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A SILVER SQUAD — The 06 Huskies wrapped up their spring hockey season by earning a silver medal, dropping their final game to the Vancouver Blades, at the Steveston Spring Meltdown tournament over the weekend in Steveston, B.C. Photo submitted by DEREK JOHNSTONE

Huskies win silver medal in Steveston

The 06 Whitehorse Huskies, a spring hockey team, travelled to B.C. for the Steveston Spring Meltdown tournament on the weekend

By John Tonin on May 29, 2019

The 06 Whitehorse Huskies, a spring hockey team, travelled to B.C. for the Steveston Spring Meltdown tournament on the weekend where they went undefeated through the round-robin part of play before falling to the Vancouver Blades 9-4 in the championship game.

The core group of the Huskies was made up of the peewee Mustangs who had a successful winter season and won gold at B.C. Provincials.

In spring hockey only those players born in 2006 were eligible for the team.

Head coach Derek Johnstone said the team had a strong tournament and they got better as the weekend progressed.

“The team worked hard all spring,” said Johnstone. “We knew we had a team that could win. The boys and Taylor (Bierlmeier) played well. The 06 are a strong group and they really know how to play.”

Int the championship game against the Blades, Johnstone said the team had its opportunities but just couldn’t capitalize.

“We hit four or five different posts,” said Johnstone, “and we ran into some penalty trouble at the halfway point of the game. A couple of things didn’t break our way.”

The Blades got on the board first but Huskies’ forward Zack Seguin got the team back to even off an assist from Landon Cowper. The Blades got on the board once more in the first frame to lead 2-1.

Seguin tied the game in the second off an assist from Jase Johnstone. Jase then scored to give the Huskies their first lead of the game. Assists went to Cowper and Gavin McKenna.

The Blades scored seven goals before the Huskies got back on the board. Seguin completed the hat trick and McKenna assisted. The final score was 9-4.

“It’s hard to work hard all weekend and work hard through the game and lose,” said Johnstone. “(With that said) we had a successful season and hopefully it teaches the team how to lose.”

“We will regroup and are looking forward to next year,” said Johnstone. “Next year comes pretty fast. We are all looking forward to next season and seeing the Blades again.”

The core of the team will be moving up an age group next season.

“You’ve got to push them and keep pushing them,” said Johnstone. “Some are good enough to play AAA and it’s good to see as coaches.”

For the Huskies, it was their first time playing with contact.

“All of spring hockey tournaments have contact,” said Johnstone. “It is very competitive. All the kids learned and adapted to playing with contact.”

The Huskies started their tournament with a win over the Surrey Eagles. Bierlmeier got the first goal unassisted and the Huskies scored three more times before the Eagles potted back-to-back goals. Zander Underhill and Cowper scored the insurance markers in the third.

The Huskies doubled up the Premier Blazers in their second game 4-2. The Blazers notched the first two goals of the game but the Huskies, lead on offence by McKenna who had a goal and two assists, scored four unanswered goals.

In their third game the Huskies downed the 06 BC Knights 7-3. Keaton MacIntosh had two goals and an assist to lead the charge in the win.

The semifinal game was played against the Burnaby Jr. Islanders. The Huskies scored first and scored often to defeated the Jr. Islanders 11-0. McKenna buried five goals and added five assists in the victory.

For the 06 Huskies, this was their third and final tournament of the spring hockey season.

Joining the 06 Huskies in Steveston was the 08 Huskies. Johnstone said it was a fun weekend as both teams enjoyed cheering each other on when they weren’t playing.

The 08 Huskies opened their tournament with a 4-4 tie against the 08 Selects Hockey Blue. The Huskies got goals from Adam Ireland, Sam Watson, Kadyn O’Brien, and Cache Leonard. All the goals were unassisted efforts.

The 08 Huskies downed the 08 Northwest Kings Elite 4-2 in the second game. O’Brien led the offence scoring two goals.

Their third and fourth games of the tournament did not go as desired for the Huskies. The team fell 9-0 to the 08 Selects Hockey White and 7-1 to the 08 Junior Silvertips. Leonard scored the team’s lone goal.

Relegated to the consolation round, the Huskies final game came against the Northwest Kings Elite, the same team they played in their second game and won 4-2.

It was another close game between the two sides but this time the Huskies came out on the losing end falling 2-1. Cache Greffard scored the games first and only goal of the game unassisted.

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