The Richardson Pioneer Weyburn Red Wings forced a final and decisive game seven in their SJHL quarterfinal series with the Humboldt Broncos after a 2-1 win in front of over a thousand loud and boisterous fans Sunday night.

"Can't say enough good things about the people that came out all series, all year," head coach Cody Mapes said of the crowd at Crescent Point Place. The crowd kept up a high level of energy and came close to blowing the roof off of the arena 3:44 into the second period when Jaxson Ruthven scored his third of the playoffs to put the Red Wings ahead. Liam Fitzgerald had the assist on the tally. 

"He's been arguably our most productive forward throughout the series," Mapes said of Ruthven. "You look at the goals he scored, how big they've been, and he's been unbelievable and he's taken such a huge step here to be better defensively too."

Mapes added he could go through the whole roster and talk about all of the positive contributions they have had in the series. 

The Broncos would respond with 5:26 to play in the middle period when Maddox Amaral got the puck past Dazza Mitchell. It would be the only blemish of the night on Mitchell's record, as he turned away the other 26 shots that he faced. 

Dazza MitchellDazza Mitchell stopped 26 of the 27 shots he faced. (Photo by Kristin Grassing)

In the third period, the Red Wings managed to keep up the pressure, putting another 14 shots on Humboldt netminder Benjamin Motew. In the dying moments of regulation, one of those shots would get past Motew for the Red Wings win. 

The power play goal came about after a goalmouth scramble with 2:17 left in the third period. Broncos' blueliner Saxen Robertson would deliberately push the net off of the moorings, which would result in a delay of game power play. One minute and fifteen seconds into the power play, with 1:02 left on the clock, Matthew Hodson would score the game-winning goal, assisted by Max Monette and Jerome Maharaj. 

Mapes explained during the postgame show on Great Plains Ford Red Wings Radio, Country 106.7, that Hodson had limited duty in game five Friday night as he was dealing with an illness. 

"When he went to the hospital and was getting IVs and trying to get anything in his body so he could play more than one shift, I said that this story doesn't end with you in the hospital and then you don't play or don't have an impact," Mapes related. "It usually ends with a from the hospital to the highlight reel kind of thing."

With the crowd now at a deafening level that even drowned out the whistle at one point, resulting in a few seconds to be added to the clock, the Broncos pulled Motew in favour of an extra attacker. They wouldn't be able to muster the offence to even the game up, however, and the Red Wings would come away with the victory to even up the best-of-seven series 3-3. 

Now, Weyburn will need to do something they have known they would need to do since the start of the series - win at the Elgar Petersen Arena in Humboldt.

"We knew we were gonna have to win on the road at one point in this series - it didn't matter if it was game one, two five or seven, and we've got a fourth chance to give it a go," said Mapes.

Game seven will be played Tuesday night in Humboldt. For the fans who aren't able to make the trek to Humboldt, Nick Nielsen and John Prette will have the call on Great Plains Ford Red Wing Radio Country 106.7. The pregame show will start at 7:15 p.m. with the puck drop at 7:30 p.m.