This story was published in the Fall 2022 edition of Total Sports Quinte magazine
Story by Jeff Gard/Total Sports Quinte
As expected, the inaugural Provincial Junior Hockey League season was a building process for the new junior C Frankford Huskies franchise.
They won just once in 30 regular season games last year, but there was a process to players learning the systems and working on skill development. “It just took some time to get our structure into place and with so many bodies in and out of the lineup early it just took some consistency within the group and just that time to really develop some team cohesiveness to get us moving in the right direction,” said Huskies head coach Patrick Shearer.
Their persistence paid off and the Huskies gained some valuable playoff experience as all six teams in the PJHL’s Tod Division advanced to the postseason. Frankford opened the first round with a surprise 4-3 victory over the Picton Pirates before losing the next four. Still, that win was a big deal to the organization and its fans. “It was pretty exciting and it was neat because what happened was Game 2 in Frankford, all of a sudden it’s a pretty packed arena and it got the community talking,” Shearer said, referring to the fact the two home games at Frankford Arena attracted 350 spectators for each. “Our guys started to believe in themselves. Obviously it didn’t go our way the next four games, but that belief definitely carried over into their play where we were competitive every night.”
That first season provided more positives than negatives and made Frankford an intriguing place to play for both potential returning players and others outside the organization. “Every single guy wanted to come back, which was huge for me. After a 1 and 29 season for every guy to want to come back to the team it says a lot about what we did last year,” Shearer remarked. “Obviously (the inaugural season) presented some challenges and the standings showed those challenges, but ultimately our players had a ton of fun. We provided a great experience for the players and because of that we had quite a few guys who wanted to come play for the Frankford Huskies.”
Returning players this season include captain Carter Musclow (Stirling), Curtis Dicks (Belmont), Dylan Foster (Trenton), Phoenix Smith (Marmora), Tyler Sawkins (Madoc) and goaltender Hayden Candler (Bowmanville). They also traded for Frankford’s Brayden Adams from the Pirates and Stirling’s Blake Ellis from the Napanee Raiders.
Other new additions include Mike Dolton (Trenton), Jakob Gardner (Carrying Place) and Maguire Slone (Trenton) from Quinte West Minor Hockey, Frankford’s Parker Stewart who played last season for the Peterborough Petes U18 AAA team, Consecon’s Riley Grimmon from Prince Edward County Minor Hockey and Peterborough’s Matt Hinan and Stirling’s Matt Musclow and Bryson Sills from Stirling Minor Hockey. “We’re looking much better this year,” Shearer said. “Things are shaping up quite nicely here. “Everyone’s really excited. With all the new bodies we’re going to be very competitive this year. We see ourselves as a team that’s going to compete every night with the opportunity to win every night. We’re excited for the second season.”
Shearer said the players, coaches and everyone in the organization appreciate the support from the community of Frankford.
“We had great attendance almost every night. There was usually 150-plus people in our arena. Some of the bigger games we were north of 300 fans, which was nice to see a community still supporting a team that maybe wasn’t successful in the win column, but they were still coming out and supporting a team that was working extremely hard to provide a pretty good product in Frankford,” he said.
“We’re hoping with quite a better hockey team and winning more this season that we’ll only see that attendance grow and the team support grow as well.”
HUSKIES 2022-23 REMAINING HOME GAMES
Monday, Oct. 17, Port Hope at Frankford, 6:50 p.m. (Madoc Arena)
Monday, Oct. 24, Campbellford at Frankford, 6:50 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 5, Port Hope at Frankford, 6:50 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 19, Amherstview at Frankford, 6:50 p.m.
Monday, Nov. 28, Campbellford at Frankford, 6:50 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 10, Picton at Frankford, 6:50 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 17, Amherstview at Frankford, 6:50 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 21, Napanee at Frankford, 6:50 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 28, Campbellford at Frankford, 6:50 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 4, Port Hope at Frankford, 6:50 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 11, Campbellford at Frankford, 6:50 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 14, Picton at Frankford, 6:50 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 18, Picton at Frankford, 6:50 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 25, Napanee at Frankford, 6:50 p.m.
Saturday, March 4, Napanee at Frankford, 6:50 p.m