By Craig Stein
TERRIERS MOVE BACK INTO 6TH
The La Ronge Ice Wolves jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead Tuesday night and looked to be on track to snap their losing streak, while also playing a huge spoiler role for their opponents from Melfort, but the Mustangs went into desperation mode and came back to pick up a 4-2 decision on the road.
The win leaves the Mustangs (21-28-2-4) one point up on Melville for the final playoff spot, with both teams having three games left.
Bryce Fiske and MacKenzie Donovan (first SJHL goal) had the Ice Wolves (6-45-1-4) up 2-0 less than seven minutes into the game. Reed Gunville struck for Melfort, cutting the Ice Wolves’ lead in half less than two minutes later. Matthew Hermary scored a short-handed goal to tie things up early in the second period, before Dakota Boutin scored the eventual winner midway through the third. Justin Ball added an empty-netter and Evan Plotnik made 18/20 saves.
Melfort has a home and home with Nipawin this Friday and Saturday before finishing the regular season in Humboldt on Tuesday.
The Melville Millionaires were out-shot 40-16 by the visiting Notre Dame Hounds Tuesday, and a loss would have very nearly ended any hope of a playoff spot, but rookie goaltender Colby Entz came up with a heroic, season-saving effort, stopping all 40 for his 4th shutout this season as the Millionaires blanked the Hounds 2-0.
The Millionaires (22-30-3-0) keep pace with Melfort, one point back of the 10th and final playoff spot with three games to go.
Entz faced 16 shots in the third period alone and he stopped them all, while Dayton Heino scored both goals for Melville, and the game was scoreless until the 14:25 mark of the second period.
The Millionaires have another home and home with their rivals from Yorkton this weekend. They’ll finish the regular season on home ice against Estevan on Tuesday.
The Hounds (24-23-6-2) are now tied for 7th with Weyburn, one point out of 6th. The Hounds host the Wings and will break that tie in Wednesday’s lone contest.
The Yorkton Terriers leap-frogged from 8th place, past Weyburn and Notre Dame and into 6th, with their 2-1 win over the Estevan Bruins on Tuesday.
The Terriers (26-25-5-0) are down to just two games left, and that’s one fewer than Weyburn and Notre Dame, who they lead by a point.
McKenzie Welke opened the scoring 2:17 into the game, and Jared Legien extended the lead early in the second. Estevan’s Michael McChesney got the Bruins on the board in the third. Shots were 33-31 for the Bruins, as rookie Matt Vernon turned in a solid 32/33 save performance for the Terriers while Nathan Alalouf made 29 saves for Estevan.
The Terriers finish their regular season this weekend as they host Melville on Friday before visiting the Millionaires on Saturday.
The Bruins (34-18-2-1) will now officially hold the #3 playoff seed as they can no longer catch whoever wins the Sherwood Division (Nipawin or Flin Flon) for the #2 seed.
Estevan has a weekend home and home with Weyburn and cap the regular season Tuesday in Melville.