Some new faces took centre stage at A.J. LaRue Arena Aug. 21 as the Haliburton County Huskies kicked off its pre-season with the annual ‘Blue vs White’ intrasquad exhibition.
Moved to Haliburton due to ice issues at the Huskies’ regular home in Minden, the game provided players with an opportunity to showcase their skills ahead of the new OJHL season. Twenty-six skaters, including three local affiliate players (APs), participated in the game, which will be remembered for impressive performances from some of the Dogs’ newest recruits. Forward Nathan Duplessis potted a pair of goals for the Blue team in a 4-2 win.
Flanked by linemates Declan Bowmaster and Henry Wilson, the trio were picked out for special praise by head coach and general manager Ryan Ramsay.
“Duplessis was probably the biggest standout, but that whole line looked really good. Right now, that’s looking to be our fourth line and they made a huge impression,” Ramsay said. “I’m really happy with how our depth is looking.”
Myles Perry, a recent acquisition from reigning OJHL champions the Pickering Panthers, was also on the scoresheet for the Blue squad. Defenceman Jack Staniland rounded out the team’s scoring.
Blueliner Josh Sordo, who played last season with the Brantford 99ers, was a standout for the White team, getting himself a goal, with Haliburton native Kaine Brannigan also tickling the twine. Brannigan, alongside fellow Haliburton County-born players Colin Glecoff and Evan Gilbert were invited to play in the exhibition after impressing at the Huskies AP camp, held in Minden earlier that day.
Returning players Patrick Saini, Cameron Kosurko, Isaac Sooklal and new captain Christian Stevens also got some minutes under their belt. “It was a pretty intense game, the players were playing hard, so that was great for us as a coaching staff and for the fans who came out to watch,” Ramsay said.
“A lot of the new guys we’ve brought in played really well. It was nice to see that so many players have put in the work over the summer to get stronger, faster and improve their play.” The Huskies travel to Stouffville today for an afternoon tilt with the Spirit, before welcoming the North/West conference side to Minden Aug. 28.
Puck drop at S.G. Nesbitt Memorial Arena is slated for 2 p.m. Admission is $5.
The Dogs will close out their pre-season with a double-header against the Pickering Panthers Sept. 2 (7:30 p.m. puck drop) and Sept. 4 (2 p.m. puck drop). Admission to each game is $5. “I think the fans will really like the makeup of our team this year.
We’ve gotten a little bit faster, and a bit bigger up front. We’ve got a lot of hard-working guys, which is a great recipe for Huskies hockey,” Ramsay said. “We obviously want to do well again, and give our fans something to cheer for… I’m expecting another good season.”