The Slave Lake Icedogs gave the home fans quite a bit to cheer about on Saturday night, when they handled the Fox Creek Ice Kings, winning 6 – 2. This came after frustrating losses to Fox Creek the last few times they played.
This was mentioned in a post-game interview with forward Loïc Dury, which showed up online.
“We played pretty good tonight,” he said. “I’m pretty happy about that.”
The Icedogs were firing on all cylinders in the first period, and had the visitors on their heels right out the gate. This came a night after the ‘Dogs lost 9 – 5 in Enoch to the Northern Alberta Tomahawks.
But according to head coach Dave Hyrsky, the team actually played better on Friday and were right in the game until about a four-minute letdown in the third period.
But even not playing as well, in Saturday’s game, the Icedogs racked up an impressive 25 shots on goal in the first period, and led 2 – 1. Nolan Janvier scored the first goal, with Patrick Bourque restoring the one-goal lead after Fox Creek scored. Nolan Marshall scored both Slave Lake goals in the second. Dury and Griffin Thiessen – none the worse for getting punched in the face a few times in the first period – scored in the third. But the big star for the Icedogs was goalie Connor Johnson, who let in just two of 46 shots.
Friday’s game saw the Icedogs trail 2 – 1 after one period and 5 – 3 after two. Dury scored a hat trick in the losing cause, with Marshall and Austin Gaspar getting the others. Gage Philippon got the start in goal for Slave Lake and faced 58 shots.
“He’s going to be really good,” says Hyrsky. “Great kid.”
Hyrsky, having just recently taken over as head coach, says the players “are buying in” to what he’s selling, which is the fundamentals, combined with a lot of hard work.
“Some are a little shocked at how much I expect of them,” he says.
This Friday the Icedogs host Edson on Saturday.
On Sunday the league-leading High Prairie Redwings are in town for a 2:30 p.m. game start.