Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Marcel Vander Wier

STAYIN’ ALIVE – Whitehorse Huskies forward Ted Stephens gets set to shoot during his team’s 7-2 loss to the Powell River Regals, Saturday.

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Photo by Marcel Vander Wier

SOLID SHOWING – Whitehorse Huskies goalie JJ Gainsforth makes a save during playoff action Sunday.

Huskies win playoff series, qualify for Coy Cup

The Whitehorse Huskies are Coy Cup-bound.

By Marcel Vander Wier on March 14, 2016

The Whitehorse Huskies are Coy Cup-bound.

It took all three games to decide, but the Yukon senior hockey team held off the Powell River Regals to punch their ticket to the B.C. championship in Terrace, March 22 to 26.

Game 1 saw the Huskies blow out the Regals 13-5 on Friday, before dropping Game 2 by a score of 7-2 Saturday.

Sunday’s winner-take-all Game 3 saw the Huskies win 8-3.

It was a breakout weekend for the Huskies’ top line of Evan Campbell, Adam Henderson and Kane Dawe.

Each player scored in the final game of the series, with Campbell opening and closing the scoring.

The club’s 25-year-old captain said the wide scoring swing between the games was fairly simple to explain.

“It’s all preparation, I think,” he told the Star Sunday. “We put up 13 goals that first game, so it was kind of hard not to think you’re going to come back out and it might be a tad easy.

“But everybody came out today and played as hard as they can. Top to bottom, all the way through the lineup, right from our goalie out, everybody played an exceptional game.

“I’m proud of all those guys for responding the way we did. It was a great team win today.”

Other Huskies scorers on Sunday were Ted Stephens, Gibson Pearson, Robbie Stuckey and Kaleb Dawe.

Post-game, Stuckey was named Huskies top dog. The gritty forward dished out several big hits and came out of the penalty box to score the team’s sixth goal to put the game away.

Dan Swanson (2) and Jordan Marciniak scored in the second period to bring the Regals to within one, but it was all the team could muster.

Goalie JJ Gainsforth, 25, started all three games for the Huskies. He was lifted in favour of Dawson City native Daniel Naef late in Game 2.

“You’ve got to have a short memory,” Gainsforth said of senior hockey’s ups and downs. “That’s all it comes down to. You’ve just got to get out there and do what you do best, and that’s just play hockey.

“We’ve done it all of our lives and you’ve just got to get out there and do it for your friends and the guys in the crowd.”

Regals captain Andy Welsh had high praise for the Huskies.

“They can contend,” the 31-year-old said of Whitehorse’s Coy Cup chances.

“Their top line is as good as any top line that I’ve played against.

“Getting (Derek) Klassen in the lineup is going to be huge. He’s a really good player. They’re going to have as good a chance as any team going to that tournament.”

Powell River was missing some top players, including sniper Mitch Ball and defender Adam Nugent-Hopkins, Welsh noted.

On Friday, the Huskies came out flying and eventually put 13 pucks past Regals goalie Ryan Fairgray.

Klassen scored a hat trick, while Henderson, Campbell and Kevin Petovello each had two. Campbell was named top dog post-game.

Kane Dawe, Jared Tuton, Simon Nugent and Mike Arnold added singles in the blowout.

Joe Calderone and Chad Euverman both scored twice in the Regals loss, with Rich Kellington rounding out the scoring.

But on Saturday, Regals goalie Chad Vizzutti kept the Huskies at bay, allowing only two goals to only Stephens and Kane Dawe.

Scoring for the Regals, meanwhile, were Kellington, Gary Gladue, Euverman, John Coyle, Calderone, Welsh and Swanson.

The Huskies unveiled a new set of jerseys ahead of the playoffs, which included a logo from their major sponsor Nuway Crushing Ltd.

The jerseys are black with red and beige stripes.

Friday night’s contest drew 500 fans, while 440 took in Saturday night’s game.

Just 330 fans turned out for Sunday’s do-or-die affair that began at 11 a.m., sans beer garden.

Alongside the Huskies, the Coy Cup tournament will also feature the Fort St. John Flyers, Smithers Steelheads and host Terrace River Kings.

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