By Craig Stein
WEYBURN WILL OPEN BEST OF FIVE AT HOME VS KINDERSLEY
The Weyburn Red Wings and Kindersley Klippers both lost in regulation on Friday night, meaning the Red Wings will finish in 8th place in the overall standings and the Klippers in 9th, setting up a Best-of-Five Wild Card Series between the two clubs, with Games 1 & 2 in Weyburn, starting as early as Thursday.
The Klippers fell on home ice, 6-0 to the Battlefords North Stars. Joel Gryzbowski made 27 saves and moves into a share of the league lead in shutouts with six, and as a team, that’s the 10th shutout of the season for the North Stars. Gryzbowski lowers his Goals Against Average to a league-best 1.66 and bumped his save percentage to .935%.
Coby Downs had a goal and two assists, giving him 70 points in just 45 games. Owen Lamb added a pair of goals, while Troy Gerein (1g-1a), Ryan Rosenberg and Connor Logan rounded out the scoring.
The Stars (47-9-1-0) now have a league-high 95 points, and will finish the regular season at home on Saturday, in a rematch with the Klippers (25-29-3-0).
Meanwhile the Estevan Bruins edged Weyburn 3-2 to seal the Red Wings’ as the 9th seed.
After a scoreless first period, the Bruins (35-18-2-1) scored three times in the first 4:08 of the second frame. Kaelan Holt (1g-1a), Matt McNeil (1g-1a) and Jason Miller did the damage and that chased Wings’ starter Carter Phair in favour of Jake McLennan who stopped all 20 shots he faced in relief.
Nathan Alalouf made 38/40 saves in the win for Estevan.
Connor Burk and Carson Rose did the scoring for Weyburn.
The Red Wings (25-26-2-4) host the Bruins to wrap up their regular season on Saturday, and will welcome Kindersley for Games 1 and 2 of the Wild Card Series late next week.
The Nipawin Hawks and Flin Flon Bombers both picked up wins on Friday, so the top of the Sherwood Division still looks the same, with the Hawks holding a two point edge over the Bombers.
Greyson Reitmeier had a goal and three assists, to make one final push at tracking down a scoring title, while helping Flin Flon to an 11-4 win in La Ronge.
Reitmeier’s effort leaves him four points back of Notre Dame’s Ben Duperreault with two games left. The win keeps the Bombers within two points of Nipawin for the division lead.
Jason Lavallee had a five point night for the Bombers with three goals and a pair of assists. Nate Hooper scored twice and Rylee Zimmer added three assists. Nick Shumlanski (1g-2a), Daylan Marchi (1g-1a), Jordan McCausland (1g-1a), Eric Sinclair and Troy Williams all added goals.
Craig Pejkovic had a goal and two assists for the Ice Wolves (6-46-1-4) while Curtis Peck (1g-1a), Derek Patter and Justin Bill added the others.
That was the final home game of the season for the Ice Wolves, who will wrap up their 2016-2017 campaign Saturday in Flin Flon.
In Nipawin, Logan Casavant came into Friday’s game with three goals on the season, and he scored four times to lead the Hawks past the Melfort Mustangs 6-1. Brandan Arnold returned to the Hawks’ lineup from Swift Current, and had a goal and an assist, as did Keegan Kjargaard. Arnold now has 14 points in 7 games (6g-8a) in Nipawin.
Declan Hobbs got the start making 24/25 saves for the Hawks (39-14-2-1).
Jaxon Joseph scored a third period goal for the Mustangs (21-29-2-4), who remain one point up on Melville for the final playoff spot.
Melville needed Nipawin’s assistance on Friday, as they lost 4-1 in Yorkton. A win would have lifted the Millionaires into a playoff spot, but they’ll have to try again Saturday, and hope that their playoff fate comes down to their regular season finale on Tuesday.
Jared Legien was in on all four Terrier goals, scoring twice and setting up the other two. Shane Sherban rode shotgun with a goal and two assists and Dakota Odgers also had a pair of helpers on that line. Jordan Ross added a goal and an assist and Nathan Hargrave made 32/33 saves.
The Terriers (27-25-5-0) are in 7th, and won’t finish any lower, but with one game remaining could still move up as high as 5th, as they’re one point back of both Humboldt and Notre Dame.
Mathieu Jallabert scored for the Millionaires (22-31-3-0), who host Yorkton on Saturday, and welcome Estevan on Tuesday. Melville’s one point back of Melfort for a playoff spot and does not have the tie-breaker. Melfort’s home to Nipawin Saturday and in Humboldt Tuesday.
The Notre Dame Hounds kept their chances of finishing 5th alive as they picked up a 5-2 win over Humboldt, pulling them into a tie for 5th with Humboldt.
The Hounds have just one game left, Saturday in Humboldt while the Broncos don’t finish until Tuesday when they host Melfort.
Nick Rein had a goal and two assists for the Hounds on Friday. Chaz Smedsrud (1g-1a), Conor MacLean (1g-1a), Colby Brandt and Alex Hanson also scored as the Hounds (26-23-6-2) built up a 5-0 lead. Benjamin Patt made 16/18 saves.
Chris Van Os-Shaw scored twice, both short-handed in the third period, giving him 36 goals on the year, one off the league lead held by Notre Dame’s Ben Duppereault. Duperreault had one assist Friday and has a four point lead at the top of the scoring race.
The Hounds and Broncos (29-25-1-1) will break their tie in the standings Sunday night in Humboldt.