 14 minutes into the primary interval. The home facet obtained going halfway via the second, Saini scoring his first goal of the season, assisted by Lucas Vacca, with 8:53 on the clock. The Panthers retook the lead at 11:01, but the Huskies replied shortly – Stevenson added a powerplay objective at 14:40 to send the teams into the second intermission tied.
Saini helped himself to his second objective of the sport seven minutes into the third, assisted by Phillips and Mead, however former Husky Nick Athanasakos despatched the sport to extra time with a late tying goal at 18:53. Mead was the hero in the extra body, beating Panthers netminder Aidan Feddema at 2:23, assisted by Staniland and Phillips.
The Huskies might be again in motion Sept. 16 when they host the Toronto Jr. Canadiens. Puck drop is about for 4 p.m.