The Haliburton County Huskies moved to within four points of the Trenton Golden Hawks atop the OJHL East Division standings this week, claiming back-to-back road victories in Lindsay and Cobourg as their impressive run of form continues.
The battle of Hwy. 35 took centre stage at the Lindsay Recreation Complex Dec. 10, with the Huskies emerging with a 2-1 win.
Third period goals from Payton Schaly and Jack Staniland, and a stellar 36-save performance from goaltender Christian Cicigoi got the job done for the dogs.
The Huskies started the game slowly, with Lindsay dominating much of the early play. Cameron Jackson handed the Muskies a deserved lead 9:05 into the opening period, capitalizing on his team having an extra skater on the ice with officials preparing to send Oliver Tarr to the box. Cicigoi stook strong to deny Jackson a second goal as the period drew to a close, keeping the Huskies within one.
“It’s beating a dead horse, but we just seem to get off our Huskies hockey at times and play to the style of our opponents,” coach Ryan Ramsay said. “We had a game plan coming in, so I just told the boys during that first break to focus on the plan, and play their game.”
The team came out rejuvenated during the second, penning the Muskies in their own zone for lengthy periods.
The team was patient, waiting until the third period to get on the scoresheet. Schaly picked up a pass from Nick Athanasakos in the slot just 1:21 in, firing a rocket up and over the glove of Muskies goaltender Yacine Chemrouk to notch his first goal as a Huskie.
Defenceman Staniland was the unlikely hero, scoring a phenomenal solo goal at 6:22 to give the Huskies the win. “I took the puck up on the rush, dropped it in for one of our forwards, who hit the crossbar with his shot. I picked the puck up while heading back to the blueline and just started to make my way to the net,” Staniland, who beat three Muskies players on the play, said. “I couldn’t see a pass, so I walked in and caught the goalie on the backhand.”
A power outage Dec. 11 in Minden ended the Huskies’ match with the Wellington Dukes early. The hometown team raced out to a 2-0 lead in the opening period, with goals from Schaly and captain Nathan Porter. Ramsay said the game would be rescheduled, likely in the new year.
On Dec. 13, in Cobourg, the Huskies would not be denied.
Schaly opened the scoring 49 seconds in after being fed by Tarr, only for the Cougars to tie the game through Justin Jamer at 13:28. Pat Saini scored his seventh of the season eight minutes into the second period, but the Cougars answered right back through Adam Cook.
Tarr bagged the eventual gamewinner 12:47 into the third, assisted by Saini and Porter. The Huskies sit in second place in their division, with 36 points and a record of 17-8-1-1.
They are back in action this weekend with a home double-header, hosting the Toronto Jr. Canadiens Dec. 17 (7:30 p.m. puck drop) and the Cougars Dec. 18 (4:30 p.m. puck drop).