By Craig Stein
SWEEP THEIR THREE GAME ROAD TRIP
“Games in hand don’t mean anything unless you win them.” – Sports Cliché
The Nipawin Hawks are making their games in hand count, all of them, as they won their seventh straight game, 4-3 in overtime on Thursday in Notre Dame.
The Hawks (27-12-2-1) went into the week 10 points back of the Flin Flon Bombers for the Sherwood Division lead with five games in hand, and with the Bombers idle during the week, the Hawks hit the road for three games in three nights and won all three, in Weyburn, Estevan and Notre Dame, to pull to within six points, still with two games in hand, all of a sudden making the Sherwood, quite possibly, the only Division pennant in question heading into the final stretch. Estevan leads the Viterra by 12 points (with games in hand), while Battlefords sports a hefty 26 points advantage in the Finning.
Thursday in Wilcox, Kristian Stead got the night off after making 71/72 saves the previous two nights, and Declan Hobbs stepped right in and made 23/26 saves. Brett Harasymuk scored a pair of first period goals, Keegan Kjargaard had a goal and an assist, and Eric Bolden ended the game on a powerplay in overtime. Bolden has 9-goals and 13-points in 12-games since returning to the Hawks from college.
Chaz Smedsrud scored for a fourth straight game for the Hounds, and now has 6-goals and 9-points during a five game point streak, after a goal and an assist Thursday. Riley Perka opened the scoring with his first SJHL goal, and Ben Duperreault potted his 29th goal of the season, which ties him for the league lead. Duperreault’s 62 points gives him a six point edge at the top of the scoring race.