The Richardson Pioneer Weyburn Red Wings will be looking to catch up with 7th place in the SJHL standings as they host the team that currently occupies that spot, the Nipawin Hawks, at Crescent Point Place tonight. The Wings come into the game with two games in hand on the Hawks and are just three points back in 8th place. A win tonight pull the Red Wing within a point of the Hawks, who lost 2-1 in overtime to the Estevan Bruins last night.
The Wings are also chasing down the Bruins who are in sixth place. Estevan is eight points up and Weyburn has three games in hand.
This game is the fourth and final meeting of the season between Weyburn and Nipawin. The Red Wings picked up a shootout win over the Hawks the last time these two teams met at Crescent Point Place. The teams then split a pair of back-to-back games in late October in Nipawin, with Weyburn capturing one game by a 4-1 final, with Nipawin winning in a shootout the next night.
The Wings are coming into the game, which closes out their seven-game homestand, with a nine-game point streak. The last time Weyburn had a streak this long was the 2017-18 season when they won nine in a row near the start of the campaign.
It is no secret the Wings are the hottest team in the SJHL since the season resumed after the Christmas break. Since January 1st, Weyburn has won nine games, lost two in regulation and two in overtime. The winning percentage of .769 in that span is second to only the Battlefords North Stars, who are the top-ranked team in the nation. Weyburn also has fewer losses in regulation since the start of 2023 than the North Stars.
The goals have also been coming at a regular pace for the Wings. Since January 1st, they have been averaging 4.08 goals for. Before the Christmas break, the squad was averaging just 2.83 goals per game. On the flip side, the team has stepped up defensively in a huge way. They have allowed just three goals per game since Christmas, and before the break, were giving up an average of 3.87 goals per game.
An added bonus for the Wings has been how well-balanced the offense has been. All of the players with the exception of two of the three goaltenders have picked up at least a single point. Just six of the skaters on the team have not scored a goal. Of those six, none have played more than 22 games with the team. While the team has been led by players such as Ty Mason, Ryley Morgan, Jakob Kalin and Jackson Hassman in terms of goal scoring, the team is finding its groove with a number of players finding the twine.
The Red Wings will now hold their destiny in their own hands, with a chance to put themselves into a favourable position heading into the post-season, and avoid the dreaded match-up with the North Stars in the first round of the playoffs. You can catch the final game of their homestand tonight at 7:00 p.m. at Crescent Point Place.