By Craig Stein
After Friday night’s shootout loss in Melfort, the Nipawin Hawks came out like a house on fire to start Saturday’s rematch at home, outshooting the Mustangs 23-5 in the first period on their way to a 4-2 win.
The Hawks led 4-0 until Melfort’s Colin Schmidt scored a pair of goals in the last two minutes of the third period.
Nipawin (36-5-2-4) extends their streak of no regulation losses to 28 games (25-0-1-2). Most of the Hawks’ damage came on the man advantage, as they went 3/6 on the powerplay. Tyler Adams scored twice, while Brandan Arnold and Chad McCartney added the others. Grant Baetsen had three assists and Declan Hobbs made 28/30 saves.
Evan Plotnik stopped 42/45 shots in goal for the Mustangs (31-10-4-1), who saw their three game winning streak come to a halt.
Daylan Marchi scored two goals and two assists as the Flin Flon Bombers won a wild 7-6 shootout decision over the La Ronge Ice Wolves.
La Ronge scored four times in the third period to force extra time.
Donavon Houle-Villeneuve (1g-1a), Dawson McKenzie (1g-1a), Nate Hooper and Brody Madarash rounded out the Bombers’ scoring in regulation.
Connor Smith, Trey Doell, Nolan Dawson and Drayton Thunderchief all had a goal and and assist, while Antonio Di Paolo and Zach Bannister added the others.
The Bombers (18-20-3-4) are now one point back of the Kindersley Klippers for 8th place and home ice in the Wild Card series. The Klippers were idle Saturday and now have two games in hand. The Ice Wolves (8-34-0-3) are winless in their last six (0-5-0-1).
The Melville Millionaires scored twice in the last three and a half minutes in Battlefords, to come from behind and beat the North Stars 4-3.
Defenseman Eric Soar notched his first goal of the season and added two assists, Logan Foster (1g-1a) added a second period goal, before Damian Bentz and Dayton Heino (1g-1a) provided the late heroics.
Brandon Wells made 37/40 saves for the Millionaires (16-28-0-2), who strengthened their hold on the final playoff spot, now 12 points up on Yorkton for 10th place.
Layne Young had another goal and assist for Battlefords, giving him 86 points on the year. MacGregor Sinclair scored his 28th and 29th goals of the season. The North Stars (34-9-2-0) regulation loss means they’re now eight points back of Nipawin for top spot overall, with two games in hand.
Four players had multi-goal games as the Weyburn Red Wings outlasted the Yorkton Terriers 8-5.
Jordan Kazymyra (2g-1a) and Jeremy Velazquez scored twice each for Weyburn, with Ben Hiltz (1g-1a), Erik Olson (1g-1a), William Cruise and Sean Olson adding the others. Cade Kowalski had four assists.
The Wings (25-17-4-0) are now just two points out of a top six spot, and three points behind Estevan for first place in the Viterra Division.
Quinten Hobbs and former Red Wings Matthew Jones scored twice each for the Terriers (9-32-2-2), and Kyle Sargent (1g-1a) added the other.
The Humboldt Broncos and Estevan Bruins went into their Saturday matchup sporting identical 26-16-3-2 records, and it was the Broncos coming up with a 5-2 victory on home ice.
The Broncos (27-16-3-2) remain in fifth place, and now three points ahead of Notre Dame.
Jaxon Joseph scored his 25th goal of the season and added an assist. Nick Shumlanski, Logan Hunter and Brayden Camrud also added a goal and an assist, and Evan Thomas rounded out the scoring. Parker Tobin picked up the win in goal.
Estevan (26-17-3-2) saw their lead at the top of the Viterra reduced to three points over Weyburn. Arthur Miller and Hayden Guilderson scored on Saturday. The Bruins went 1-2-0-1 on their Humboldt-Kindersley-Battlefords-Humboldt four games in five nights road trip.