10 playoff teams officially set, Kotchorek Extends Record
The La Ronge Ice Wolves entered the final month of the season in last place in the standings, but they did play spoiler for the Yorkton Terriers over the weekend, as they beat them twice in regulation Sunday and Monday, including 4-1 on Monday afternoon, which eliminates the Terriers for playoff contention as well.
Yorkton could still end up tied with Melville, as they’re 12 points back with six games to play, meaning the Terriers would have to go 6-0, and Melville would need to lose all seven of theirs in regulation. The first tie-breaker is the season series, which Melville leads 5-3-0-0 with two still to come. The Terriers running the table would mean that would be even at 5-5-0-0. The next tie-breaker is overall wins, and Melville currently holds 19, while the most the Terriers can have is 18. So Melville make the playoffs, no lower than 10th place, after missing the post-season a year ago.
Merek Pipes stymied his former team on Monday, stopping 36 of the 37 shots he faced. Tanner Brewster (1g-1a), Nolan Dawson (1g-1a), Antonio Di Paolo (1g-1a) and Justin Bill did the scoring for the Ice Wolves (10-39-0-3). They’ll head to Melville one more time on Tuesday night, to wrap up their four game trip.
Quinten Hobbs replied for the Terriers (12-35-3-2) and Joe Marcouiller made 33/37 stops.
Taryn Kotchorek extended his career SJHL shutout record once again Monday, stopping all 36 shots he faced as the Stars capped off their three game road trip with a 5-0 win in Weyburn.
That’s Kotchorek’s fifth shutout this season, matching last year’s season high, and the 14th of his three year career.
Cole Johnson had a goal and two assists for the Stars (39-11-2-0), who now have a league-high 39 wins, and are back to two points shy of Nipawin for top spot. The Hawks have a game in hand.
MacGregor Sinclair scored his 30th goal of the season and added one assist, while Owen Lamb also scored and Layne Young notched his 35th goal and 99th point of the campaign.
The Red Wings (26-22-4-0) remain three points back of 6th place Notre Dame and are now even in games played. They’re three ahead of 8th place Kindersley, with the Klippers holding two games in hand.
In what was very likely a Quarter-Final preview, Humboldt’s Parker Tobin also turned in a shutout performance in a Monday matinee, making 36 saves as the Broncos blanked the Melfort Mustangs 6-0.
Logan Schatz had a goal and two assists, giving him 78 points (22g-56a) on the season, second only to Layne Young. Nick Shumlanski scored twice, while Bryce Fiske (1g-1a), Jacob Leicht and Brayden Camrud also hit the net.
The Broncos (31-17-3-2) are still eight points back of Melfort, sitting in 5th place, and that’s most likely where they’ll end up, with the Mustangs (35-12-4-1) in 4th, and if it stays that way, the two rivals would go head to head in a Best-of-Seven Quarter-Final.
After 30 straight contests without a loss in regulation, the Nipawin Hawks have now lost back to back games.
After the 3+ month streak ended Saturday against Melfort, the Flin Flon Bombers came through with a 3-2 decision over the Hawks at the Whitney Forum on Monday night.
The 9th place Bombers (20-23-3-4) have six point gaps in front of them (Kindersley) and behind them (Melville).
Rob Johnson and Ethan Daniels scored in the second period, before Nate Hooper scored the winner halfway through the third. Brenden Newton turned away 41/43 shots.
Logan Casavant and Daven Smith scored, and Jake Anthony made 38/41 saves for the Hawks (38-7-2-4), whose lead at the top of the standings shrunk back to two points over Battlefords. Nipawin does have a game in hand, and they’ll face the Stars in their final game of the regular season March 9th. Monday night was the first regulation loss for Anthony personally, since November 4th. He’d gone 15-0-1-1 since.