By Dave Leaderhouse
WEYBURN RED WINGS, G
It’s a pretty safe bet that as long as the Weyburn Red Wings are in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League’s postseason, Arik Weersink will be tending their goal.
The 20-year-old from Lethbridge has been the Red Wings’ workhorse in goal playing in 42 games this year recording a 20-18-3-1 ledger with one very important game left on the schedule when Weyburn tries to secure the seventh seed on the final night of the regular season with a game in Yorkton against the Terriers.
The 6-foot-4, 202-pound Weersink has faced over 1350 shots this year in posting a 3.02 goals-against average and .911 save percentage. His play has only gotten better as the season progressed as for the first two months he was part of a goaltending rotation in the Weyburn goal before becoming almost exclusively the starting netminder down the stretch.
Acquired from the Grand Prairie Storm of the Alberta Junior Hockey League for a player development fee in the off-season, Weersink’s numbers improved dramatically once he got to the SJHL.
Last year with the Storm, Weersink also got into 42 games only his save percentage was just .890 and his GAA was more than half a goal more per game higher at 3.63. In his first season with Grand Prairie two years ago his numbers were noticeably lower at 5.64 GAA and .859 save percentage in 27 appearances, but that had a lot to do with being on a team that won just 11 times in 60 starts.
Being a workhorse is nothing new for Weersink, nor is being among the best at his position, as in his final year of midget hockey Weersink was named the Alberta Midget AAA Hockey League’s top goaltender and earned a place on the first all-star team after posting a 1.90 GAA and .924 save percentage in 19 games with the Lethbridge Midget AAA Hurricanes.
Regardless of what happens on the final night of the regular season, Weersink is going to have to be at his best when the Red Wings open the post season in a shortened best-of-three Wild Card round. With this being his final year of junior eligibility, he will be looking to extend that for as long as possible.
Tag(s): Young Guns