The Richardson Pioneer Weyburn Red Wings had a pair of goals from Nik Sombrowski, including the overtime winner, as they beat the Battlefords North Stars at Crescent Point Place 4-3 Saturday night. The win was the second in a row for the Wings, who are now 7-14-3 on the season.
“It’s good to string two wins together, and I think we’re starting to turn things in a positive direction here,” stated Sombrowski after the game.
The game Saturday night was also the Teddy Bear Toss night, and Weyburn didn’t waste much time in getting the stuffed animals to rain down onto the ice from the stands.
Newly acquired Kirk Mullen, who came to the Wings as the future considerations to complete the trade with the Blackfalds Bulldog of the AJHL for Joseph Young, would pot the puck in the net just 1:51 into the game.
“That was great, especially for the first one in Weyburn,” Mullen said after the game. “It felt unreal; I’m happy about it.”
The play started with the puck ending up on the stick of Davis Chorney, who backed onto the left face-off circle. He passed over to Ian Maier at the top of the slot, who fired it on goal Battlefords netminder Lowen Kenyon. Kenyon made the initial save, but the rebound ended up on the stick of Mullen, who put it in to make it a 1-0 game.
The Wings kept up the pressure throughout the rest of the first period, looking to extend the lead, but were unable to. It wouldn’t be until the 8:28 mark of the second period that Weyburn had their second goal of the game.
The puck was deep in the North Stars zone, and a clearing attempt was held in along the boards at the blue line by Graham Skinner. He passed it along the wall down to Sombrowski at the hash marks, who then found Ty Mason unmarked on the back door at the left of the goaltender. The pass was fired in with a one-timer, and the Wings were up 2-0.
The Battlefords didn’t take long to answer back, though, as Kevin-Thomas Walters scored 26 seconds later to make it a 2-1 game.
In the third, the North Stars tied the game up when Jake Southgate beat Jackson Fellner 2:28 into the period. That was followed up with a goal from Walters at the 7:51 mark, and the Red Wings were now down by a goal, after leading for over 40 minutes.
With less than five minutes left in the game, the Battlefords found themselves shorthanded when Sam Witt was called for holding. Then, a minor against Riley Little put the North Stars down by two men, and the potent power play of the Red Wings went to work.
With 3:19 left on the clock, Weyburn tied the game up on a power play goal by Sombrowski. The goal was set up with a pass from Braden Birnie down low to Sombrowski, who passed it through the slot to Beau Larson on the right-hand side of the Battlefords goal. Larson put it on goal, and the rebound slid to the top of the crease, where it was picked up by Sombrowski and wired home, making it a 3-3 game.
This would force overtime for the second night in a row for the Red Wings.
In the extra period, both teams exchanged good opportunities, but only one would end up in the back of the net.
With under two minutes to play in the overtime period, the Wings started to move out of their own end. The puck was knocked off the stick of Weyburn’s Ethan Whillans, and it was recovered by Braden Birnie. He skated into the attacking zone on the left wing, and moved over to the right wing, passing it to Sombrowski. The forward would skate into the top of the left hand face-off circle, and make a move to get around Battlefords defenceman Tynan Ewart. Finding himself all alone in the slot, Sombrowski wristed the puck past Kenyon to give the Red Wings the win.
The win was the second in a row for Weyburn over a top-five team, something that doesn’t go unnoticed by the players. Sombrowski talked about it after the game.
“We obviously know who you’re playing every night and where they are in the standings, and we’re just looking to climb, climb, climb.”
The Wings will now have a day off before welcoming the La Ronge Ice Wolves to Crescent Point Place for a rare Monday night game. Weyburn will be looking to avoid the season sweep against the Ice Wolves, who have won all three previous meetings.