By Craig Stein
Wings/Hounds Battle For Key 6th Position
The Weyburn Red Wings knew heading into Friday’s game against Notre Dame that a regulation win would leave them tied with the Hounds for that ever-important 6th position in the overall standings.
The Wings jumped out to a 2-0 lead but the Hounds clawed back and took it to overtime, where the Wings eventually won 3-2 in a shootout, drawing them within one point of the Hounds for 6th.
Arik Weersink was the story, as the shots on goal read 58-25 for the Hounds, but the Weyburn goalie made 56 saves in the win.
Jeremy Velazquez opened the scoring and Jordan Kazymyra made it 2-0 early in the second period. Jared Hamm and Zack Kosteniuk tied things up for the Hounds (26-20-1-4) before the second was up and that was all the scoring in regulation.
The Red Wings (26-21-4-0) are also back to within five points of Estevan for top spot in the Viterra Division.
A 10 day layoff was no big deal for the Nipawin Hawks, who jumped out to a 4-0 lead on the Humboldt Broncos, and had the hang on tight for a 4-3 win, making it now 30 games in a row without a loss in regulation for the league-leading Hawks (38-5-2-4).
Jordan Simoneau scored twice while Jake Tremblay added a goal and two assists. Brett Harasymuk (1g-1a) also scored and defenseman Josh McDougall had a pair of assists. Declan Hobbs made 34/37 saves, as the last two to get by him came in the final three minutes of play.
Jaxon Joseph got the Broncos (30-17-3-2) on the board with a late second period powerplay goal, before Bryce Fiske and Conner Lukan made it close late.
The Broncos seem more and more destined to remain in 5th place overall. They’re now eight points back of Melfort and have a league-low six games left. They’re also eight points up on 6th place Notre Dame.
Without hitting the ice on Friday, the Battlefords North Stars clinched the Global Ag Risk Solutions Division, as the Broncos sit 13 points back with six games left.
Colin Schmidt scored with one second left in regulation and the Melfort Mustangs stunned the Flin Flon Bombers 3-2.
The Mustangs (34-11-4-1) move eight points up on Humboldt for fourth place overall, and remain nine behind Nipawin for the Sherwood Division lead.
Jake Misskey got Melfort on the board in the first period, but the Bombers would go on to take the lead, as Donavan Houle-Villeneuve (1g-1a) and Doug Johnson put them ahead 2-1. Kalem Zary (1g-1a) tied things up just 24 seconds after Johnson’s go-ahead goal, which set the stage for Schmidt’s last-second heroics.
With Kindersley also losing on Friday, the Bombers (19-23-3-4) were that close to making up some ground, but they’ll stay six points out of 8th place with nine games left.
Cole Keenleyside got a penalty shot with less than three minutes left in regulation, and he converted to finish off his hat trick, as the Yorkton Terriers won their third straight game, 4-1 over the Kindersley Klippers on Friday.
The Terriers (12-34-2-2) are rolling into the final stretch, but barring a Melville collapse it’s looking like it’s too little too late as far as this year’s standings go, as Yorkton remains 12 points back of Melville for a playoff spot with eight games left.
Chantz Petruic also scored his team-leading 18th, while Cody Bruchkowski had two assist and Joe Marcouiller made 40 saves on 41 shots.
Yorkton does have the last place La Ronge Ice Wolves in town for a pair on Sunday and Monday afternoon before facing the Klippers twice again next weekend on the road. They’re in a stretch where their last 12 games of the season come against teams in 7th place or lower in the standings, so the opportunity is there to pick up points.
Nik Malenica had a short-handed goal for the Klippers (22-20-4-3) in the third period, their only goal of the night. Kindersley’s recent winning streak is a memory now, as they’re 0-2-1 on their four game trip, which wraps up Saturday in Melville.
Melville retained their 12 point cushion over Yorkton, as they took care of business with a 4-1 win over La Ronge.
Cory Schillo led the way with two goals and an assist. Eric Soar and Trevor Paradise added the others and Brandon Wells made 27/28 saves for the Millionaires (19-29-0-2).
Matthew Perkins notched his 12th goal of the season for La Ronge (8-39-0-3). The Ice Wolves have a pair of matinees in Yorkton to round out their trip. Sunday at 4:30 and Family Day Monday at 2:00. They’re now winless in their last 11 (0-10-0-1).