The Richardson Pioneer Weyburn Red Wings fell for the first time in regulation this season Saturday night, as they came up short in a 4-3 final in Melfort. The penalty-filled game saw the Red Wings compile 107 minutes in penalties, and the Mustangs 45.
Between the two teams, there were six game misconducts, two 10-minute misconducts, and two major penalties. A gross misconduct was also handed out to the Red Wings bench late in the third period.
The power play for both teams was on display throughout the game, with Melfort making good on three of their 11 chances with the man advantage, while the Red Wings went 2-for-7.
Red Wings netminder Eric Kahl was tested early and often in the game, turning aside 44 of the 48 shots he faced. At the other end, James Venne stopped 26 shots.
Melfort jumped out into the lead in the first period as they scored a pair of power play goals in a span of 58 seconds. The first was from David Coyle with 6:14 left on the clock, then Ryan Duguay added another with 5:16 to go.
Melfort extended the lead to 3-0 when Chase Friedt-Mohr scored at the 8:09 mark of the second. Weyburn didn't take long to respond, though, as Jacob Visentini scored his third of the campaign at 9:46 of the period. The goal, coming on the power play, was assisted by Liam Fitzgerald and Elijah Anderson.
The Wings ended up back on the power play just seconds later, and with 10:24 to play in the frame, blueliner Tyler Teasdale beat Venne with his first of the season to make it a 3-2 game. Anderson and Wings captain Max Monette had the assists on the goal.
Melfort would get a chance to extend the lead with 6:20 remaining in the second when Brayden Westerlund was awarded a penalty shot after officials said Logan Greenough had upended him on a breakaway. Kahl would turn the shot aside, though, and it remained a one-goal game.
The Mustangs would restore the two-goal lead with 1:50 on the clock when Duguay scored his second power play goal of the game, making it 4-2.
With 29 seconds left to go in the second, Monette would be on the receiving end of a kneeing penalty after being hit by Melfort's Leith Olafson. In the aftermath of the hit, Visentini dropped the gloves with Olafson and ended up receiving a fighting major as well as a game misconduct. Olafson received a double minor for kneeing as well as a fighting major. Fitzgerald would also be assessed a minor for unsportsmanlike conduct and a 10-minute misconduct as the penalties were sorted out.
The third period started out chippy, with Weyburn's Nolan Henderson and Melfort's Mathieu Pigeon receiving slashing minors before the period had even started. Then, Max Henderson would receive a two-minute minor for checking from behind, which comes with an automatic game misconduct at the 8:50 mark.
Weyburn, though, would continue to work to rally back and got within a goal with 5:30 to play in the final period. Jerome Maharaj would score his fourth of the season, assisted by Anderson, who recorded his third point of the game.
Then, with 1:28 left to play, things went sideways for the Red Wings penalty-wise. Weyburn's Nick Kovacs and Friedt-Mohr from the Mustangs had gotten tangled up, and Kovacs was assessed a minor for cross-checking, and Friedt-Mohr a minor for slashing.
Then, something was said from the Red Wings bench that would result in head coach Cody Mapes being assessed a two-minute minor, gross misconduct, and then a game misconduct. The penalties for misconduct weren't over quite yet, however, with Fitzgerald getting his second 10-minute misconduct of the night with 46 seconds remaining in the game, which would result in an automatic game misconduct.
With the loss, the Red Wings slipped to third in the overall standings, one point back of the Flin Flon Bombers, and two back of the Mustangs. Flin Flon leapfrogged Weyburn in the overall standings after an 8-2 route of the Notre Dame Hounds.
The Wings will now look to regroup as they get ready for their third road game in a row on Wednesday. They will be traveling to Humboldt to take on the Broncos, before coming back to Crescent Point Place Saturday against the Bombers.
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