Huskies Split Series vs Sparta

Adam Henderson drives the Sparta net

Offence wasn’t a problem for either team this past weekend, as the Nuway Crushing Whitehorse Huskies welcomed the Kelowna Sparta to Takhini Arena.

The Huskies were on the winning end of what can only be described as a barnburner Friday night, downing the Sparta 11-7. Adam Henderson led the way with four goals, but the line of newly appointed captain Derek Klassen, Ted Stephens and Kevin Petovello was absolutely dominant.

Klassen posted two goals and four assists while Petovello recorded a hat trick and Stephens finished with a goal and three helpers. Kane Dawe also scored for the Huskies and added two assists.

Whitehorse was down 3-2 after 20 minutes, but stormed back with six goals in the second, including two on the power play. The Sparta were able to pull within three with six minutes remaining, but the Huskies and goaltender JJ Gainsforth shut the door the rest of the way.

Huskies Top Dog of the game went to Adam Henderson. Kevin Walrod and Matt Elia each had a pair of goals for the Sparta. 

Saturday’s game started out much tighter, and the Huskies were unable to get on the board through the first frame, trailing the Sparta 2-0. 

Klassen broke the goose egg less than one minute into the second period, tapping in a rebound from Petovello. Gainsforth followed that up with a huge glove save on an odd-man rush to keep the Huskies within one heading into the third.

Stephens got things started in the final frame with a PP marker and then Dawe cashed in off a nice feed from Henderson less than three minutes later to give the Huskies the 3-2 lead. 

Whitehorse received their first penalty shot of the season, when Jordan Lane was tripped up going in on a breakaway. Unfortunately, Lane was denied by Sparta goalie Michael Fredrick, but shortly after Petovello gave his team a two-goal lead on a sweet set-up by Rob Stuckey from behind the net. It was 4-2 Huskies with just over seven minutes remaining.

Kelowna refused to go quietly though, and thanks to goals from Matt Elia and Kelly Loudoun, the Sparta were able to send the game to overtime. 

The two teams were set to play five minutes of four-on-four to determine a winner, and just a couple of minutes in, the Huskies – and their hometown crowd – thought they had won it. Drew Pettitt appeared to score the game winner, but the officials waived it off saying the net had been off it’s moorings when the puck went in.

Whitehorse was forced to play two minutes of OT shorthanded after Stephens was assessed a slashing penalty. The Huskies were able to kill it off, but not able pick up the victory, as Kevin Walrod found the back of the net for the Sparta with just 40 seconds remaining on the clock. 

Huskies Top Dog for Saturday went to Rob Stuckey. 

The Huskies are now 3-1 on the season, and will play another series in the New Year prior to hosting the Coy Cup. Details on the next series will be announced soon.