By Jon ZacksThe Huskies were missing players and brains on Monday night, as they dropped game one of their second-round playoff series to the Grande Prairie Wheelers. The second-ranked Huskies were almost doubled in shots (47-25) and pressured for long stretches in their own zone, for almost the entire 60 minutes.- Advertisement -Missing a legion of key players, the pups played short-benched and with three Midget call-ups on defence. With Payden Wongstedt, Jesse Disher, and Kyle Porter all suspended, the Fort St. John squad was also missing Dylan Apsassin, Ryan Stickel, Cash Brinkworth, Cam MacKinnon, and Brighton Campbell, and the absence were glaring. “Huge” was how Huskies Assistant Coach Jeremy Clothier described the missing bodies. “You show up to a hockey game, and a couple of your guys aren’t here … they just don’t show up” he lamented. “It hurts the dressing room a little bit.”The Wheelers took full advantage, sending a relentless forecheck deep into the FSJ zone, and creating endless scoring chances. By the end of the first period, Grande Prairie was up 3-0, and while the Huskies took advantage of some powerplays in the second to climb back into the game, the Wheelers soon pulled away again.Grande Prairie got offensive contributions from almost the entire lineup, with Kyle Weegar and Cordell Shmyr both scoring a pair of goals, and Riley Halwa, Nathan Johnson and Jarvis Dawson also finding the back of the net. “They got shots” said Clothier of Grande Prairie’s success. “They drove the net, they stayed out of the penalty box, they out forechecked us, and they outworked us.”Advertisement Kole Norris led the way offensively for Fort St. John, recording two goals and an assist, while Robbie Sidhu also had a pair of goals. Ty Gullickson got his fourth consecutive start, and actually played remarkably well, despite conceding 8 goals. Kris Dika won his fourth game of the playoffs, after playing each game in Grande Prairie’s first-round sweep of Sexsmith. Cody Poggenpohl was one of the three NEBC and Yukon Tracker-Flyers to dress for the Huskies on the back-end. “I’m still little out of shape” he admitted afterwards, referring to a torn ligament that has kept him off the ice, adding “I think it was a lot of fun out there.” It was Poggenpohl’s first game with the Huskies, while his Midget teammates David Green and Jordan Walters had both played in the 2009 playoffs. Poggenpohl had his own theory on what led to the Huskies demise on Monday, suggesting simply “we couldn’t get the puck out.” The Huskies coaching staff seemed pleased with the performances of all three Midgets, giving all of them plenty of ice time in all situations. “They fit in good” said Jeremy Clothier, adding “they work hard, they’re physical, they know what they have to do out there.”Advertisement The final score was 8-4 in favour of the guests, with the series now shifting back to Grande Prairie for game two on Wednesday night. “We’ve got to get better game-preparation” advised Cody Poggenpohl, who is expecting to dress on Wednesday. “We walked into this game and no one was really into it … so next game we’ve just got to get into it more.”
The first day of school will be filled with new faces and new grades in a few of the schools around Fort St. John.Dr. Kearney and Bert Bowes will be changing from junior secondary schools to middle schools, accommodating grades 7 to 9 while Grade 10 students will be moving into North Peace Secondary School, says School District 60 Superintendent Larry Espe.Espe says the high school will be moving to a ‘flex block’ system to accommodate the extra students. The system means that instead of having a four period day with all grades having the same lunch, there will now be five periods in a day and each student could have a different spare period.- Advertisement -The idea is to have this new system in place in the high school for the upcoming school year until Sep. 2011 when certain classes may be moved into the Enerplex.With the added grade at the high school, the school’s population will expand to around 1,100 students – an increase of roughly 200. However, Espe adds that class sizes won’t be affected since, with the added period, the school will be making full use of its classroom space.To make the transition from elementary to middle school or from middle school to high school, grade 7 and 8 students at Bert Bowes will begin on Sept. 7 at 8:45 a.m. and at Dr. Kearney at 9 a.m. Both schools will have a shortened day ending at 11 a.m.Advertisement Grade 10 students at NPSS will start on Sept. 7, with a half day between 8:45 a.m. and 12 p.m. This gives the students an opportunity to become familiar with the school, says Principal Ray Asai.Regular classes for all grades at the three schools will begin Sept. 8.