The Richardson Pioneer Weyburn Red Wings found themselves in tough Wednesday night when they travelled to Estevan to take on the Bruins. While the Wings managed to keep the game close until the third period, Estevan would rattle off three goals in a span of two minutes, giving them a 5-0 victory at Affinity Place.
“I don’t think the score dictates how we played,” said Red Wings head coach Cody Mapes after the game. “I mean, we gave up enough shots for two games, I think, but we did a fairly good job of containing stuff for the first 45 minutes of the game, you could say.”
Containing is something the Wings did do, with the number of shots from the Bruins not necessarily having the quality of the shots needed to beat Weyburn goalie Jackson Fellner in the first 40 minutes. Fellner was tested often in all three periods and faced a total of 47 shots. Meanwhile, Estevan goalie Boston Bilous had to work for many of his saves, as a lot of the shots from the Red Wings came from high-scoring areas of the offensive zone.
Some of the best chances of the night came from former Bruin Troy Hamilton. He found himself with point-blank opportunities in front of Bilous on a number of occasions and even had a pair of breakaway opportunities, one blown back because of a close offside call. In each instance, Bilous was able to make the same, often just in the nick of time.
There was a quickened pace to the play in the game. The first period had just five stoppages of play, or so it seemed, with long stretches where there were no whistles. This included the opening 3:30 of the game going without a stop and only one shot.
The Bruins would get goals from Cody Davis, Caelan Fitzpatrick, Billy Sowa, Jamie Valentino and Olivier Pouliot. Sowa’s goal came on the power play in the third period and kicked off the flurry of goals in that two-minute span in the third period.
The rivalry between the Red Wings and the Bruins is known for the intensity on the ice, and many fans watch the games waiting for something to happen. The two teams were fairly well behaved until the final thirty seconds of the night when a pair of players from each side were sent off for roughing after a scrum in the corner. Then, with seven seconds to play, Weyburn’s Matthew Reidy dropped the gloves with Valentino. Both received a major and game misconduct, with Valentino getting an extra minor for being the aggressor.
After the departure of Graham Skinner from the Red Wings, who had earlier this week asked for a release to go to play in the NAHL, the Wings called up defenseman Dallen Oxelgren. The Weyburn native is playing this season with the U18 AAA Moose Jaw Warriors. He saw a good amount of ice time, paired up with veteran blueline Nick Dobson.
"He’s going to have a really good junior career,” Mapes said of Oxelgren. “We’re going to do our best to work with him and Moose Jaw to get him up to the ten games he can play and hopefully progress his development a little bit throughout this year to finish the year, and he can get a jump on next year when he steps into the lineup full time.”
The two teams will meet again Saturday night, the final game ahead of the Christmas break for both clubs. That game will be played at Crescent Point Place.
Before that game, the Red Wings will be hosting Melville at Crescent Point Place Friday night.