Weyburn Red Wings (2-1-0) vs. Melfort Mustangs (2-0-0)

7:30 p.m.

Crescent Point Place, Weyburn

It is a different look for the Melfort Mustangs as they roll into Weyburn to face the Red Wings Friday night. This is the first meetings between the two teams.

The Mustangs are two-time Canalta Cup champions, but they will be missing three key components of that domination in the past two seasons: Tristan Frei, Justin Boyer and Travis Mayan. Their performances so far this season, against the La Ronge Ice Wolves, show they may be able to fill that gap in the offensive prowess of the team.

For the Red Wings, they will be eager to bounce back from their loss to the Notre Dame Hounds Wednesday, where the difference was a few bounces. The Red Wings have a lot of offensive potential in the lineup and are looking to explode with a flurry of goals, and with Evan Plotnik in net for the Mustangs, they are hoping tonight's the night.

Last season, the Mustangs had the edge, winning three of the four games. Over the past five years, though, it is more of a draw, as Weyburn has gone 7-7-2 in those sixteen games against Melfort.


Evan Plotnik took over the reins from Richard Palmer last season when the veteran was down with injury. He stepped in and performed admirably in the playoffs, helping backstop the team to the league championship. In two games, he saw 64 shots, and stopped 62 of them, a similar save percentage number as Wings goalie Nathan Hargrave. Both goaltenders are talented, there is no doubt about that, as they play behind defenses that are adept at moving shots to the outside, and keeping the front of the net clear. At the other end of the ice, Hargrave may have a loss beside his name, but it isn’t due to lack of effort. The SJHL veteran is cementing himself into the lineup, and has proven that no matter what, he can keep his team in the game. Edge: Even


The Melfort Mustangs have a rather fresh blue line this season, with four returning players. Those returning players, though, include two strong 20-year-olds: Braxx George, and the SJHL defenseman of  the week Eric Sinclair. The Mustangs have always had a strong defensive corps under head coach Trevor Blevins, so the new faces should be adjusting into the new system well. For the Red Wings, the blue line, for the most part, spent last season together. There are six returnees in the lineup on defense, and they look strong each and every game. With Evan Cusmano finding his hitting game, and the smart quick play of Jeremy Lagler and Jayden Syrota as of late, they have a strong unit that can make the difference in a game. Edge: Weyburn


Without the “Minion Line” of Frei, Boyer and Mayan for the Mustangs, the team will be looking to see who can step up to fill the void. It is a huge void as well. Those three accounted for more than 45 per cent of all the goals scored by the Mustangs last year. So far this year, Kalem Zary has stepped up, recording five points in two games against La Ronge. Sinclair has also been helping out, picking up five points himself from the blue line. The Red Wings have been looking to the whole of their offense, scoring by committee, which is something they have done the past few seasons. Early on, though, Carson Rose is standing out as an offensive talent, once again. Along with Braden Mellon, Ty Brown and Cole Woodliffe, they have been able to get the puck in the net. The defensive corps has also chipped in as needed, with Lagler recording three assists himself so far this season. Edge: Even

This game is what some are considering an early-season look at the Canalta Cup finals. Both teams have the capability of great things this year, as they have many of the pieces in the lineup they want and need to succeed. For Melfort, many players will be able to prove themselves in the absence of the Minion Line. For the Red Wings, the returning players know how close they came last year, and those veterans will be leading the charge. It will be a hard fought game between the two when they meet tonight at Crescent Point Place.