By Alex Gallacher
The Haliburton County Huskies took their best shot at taking their next step in their careers with an undefeated 2-0 record at the annual 2021 OJHL Governors’ Showcase held at the Cobourg Community Centre from Oct. 25 to 27.
The Haliburton County Huskies took on the North York Rangers and the Toronto Patriots as part of the two game showcase in front of various upper level coaches, players and scouts from the National Hockey League (NHL), Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
The first matchup was against the Rangers, starting out this tilt with Christian Linton getting the tap to start in goal for the Huskies. North York’s Luca Rea opened the scoring on the power play near the end of the first. With the Huskies already defeating the Rangers in their last meeting at the Herbert Carnegie Community Centre, the team had good knowledge in hand ahead of the second period.
Huskies forward Sam Solarino capitalized on a feed from Nathan Porter to tie up the game just before halfway in the second. The only goal of the period, the teams went back to the dressing room tied at one a piece.
In the third, it was a totally different story.
Porter got the party started less than three minutes in, burying a feed from Nick Athanasaskos giving the Huskies their first lead of the game. Three minutes later and Oliver Tarr got his first of the game after being set up by Patrick Saini. With the Huskies up 3-1, all they had to do was close it out, Lucas Stevenson converted the empty net chance and sealed up a 4-1 Huskies win against the Rangers.
The Toronto Patriots were a different story, as the Huskies have yet to face this adversary in 2021. The Huskies went down 2-0 before the halfway mark of the first. An unassisted marker from McKay Hayes and a great goal by Nolan Lowe put the Huskies in a sticky situation.
However, by the period end it would be a turn of the tables. Jack Staniland got a great feed from Tarr on the power play, pocketing his first as a Husky and first in the OJHL. Right before the end of the period in the dying seconds, Tarr tied it up on another power play chance. This time, he converted a pass from Staniland in a reverse of the first goal.
This continued a run of four straight Huskies goals, with Highland Storm alumnus Ryan Hall getting his first career goal at the two-minute mark of the second. Davis Bone tallied an unassisted goal at 10:16 putting the Huskies up 4-2 by the end of the second.
The Patriots’ Ryan Forberg added a third goal just after the halfway point of the third, but that would be it for scoring. The Huskies held off Toronto for their third straight win and first against the Patriots.
The next road game for the Huskies will be on Nov. 5 in Trenton against the Golden Hawks. That will be the first game of a tough back-to-back for the Huskies in which they will face the Buzzers less than 24 hours later.