By Craig Stein
With most SJHL teams now at or beyond the halfway point of their schedules, one theme becoming true in all three divisions, is that the division leaders are starting to put some ground between themselves and the others.
The Flin Flon Bombers became the latest team to accomplish that, sweeping a weekend home and home with Nipawin, with a 3-2 win on the road Saturday.
The Sherwood was the most tightly-contested going into the weekend, but the Bombers stretched a five point lead at the top, to nine, with a pair of regulation victories over the second place Hawks.
Estevan (Viterra) and Battlefords (Finning) were both idle on Saturday, but after registering wins on Friday, both came out of the weekend with 11 point divisional leads.
Greyson Reitmeier, Mason Etter and Jason Lavallee all had a goal and an assist for the Bombers (17-8-2-2) Saturday night while Tanner Thompson scored his second in as many nights, and 5th in his last four games for the Hawks (13-10-2-1) and Keegan Kjargaard matched Thompson with his 11th of the season.
17-year-old Erik Gardiner scored his 12th and 13th goals of the season, leading the Humboldt Broncos to a 5-2 win in Melfort.
Chris Van Os-Shaw notched his league-leading 24th goal of the year and added one assist, while Cole Young (1g-1a) and Daniel McKitrick also struck for the Broncos (18-12-0-1). Garrett Mason turned away 31/33 shots.
Kalem Zary scored both goals, replying for the Mustangs (12-14-1-3), and Reed Gunville assisted on both.
Nathan Hargrave returned to his former home barn, and got the upper hand making 33/35 saves as the Yorkton Terriers got by the Weyburn Red Wings 3-2 in a shootout.
Corwin Stevely scored a second period powerplay goal, and one of the three shootout goals for the Terriers (13-13-3-0), and Cody Illerbrun added his first SJHL goal.
Despite the shootout loss, the Red Wings (15-11-0-4) now have points in six straight games (3-0-0-3). Cole Woodliffe and Tyran Brown scored for the Wings, and Shaun Fleming made 29/31 saves.
The Kindersley Klippers moved into a tie for the league’s final playoff spot with a 7-2 win in Notre Dame.
Jordan Ross led the way with a pair of goals while the others were provided by Mason Martin (1g-1a), Josh Fletcher (1g-1a), Cody Hodgson, Andrew McCaan and Sam Binfet. Nick Trenciansky made 32/34 saves in the win.
The Klippers (12-20-1-0) are now tied with Melville for 10th place overall, but they’ve played five more games than the Millionaires.
Kaleb Dahlgren and Tyler Podgorenko did the scoring for the Hounds (14-12-3-1) Saturday. SJHL scoring leader Ben Duperreault added an assist, after his 10 game point streak (9g-9a-18p) was snapped the night before.
After a hard-fought 3-2 loss in Yorkton on Friday, the La Ronge Ice Wolves were on the right side of a 3-2 decision in Melville on Saturday.
Aaron MacKay made 34/36 saves as the Ice Wolves improved to 6-19-0-4, and if they’re able to entertain playoff hopes during the second half, wins against teams like Melville will prove large, as the Millionaires (12-15-1-0) occupy a share of the final playoff spot as of now.
Craig Pejkovic scored twice for La Ronge on Saturday, and was set up by Jared Blaquiere both times. Zachary Gladu provided the eventual winner.
Aaron Aragon and Mathieu Jallabert replied for Melville.
The SJHL schedule takes both Sunday and Monday off, returning Tuesday with Kindersley in Humboldt and Weyburn heading to Nipawin.