By Alex Gallacher
In a rare treat, the Haliburton County Huskies played three games back to back to back. Taking on the Mississauga Chargers, Trenton Golden Hawks and Caledon Admirals, the Huskies won all three games to set their win streak at a franchise record seven games in a row.
On Friday, March 18, the Chargers were the unlucky victims of the Huskies red hot offence. The team’s top scorer Oliver Tarr got the party started 24 seconds in, blasting a shot past Julian Molinaro to put the Huskies up 1-0. Bryce Richardson added his first tally on the powerplay three and half minutes later to double the Huskies’ lead, 2-0
Rookie AP (Affiliate Player) Declan Bowmaster made his claim for why he should be a permanent member of the team next year, after being called up from the Oshawa Generals AAA team he made his mark. Bowmaster hit the post on his very first OJHL (Ontario Junior Hockey League) shot, nearly scoring. His shot was then bashed in by West Guilford’s Joe Boice for his second goal of the season. Bowmaster added another assist, after he set up Jonah Cochrane to make it 4-0 for the Huskies.
Tarr added his second of the period, before Chargers’ player Jack Ziliotto snuck one past Christian Linton to make it 5-1. The final goal of the period come from an Isaac Sooklal deflection, at the end of the first giving the Huskies a massive 6-1 lead.
The rest of the game’s goals came during the second period.
Peyton Schaly added his 15th of the season, while Mississauga’s Ryan Schaap tipped one past Linton. Tarr completed his hat trick on the power play, bringing his season goal total up to 30. Sam Solarino got the Huskies’ final goal, while Mississauga’s Owen Sclisizzi made it a 9-3 final in favour of the Huskies.
With three assists on the night, Bowmaster’s first OJHL game was a beaming success. Coming out of the gate strong, Bowmaster only found out he was playing two days prior to the game. However, he is eager for more.
“It’s an amazing opportunity,” Bowmaster said. “To come up here with a great organization and have a great game, it’s a lot of fun and it was a good team win. I found out I was playing two days ago. I came up for practice and coach [Ryan] Ramsay asked me to play. I wasn’t going to turn that down, so I’m thankful I got to play.“
On Saturday, March 19, the Huskies took on their arch rivals the Trenton Golden Hawks. With Huskies starting goalie Christian Cicigoi sitting out as a healthy scratch, it was up to Linton to play the game of his life and he delivered.
After the first period saw neither team score, a fast paced aggressive game gave the capacity crowd in Minden lots of hype for the second. Bryce Richardson thought he had the first goal of the game, however the referees called it off. The ruling was the net was a few millimetres off the moorings, and with that the game was still tied.
A few minutes later, the first goal of the game finally came. At 6:17 of the second, Cameron Kosurko used some excellent vision to give Solarino a juicy rebound who buried the puck to give the Huskies the lead. In another stroke of luck, another goal was called off by referees. Richardson tipped in a point shot, however the officials declared it was hit with a high stick.
The Huskies did however get the goal back. Schaly picked off Trenton’s Ryan O’Toole and darted towards the net. Ethan Taylor made the initial save, but Christian Stevens was there to knock in the rebound and double the Huskies lead.
The third saw the Golden Hawks toss everything they had at Linton. However, one more disallowed goal would go in favour of the Huskies. A point shot from Huskies blueliner Nathan Porter found its way in, but apparently nobody saw it and the teams played on while the Huskies protested the goal that should have counted.
With big hits being delivered by both teams, the Golden Hawks were at the mercy of the penalties. Taking four penalties during the game, Trenton’s Aiden McIntosh was able finally find the net by tipping in a Dalton Bancroft shot. However, that would be it for both teams in the scoring department. Trenton pulled their goalie to mount an all-out assault on Linton, but an Austin D’Orazio slash to Solarino’s head put the Huskies on the powerplay and the blue and white sealed the deal for the 2-1 win, which capped number six in a row.
With the Huskies locking down a playoff spot earlier this week, this game against the Golden Hawks was important as it showcased how close the Huskies’ first round playoff matchup could be. With the Wellington Dukes pulling away with first place, the Huskies still have a chance to move up in the standings, but will need to be perfect as the season continues on.
Huskies goalkeeper Christian Linton played the game of his life and picked up win No. 3 of the year. After a rocky start to the season, the goalie from Elora, Ontario was back in goal against the Caledon Admirals and was ready to complete the sweep.
After losing to the Admirals back in February, Caledon came to the S.G. Nesbitt Memorial Arena on a 13-game losing streak. Despite the visiting team’s efforts to snap the streak, the Huskies red hot scoring was far too much to overcome. Huskies blueliner Jack Staniland got the party going smacking in a Schaly rebound, then Tarr tallied goal No.31 to double the lead, 2-0.
In the second period, Lucas Stevenson and Christian Stevens scored to make it 4-0 Huskies. The Admirals would get their only goal of the game by Josh Sinanan, but not after the Huskies added two more from Stevens and Lucas Marshall for a 6-1 lead.
Huskies forward Simon Rose netted the final goal of the game as the Huskies won 7-1. The Huskies went three for three and walked away with six points in three days, outscoring their opponents 18-5. The Huskies will carry momentum from this perfect home stand to Mississauga on Wednesday, with a seven game winning streak on the line.
The next home game will be on Saturday March 26. Puck drops at 2:30 pm. It promises to be a heavyweight tilt against the Wellington Dukes followed by a rematch against the Trenton Golden Hawks on March 27 at 3:30 pm.
In the likelihood the Haliburton County Huskies win all their remaining games, they could finish first and face fourth place Cobourg Cougars as the top team in the East Division for the first round of playoffs. If the opening round were to start today, the Huskies would play the Trenton Golden Hawks in a best of three game series.