The Haliburton County Huskies doubled up on the Markham Royals 6-3 in a Remembrance Day tilt at the S.G. Nesbitt Memorial Arena.
A dominant second period – in which the Huskies outscored their opponent four goals to one – made the difference Saturday, in front of 525 fans.
Lucas Marshall opened the scoring with a timely tip at 4:52, from Jack Staniland and Lucas Vacca.
But, the blue and white sagged when a hot Ben-Chaim Lalkin scored his 26th marker of the season for the Royals. Less than six minutes later, Jake Barkley got another past Husky goalie Brett Fullerton to give the visitors a 2-1 lead going into the second.
It was all Huskies in the middle frame. Patrick Saini led the goal parade, scoring at 3:14 from Ty Petrou and Ian Phillips.
The Royals answered straight-away, making it 3-2 off a Barkley goat at 3:36.
But the Huskies stormed back with three. At 6:39, Nicholas Lamont bulged the twine on a powerplay, with helpers to Alex Bradshaw and Vacca. Saini netted his second of the period, and 15th of the season, at 14:12, from Petrou and Izayah Luddington. Then, it was Phillips’ turn at 18:24, from Petrou and Saini.
Phillips capped it off with an empty-netter at 18:27 of the third, from Saini and Ethan Wright, for a dominant 6-3 showing.
Fullerton turned aside 27 of 30 shots.
Coach Ryan Ramsay said, “I thought we played a sound game. From start to finish, I thought our D-corps played really well, which was great to see them do. We had some big and timely saves from Fullerton, which was great. I was happy as that team was nationally ranked before they lost to us. Anytime you beat a top team in our conference, it’s a confidence and motivation for our guys.”
Buzzers 4 Huskies 2
The Huskies got off to a 2-0 start against the St. Michael’s Buzzers Nov. 12 but went on to lose 4-2.
Petrou opened the scoring at 4:06, from Phillips and Saini. Then, Charlie Fink knocked one in from Phillips and Saini.
The Buzzers picked one up in the second to make it a 2-1 game, before three late goals in the third to seal the deal.
A frustrated Ramsay said, “we played an unreal first period and then we just kind of stopped working.”
Eastern Canada Cup
Ramsay, Petrou and Saini took part in this week’s 2023 Eastern Canada Cup All-Star Challenge.
Ramsay was the bench boss while Petrou and Saini skated for the OJHL Oates team at Duncan McDonald Memorial Community Gardens in Trenton Nov. 13-15.
Ramsay said it was a good experience.
“You’re with the so-called best players in the league.” When not coaching, he said it was valuable to talk with reps from division 1 and NHL teams about his players and the Husky program.
The challenge is one of the premier Jr. A hockey events in the county, providing exposure for top prospects of the Ontario Junior Hockey League, Central Canada Hockey League, Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League, Quebec Junior Hockey League and the Maritime Junior Hockey League.
Two all star teams from each of the five leagues played in front of scouts from all over the hockey world – including the NHL, NCAA, CHL and U SPORTS.
A total of 23 games were played using a modified two-period format in round-robin, quarter-final, semifinal and championship games.
The tournament also serves as a player identification event for the coaching staff for Team Canada East for the team’s annual training camp and subsequent entry into the World Junior A Challenge, Dec. 10-17 in Truro, N.S.
Next up: The Huskies play the Collingwood Blues on the road Nov. 17, with the squad back home Nov. 18 for a 4 p.m. tilt against the North York Rangers.