The Richardson Pioneer Weyburn Red Wings played their last game before the Christmas Break Saturday night, and it is a game they will likely want to forget. After finishing the first period trailing 1-0, a pair of shorthanded goals in the final moments of the second helped boost the Estevan Bruins to a 7-0 victory, securing the Highway 39 Cup.
The loss didn’t sit well with Red Wings head coach Cody Mapes – in particular the effort from his team at times.
“The way things have gone on here – the inconsistency is not okay,” Mapes said after the game. There’s gonna be some changes and that just kind of the way it’s gotta be. Can’t continue like this.”
The opening period saw back and forth play, with both teams finding good opportunities. The lone goal of the period came from Alex Von Sprecken with 6:01 left on the clock, as he managed to beat Jackson Fellner with a show from the point.
At the other end, the Red Wings had a number of quality scoring chances themselves, but Bruins netminder Cam Hrdlicka stood tall, turning aside all 12 shots he faced.
In the second period, the Bruins expanded the lead to 2-0 when Kade Runke scored a goal at the 5:15 mark. From there, things snowballed for the Red Wings.
The Bruins would score two shorthanded goals in a span of 33 seconds, with Cody Davis and Eric Pearce finding the back of the net.
The lead was expanded even further in the third, as Kian Calder scored twice. The first goal came at the 8:38 mark and the second with 4:17 left to play. A power play goal from Mark Rumsey with 2:06 remaining rounded out the scoring.
The Highway 39 rivalry was still as intense as ever between the two teams, as they combined for 100 penalty minutes. In the first period, Nick Dobson and Von Sprecken were handed 10-minute misconducts when they both shed the gloves but were prevented from engaging in fisticuffs by the linesmen.
In the second, Dobson would again find himself with the gloves off, this time getting into a fight with Estevan’s Nolan Jones. Another fight happened in the third period, this one involving Red Wings defender Sebastian Hamming and Estevan rookie Caelan Fitzpatrick.
After the game, the Highway 39 Cup was presented to the Bruins in their locker room. The win also ensured Weyburn police chief Jamie Blunden will have to wear a Bruins jersey to work, as part of a wager made with Estevan police chief Richard Lowen.
While the team will now be getting set for the first game of the New Year’s back-to-back with the Bruins, which starts December 30th, Mapes doesn’t want the players to dwell on hockey for the next 10 days.
“I hope they get away from the rink,” he said. “They need a reset, get your mind off hockey for a while, go enjoy some family time and come back and be all in and ready to work.”