The official grand opening of Merlis Belsher Place Friday quickly turned into the Wyatt Johnson coming out party.
Johnson paced the University of Saskatchewan men’s hockey team in a dominant 4-2 win over the University of Regina Cougars.
After a standout rookie season in the Canada West ranks, Johnson broke his hand just a few weeks into the season last year and missed the rest of the year.
Now he’s proving to be a force on the ice.
“Yeah, it’s awesome to get back,” he said after a two goal and two assist performance on Friday.
“Just being around the guys, it’s unreal. I’m just happy to contribute and keep going from here.”
The Huskies stayed undefeated with a 5-0 record on home ice, even though head coach Dave Adolph doesn’t seem to like the way they win each time.
“It must be the understanding in the league that we play a wide-open game and we play fast, and then everybody’s got to muck it up.”
Saskatchewan skated circles around Regina in the opening period to build a 3-0 lead before adding a fourth goal a little over halfway through the second period.
The Cougars’ only option was to fight its way out, which started a penalty parade for the Huskies as time started to run out.
“After every whistle, after it was up 4-0, they gotta muck it up, muck it up, muck it up,” Adolph said. “We gave them two powerplay goals and gave them an opportunity to get back in the game. It’s a lesson learned by us, we can’t do that.”
“We can’t fall for the ol’ muck and shove it.”
Logan McVeigh and Carson Stadnyk added a goal and an assist each for the Huskies.
Regina was led by James Hilsendager’s two assists.
The two teams will head to Regina for Saturday’s rematch.
After a week off next week, the Huskies will travel to Calgary and Vancouver for a set of road matchups. The next Huskies home game isn’t until Nov. 23, but Adolph doesn’t mind.
“There’s no balance to our schedule, hasn’t been in 10 years,” he said. “It’s good, our guys are looking forward to it.”