Huskies name new captain on eve of season opener

Haines Junction's Evan Campbell has been promoted. The Nuway Crushing Whitehorse Huskies forward has been named captain as the team gets set to hit the ice for their season opener on Saturday in Whitehorse.

Haines Junction’s Evan Campbell has been promoted.

The Nuway Crushing Whitehorse Huskies forward has been named captain as the team gets set to hit the ice for their season opener on Saturday in Whitehorse.

The decision to name Campbell captain was “simple,” said Huskies head coach Michael Tuton.

“Evan is a guy I’ve never seen take a shift off, never seen him miss a practice or not give everything he’s got at practice. He’s our guy, it was pretty plain and simple,” said Tuton. “In my time as a coach in many different leagues, it’s not often you come across a guy like Evan who goes out there and absolutely takes a pounding. He’s a target, he’s not a big guy – plays like one – he’ll battle his butt off in the offensive zone, hustle back to our end, lay down and block a shot, come in and be ready for his next shift without saying a word.”

Campbell, 24, was an assistant captain on last year’s Huskies and was one of the team’s top offensive players. Before the Huskies he played junior B hockey with the Peninsula Panthers in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League following stints with the Powell River Kings and the Westside Warriors in the BCHL.

Huskies Derek Klassen and Clayton Thomas are the team’s assistant captains for the season.

Campbell is taking over the “C” from last year’s captain, Jared Tuton.

“Jared was our captain last year and he’s moved to Grande Prairie, (Alta.,) for a little while. He won’t be here for this series, but he should be in the line-up for the rest of the season,” said Michael. “Being the classy guy that he is, he just didn’t feel right wearing the “C” when he couldn’t be around with all the practices and all the effort and time the boys are putting in.”

The Huskies will kick off their season with two games against the Whitecourt Wild, from Alberta’s North Central Senior Hockey League, this Saturday and Sunday at Whitehorse’s Takhini Arena.

It’ll be the first time the two senior men’s AA hockey clubs play each other.

“The guys are all really excited,” said Wild general manager Mitch Ternan in a recent interview with the News. “I don’t believe anybody on our team has been to Whitehorse before. One player has some family up there who he’s never met.

“We’re definitely excited – hope to see a good turnout at the games.”

The Huskies were originally supposed to start their season in the middle of November with games against the Fort Nelson Yeti, but the series was cancelled after the Yeti organization decided to scrap their season due to player shortages.

The Whitehorse team will also host the Port Hardy North Island Capitals, a senior AA team from Vancouver Island, on Jan. 8-9 and then the Powell River Regals Jan. 22-23 – the same weekend Whitehorse hosts Rogers Hometown Hockey.

By reaching the magic number of six regular season games, the Huskies will qualify to play for the Coy Cup – British Columbia’s AA championship trophy.

“We’re excited. The boys have been working real hard,” said Michael. “For a while there we weren’t sure what was going to happen with the season, weren’t sure if we would find teams. Our GM and our board spent a countless amount of hours to find us teams to play, and now we’re finally going to get to hit the ice and show off what we’ve been working on.”

Tickets for this weekend’s games can be purchased for $10 at Sport Yukon, Goody’s Gas, Casa Loma, Kopper King, The Ridge Pub, Sandor’s and the Takhini Arena’s concession. Tickets will also be available at the door. Kids under six are free.

The puck drops at 6:45 p.m. Saturday and 4:30 p.m. Sunday.

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com

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