Alessio Cusano

The Wolf Pack got exactly what they needed on Saturday, which was their first win of the season! A 4-3 shootout win over the Ridge Meadows Flames. A key player in Saturday’s game had to be the captain, JJ Pickell. 


Pickell has been with the Wolf Pack since 2021 and was given the “C” at the start of the season. With his 74 points in 45 games last season, which led to him being 6th in PJHL among scoring, this was definitely a deserving moment for him


On Saturday, the Alberta boy showed what a great playmaker he is, seeing the game a pass ahead, intercepting and breaking up many opposition passes, and starting a counterattack. Pickell is a natural in the faceoff circle, winning most of his faceoff duels.


Only three games into the season, you can see a boost of confidence and his leadership finally shaping up again after a bit of a slow start. This is the Wolf Pack and JJ Pickell we saw last season, especially during that push for the playoffs. 


The left-shot forward is a great team player, doing things like standing in front of the net, creating a screen, and standing up for himself and his teammates when the game gets a little scrappy. He is great with the puck on his stick and has great control.


Control definitely helped him with his two assists; the first to Anthony Reimer, where his shot fired off the crossbar right back to him where he would find Anthony Reimer for the first Wolf Pack goal of the night; his second assist came on Rylan Oatman’s gametying goal where he launched a perfectly precise pass right on the tape of Oatman’s stick who sniped it home. 


The Captain shined even in tough moments. Pickell kept his cool, being down 3-0 and, as captain, being able to lead a comeback in overtime where one mistake can finish the game. “ The boys worked hard tonight; we’ve been wanting this for a little bit now,” Pickell said postgame after a deserving first win of the season.


Pickell’s energy to get everyone going and ambition to win makes him a great player and the ideal North Vancouver Wolf Pack captain. It was a huge team win in front of the home crowd at Harry Jerome.


North Vancouver (1-2-0-0) is back at home next Saturday at 7:00 p.m. when they host the Aldergrove Kodiaks.  Get your tickets to our next game.