Huskies Coach Ryan Ramsay said recent performances show the squad’s form suffered since COVID-19 rules halted the league.
“Unfortunately, we were on a good streak there before the break,” he said. “I don’t think we’re playing great hockey, I think we’re playing pretty good hockey.” However, the Huskies returned to winning ways after a tough loss Feb. 7 with a 3-1 win over a feisty Toronto Patriots squad Feb. 11.
Less than three minutes from puck drop, Richardson slotted the Huskies’ first goal, assisted by Isaac Sooklal and Sam Solarino. New signing Simon Rose anchored the blue line, getting a few shots on net as the Dogs dominated first-period possession.
Christian Stevens followed Richardson’s effort, assisted by stars Oliver Tarr and Patrick Saini. While the Patriots turned up the heat, the Huskies didn’t back down.
“The Patriots try to play an aggressive, in-your-face game,” Ramsay said. The deadly trio of Tarr, Saini and Stevens combined again early in the third for another Stevens’ goal, flicking the puck low into the bottom corner.
The Patriots responded with a power-play goal minutes from the final buzzer, Hayes McKay slotted home a shot assisted by Eric Bonsteel and Johnathon Mead.
Game-winner Stevens said the squad played well, especially as the game became more heated as it wore on. “I tend to see it as playoff hockey,” Stevens said. “It’s good to have some of these games early in the season.”
Goalie Christian Linton said he was proud of how the team shut their opponents down. “We set the trap for them, minimized their scoring chances and cruised to victory,” Linton said. He had a stellar showing between the pipes, fending off an increasingly desperate Patriots’ squad as the chippy game came to a close. “It feels good, it’s always good to come away with the two points,” he said. “It’s awesome, we’re going to build off it, really get on a run here.”
Revenge on the road
The Huskies kept a clean sheet against fierce rivals the Toronto Jr Canadiens in a 2-0 victory Feb. 12. It was a sweet victory for a squad beaten by the Canadiens early in February. Lucas Stevenson scored early in the first period, assisted by Payton Schaly and Jack Staniland. After a stalemate second period, the Canadiens pulled their goalie in an attempt to get back into the game. Rose pounced on the empty net and slid the puck home. It cemented a strong Huskies victory with the squad outshot by the Canadiens. Goalie Christian Cicigoi continued the Huskies defensive tradition, snatching 36 saves to shut out the southern team. The Dogs fell 4-3 against Caledon Feb.16 bringing the two-game win streak to a close. Caledon scored three in quick succession in the second period. The Huskies rallied, with Rose scoring a first goal late in the second period. Payton Schaly bulged the net early in the third, followed by a remarkable Christian Stevens “Michigan” goal – flicking the puck up on the blade of his stick and curling it into the net from behind the goalie – less than a minute later. Caledon prevailed in a tense overtime with Ethan Tierman slotting the winner home. “The players responded well, to come back to make it 3-3,” Ramsay said. He added that the team might have been over-confident facing off against the lowerranked team. “It shouldn’t have gone like that,” he said. The Huskies fell 2-1 to Wellington Feb. 16, and are travelling to Trenton Feb. 18. They host Wellington at home Feb. 19 and play the Lindsay Muskies Feb. 21.