It's go time for Hustad
Forward wants to have and impact during his second HJHL playoffs
Alex Hustad is confident his second Heritage Junior Hockey League playoff run will be longer than his first.
Last season, the Airdrie Thunder forward was on the team that dropped a first-round five-game series to the Three Hills Thrashers. Now, the second-year player began his post-season quest with a best-of-three elimination round series with the Mountainview Colts on Feb. 12 (see story on page 21).
The 20-year-old Calgarian had 35 points (15 goals, 20 assists) in 34 regular season games and said he hopes his scoring touch will continue past the opening round.
“If we play how we can play, I think we can go far this year,” he said. “We just have to show a little confidence.”
Hustad, who played his entire minor hockey career in Calgary before joining the Thunder, had a goal and was involved in a fight during the Thunder’s final regular season game – a 5-5 tie with the Stettler Lightning, Feb. 3.
The team gave up four goals in the third period in that game, and Hustad said the Thunder would have to play better than that against Mountainview in order to advance in the playoffs.
“We need to come back with a purpose and play better defensively,” said Hustad, who currently has a full-time job, but completed a semester at SAIT and is planning on returning in the fall.
“I think we just have to have a good practice.”
After Midget AA, he played one year with the Calgary Royals, now the Calgary Mustangs.
At the start of his second season, Hustad was released by the Mustangs and joined the Thunder at the start of last season.
“His speed is his biggest asset,” said Thunder assistant coach Gareth Barley. “He is a talented player. He probably should still be playing Junior A, but I think it came down to the numbers. They had some younger guys they wanted to go with and we’re happy he’s down here. He’s been a great player for us.”
“I want to be a leader on my team out there and help the guys out as much as I can on and off the ice,” Hustad said. “I want to work hard more than anything. I just try to be positive as much as I can and do my part out there.”