Coming into the month of February, the Richardson Pioneer Weyburn Red Wings had only rallied back to win when trailing after the 1st period twice. Then, last Thursday, they bounced back from a 1-0 deficit to beat the Flin Flon Bombers 4-1. They followed it up Friday night when they found themselves down 1-0 to the Notre Dame Hounds after the opening 20, then rallied back to beat the Hounds 3-2 to widen their gap over Notre Dame for 8th in the SJHL, and to pull within two points of the Nipawin Hawks for 7th.
The Wings are also now six points back of the Estevan Bruins for 6th place, with three games in hand.
The gutsy effort for the Red Wings Friday night would also see the squad picking up the victory with a short bench, as they only had 16 skaters dressed for the game. Those in the lineup, though, worked hard throughout the game, even overcoming two times when players were out with misconduct penalties, shortening the bench a little more.
The Hounds opened the scoring in the game in the 1st when Evan Vanden Heuvel scored his 8th of the season. His goal, which came with 3:30 to play in the period, was assisted by Matteo Sperranza and Marko Djordjevic.
In the second period, the Red Wings would answer back on a beautiful goal from Jackson Hassman. The forward’s 21st of the season, assisted by Ryley Morgan, came at the 8:55 mark of the frame.
In the third period, Weyburn would take the lead just 3:46 into the frame.
Defenseman Nick Kovacs, pinching in, picked up the puck behind the Hounds' net. He would skate out to the left-hand side, and caught Notre Dame goalie Tucker Inabinet unaware, shooting the puck between the post and his body. Kovacs’ goal, his 5th of the campaign, was assisted by Simon Pollock.
Weyburn would then open the lead to two goals at the 7:48 mark, as Ty Mason netted his 20th of the season, putting the puck past Inabinet to make it 3-1 Weyburn. Morgan had the lone assist on Mason’s goal.
Notre Dame wasn’t done, though.
With the goaltender pulled for an extra attacker, Jacob Ligi was able to beat Dazza Mitchell for his seventh of the season with 3:29 on the clock. His tally was assisted by Liam Hunks and Sperranza.
From there, the Red Wings were able to keep the Hounds at bay, helped in part by a hooking call against Notre Dame’s Carson Baylis. He had hauled down Mason who was on a breakaway on the empty net. While the referees had the discretion of awarding the automatic goal, they opted to give the Red Wings a power play for the rest of the game.
Weyburn will now get set for the Yorkton Terriers, who visit Crescent Point Place Saturday night. The Terriers, who are 16 points back of the Wings, need to pick up the win to keep their slight playoff chances alive. A Weyburn win, though, will eliminate the Terriers from post-season competition.
The Red Wings do have the advantage coming into the game, having won three of the previous five meetings between the two clubs so far this season, including a 7-5 win this past Tuesday, that saw the Wings erupt for five goals in the first period.
The Weyburn faithful will also be watching the scoreboard, as the Bruins are in Humboldt taking on the Broncos, and a win by Humboldt will bring the Wings closer to passing Estevan in the race for 6th overall.
The puck drops for the game Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. at Crescent Point Place.