Huskies Debut in ACAC with Win
by ACAC Sports Writer Curtis J. Phillips
09/15/2012 - Last time Bryce Wilson scored three goals in a single hockey game the movies Mamma Mia!, Kung-Fu Panda and WALL – E, were showing on the big screen
Five years later, Wilson, now a member of the Keyano Huskies men’s hockey team, is grabbing the spotlight as the Alix, Alberta native scored three goals yesterday to lead the home team to a 5-2 Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference exhibition win against the Grant MacEwan Griffins in front of more than 500 fans at MacDonald Island Park’s Suncor Community Leisure Centre CNRL Arena 2.
It was the Huskies first ever game in this their inaugural season in ACAC hockey.
The fans were buzzing from the opening puck with big time hits setting the tempo for the first 20 minutes, Griffins up 1-0 on a power play goal at 7:11 by No. 23 Zach Schram.
Huskies racked up 30 minutes in penalties in the opening frame, boards still shaking, with a game misconduct to forward Brendan Wright. Only six minutes in sin bin for Griffins. Huskies had three power plays and 10 shots on goal and Griffins four power plays and eight shots on goal.
Griffins’ Steve Zipp makes it 2-0 on a power play with 3:32 ticked off in the second frame on a scramble in front of net beating Huskies goalie Matthew Smidt.
With the physicality of the first period settled down, Huskies Mitch Galbraith scores at 12:06 beating Dallas Ungurian to record the team’s first ever goal.
“It was a great feeling,” said Galbraith, a 6-foot-3 defenceman from Quesnel, British Columbia. "It was definitely a highlight in my career for sure.”
Galbraith, who had a cup of coffee last year with the Mount Royal Cougars, then of the ACAC now in the CIS, feels welcomed by the Keyano community.
“Here everyone seems to know you and the atmosphere is really good. We do not have a name for us yet as a team and we have to prove ourselves early. On other teams I was just there to be there but here I have a role.”
Griffins change goalies less than 90 seconds later with Alex Crowder coming in.
Huskies tie it 2-2 at 9:13 off a rebound with Wilson putting it in upper left corner of Griffins net.
Huskies goalie Smidt is soon replaced by Jeff Puddephatt.
Period ends 2-2 tie with Huskies only two minutes in penalties and Griffins four shots on goal and Huskies five.
A non-descript low shot at 7:31 remaining in regulation by Wilson through the five hole gives the Huskies their first lead 3-2. Wilson follows up with an end-to-end rush to score on another low shot at 1:38 to make it 4-2 and notch his hat trick.
“I’m kind of surprised on one of the goals but I am glad we won,” said Wilson. “Once Mitch broke the goose egg there in the second we opened it up. We were surprised to see how many fans there were in the stands and that made a huge difference.”
Griffins pull their goalie for the extra man advantage with 60 seconds remaining only to have Huskies' Keenan Bailey hustle to take away the puck at centre ice and skate in for an empty netter with 17.1 seconds remaining.
“It feels good…that was a yearlong wait,” said a smiling Huskies head coach Paul Strand, who has put the building blocks together for the inaugural season. “With (the win) now we are not going to be sitting here maybe for five or six games down the road thinking ‘When we are going to win?’. It was nice to get that out of the way.”
Strand admitted that the first period was a “good learning experience for the team.”
He continued: “We had a little talk between the first and second. I knew they were pumped up prior to game and I was going to say to them that with Junior and College hockey there is a difference. But we came out better in the second instead of playing like fools. They came out and responded.”
Keyano has five exhibition games remaining with a home game October 6 at 2 p.m. at the Casman Centre vs. the Voyageurs.
They start the ACAC 2012-2013 regular season on the road against the NAIT Ooks of Edmonton October 12-13.
Huskies men’s hockey regular season home opener is October 18 vs. the Voyageurs at the Casman Centre which will be home ice for 12 home games while Frank Lacroix Arena will be used for two home games.
Celebration Come On - Keyano College Huskies men's hockey team celebrate a goal by Bryce Wilson during a 5-2 Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference exhibition win yesterday against the Grant MacEwan Griffins. Wilson, second from left, had three goals in the game, their first in ACAC history, played in front of more than 500 fans at MacDonald Island Park’s Suncor Community Leisure Centre CNRL Arena 2.
Photo by seanmclennan / Keyano College