By Craig Stein
LEAGUE’S HOTTEST TEAMS KEEP WINNING
Kindersley goaltender Justen Close won his ninth game of the season Tuesday, but also moved into a share of the league lead in shutouts, picking up his fourth, making 25 saves in teh Kindersley Klippers’ 3-0 win in Humboldt.
The Klippers’ (18-23-1-0) second straight win vaults them a point ahead of Melville, into the 10th and final playoff spot.
Branden Wagner, Carson Pickett and Jake Gerbner did the scoring while Garrett Mason made 27/30 saves in goal for the Broncos (23-19-0-1). The Broncos have now dropped three in a row.
The Battlefords North Stars have now gone 10 straight games without a loss in regulation, after a 5-2 win over the visiting La Ronge Ice Wolves.
The Ice Wolves (6-32-1-4) led 1-0 after the first period and 2-1 after the second, before the North Stars (36-7-1-0) piled up four third period goals.
Jared Blaquiere, the former Ice Wolf, started the third period flurry just over two minutes into the final frame. Connor Logan added two goals in the third period, while Ben Allen and Coby Downs each had a goal and an assist. Taryn Kotchorek made 21/23 saves.
Curtis Peck (1g-1a) and Derek Patter scored for the Ice Wolves and Luke Lush made 55/60 saves.
It’s nine straight without a regulation loss for the Flin Flon Bombers, who returned home and beat the previously red-hot Melfort Mustangs 8-2 at the Whitney Forum.
15 of the 18 Bombers’ skaters had at least an point, and no one had more than two points in what was a very balanced attack. Teal Sobkowicz, Tyler Nyman and Kristian St. Onge all had a goal and an assist for the Bombers (29-10-2-3). Jordan McCausland and Jason Lavallee also found the net while defensemen Eric Sinclair, Braden Lacoursiere and Mason Etter rounded out the scoring and Brenden Newton made 22/24 saves.
Miles Warkentine scored both goals for the Mustangs (19-18-2-4).
Kristian Stead stopped 41 of the 42 shots he faced, and the Nipawin Hawks won their fifth straight game, 4-1 in Weyburn.
The Hawks (25-12-2-1) remain within striking distance of Flin Flon for the Sherwood lead. They’re 10 points back but with four games in hand. Two of those games in hand will be Wednesday and Thursday when the Hawks continue their road trip in Estevan and Notre Dame while the Bombers are idle until Saturday.
Brandan Arnold (1g-1a), Eric Bolden, Tanner Thompson and Brett Harasymuk picked up the goals for Nipawin.
Shaun Fleming made 27/30 saves in goal for the Red Wings (19-21-1-4), while Erik Olson scored their only goal.
The Weyburn loss helped out Yorkton, as the Terriers took care of their own business as well, winning 6-3 in Notre Dame.
The win puts the Terriers back into a tie for 7th overall with Weyburn, one point back of Melfort, who also lost Tuesday, for a top six spot.
Dakota Odgers scored a pair of third period goals in the win. Kevin Wolf’s first of the season stood up as the winner, while Corwin Stevely, Tyler Baier and Shane Sherban also scored. Jordan Ross and Jared Legien had two assists each and Matt Vernon won his second straight start, making 27/30 saves.
Chaz Smedsrud had a goal and an assist for the Hounds (17-20-4-1) giving him seven points (5g-2a) during a four game point streak. Ben Duperreault scored his 28th goal and league leading 61st point, and Chance Longjohn rounded out Notre Dame’s scoring.