A confident Huskies squad find their ‘swagger’

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Zack Morissette gets fist pumps from the team after putting the Dogs in front. Photo by Sam Gillett

After a five-game winning streak, the Haliburton County Huskies have surged to second place in the Ontario Junior Hockey League South/East standings. 

“We’re playing with real confidence and a little bit of swagger,” said coach Ryan Ramsay. 

The Huskies took on the Brantford 99ers away Oct. 6, cruising to an 8-0 win. Alex Cunningham struck first, assisted by Nicholas Downing and Thierry Lizotte, credited with three assists in the game. 

Sam Solarino followed it up with a shot tucked into the net five minutes into the first period. After that, the Huskies dog-piled the Brantford net with six more goals. Myles Perry and Josh Sordo each collected two. 

Between the pipes, new goalie Aidan Spooner fended off 15 shots for his first shutout for the Dogs, having come from the Ontario Hockey League. “He’s a good goalie but he also moves really well and can track the puck. 

You’re getting a veteran guy who’s played high-level hockey. He’s cool and calm back there,” Ramsay said. Returning home Oct. 7, the team hit the ice in front of a crowd of 495, nearly all of whom were eager to see the boys continue the hot streak. 

While Trenton opened the scoring with a scrappy puck bundled past Spooner, the Huskies rallied and turned the tilt on its head. Forward Henry Wilson, of Winchester Massachusetts, netted his first OJHL goal for the Dogs at 16 minutes, before Zack Morissette, assisted by Christian Stevens and Isaac Sooklal, took the team into the lead. Forward Patrick Saini once again shone on the top line with a hat-trick and two assists: he’s notched 15 points in the last five games, 27 all season. 

Ramsay said the team’s tight-knit atmosphere reminds him of last year’s squad. “The core group is really good,” he said.

 “The guys that are coming in have bought into the system.” On the ice, he said confidence is making all the difference. “Like anything in life, if you have confidence, you just play that much better.”

 Looking ahead 

The Dogs take on Wellington Oct. 14 before hosting Caledon the following day. Puck drop is 4 p.m. at S.G. Nesbitt Memorial Arena.