Dave Leaderhouse |
With the Weyburn Red Wings having scored by far the fewest number of goals this year, keeping the puck out of their own net is going to be even more paramount down the stretch if they hope to catch those in front of them for a playoff spot.
It appears that 18-year-old freshman Joseph Young will get the lion’s share of the work in the Red Wings’ goal after Weyburn traded Noah Decottignies to the Humboldt Broncos at the deadline.
Since returning from the Christmas break, Young has responded to the added responsibility winning three of his seven appearances with two of those victories being shutouts. The 6-foot-1, 155-pound Regina product leads the league with perfect games with four and also has the best goals-against average at 2.16. His save percentage is also tops among active netminders and despite having a 7-11-0-0 record on the season he has blocked 93.6 per cent of the shots he has faced.
Young didn’t start the season with the Red Wings as he wasn’t added to the team until the middle of October after opening the campaign with the Pilot Butte Storm of the Prairie Junior Hockey League. It was a rather inauspicious start to this Junior “A” career as Young allowed 10 goals against in his first four appearances, but since then he has allowed just 28 in his last 15 games. He also blocked 28 of 34 shots in helping his club pick up a win at the recent Sask/Man Showcase event.
Young played all of his midget hockey with the Battlefords Stars of the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League and over the three seasons he was with that club he saw action in 68 games. While his goals-against average was around the 4.00 mark, his save percentage was solid at nearly 90 per cent.
The Red Wings face an uphill climb to get into the post-season this year as they begin the final stretch seven points out of a post-season berth. If the team can somehow find a way to provide more offensive support, Young looks like he is ready to do his part in the Weyburn goal and with that combination anything can happen.
The best part of Young’s improved play is that it looks like the Red Wings have found a cornerstone for the future as he still has two more years of junior eligibility after this season.