To start off a double header on the road, the Richardson Pioneer Weyburn Red Wings were in Nipawin Friday night to take on the Hawks for the second time this season. While last time ended in an exciting shootout, the Red Wings were more dominant this time around and earned a 4-1 win.
Drafted 8th overall in this summer's 2007 SJHL Draft, Berney Weston was called up between the pipes for the Red Wings. Weston came into the game with a 5-1 record with the Swift Current Legionnaires as well as a 91.9% save percentage, and the Hawks tested him early with shots from all angles in the first period, but good positioning and a calm mind kept the score tied even after the Hawks had a powerplay in the period.
With just 24 seconds left in the period, the 6'5 Matteo Turrin would show some speed and finesse as he burned around the right side of the ice and deke out the goaltender, putting the puck in the back of the net and scoring his second goal is his second game as a Red Wing.
Although the shots looked lopsided, the Red Wings were carrying a lot of the play with passes through the middle of the ice and a few shots going wide. The first period had a clear adjustment period for the Red Wings getting used to the small size of the ice and the lack of glass in their own zone to chip the puck out to centre.
After 1: Red Wings 1 - 0 Hawks, shots 13-5 Hawks
In the second period, the Red Wings again started to find their rhythm until Payton McDonald Corea was assessed a checking from behind penalty. Then the Red Wings really found their momentum when Riley See blocked a shot and held the puck. Ty Mason recognized the chance developing and skated ahead, See sent a beautiful saucer pass through traffic that landed right on Mason's stick for a partial breakaway, and he scored on a hard wrist shot glove side for the Mason's third of the season and the Red Wings third shorthanded goal in the last five games.
Later in the period, Weston had maybe his save of the night with the blocker on a sprawling save across the crease. The Red Wings would continue to put on the pressure without getting credited for many shots, and take their lead into the third.
After 2: Red Wings 2 - 0 Hawks, shots 11-4 Hawks in the period, 24-9 Hawks overall
Just over a minute into the period, the Red Wings were given their only powerplay of the game. On the powerplay, Ethan Whillans set up a onetimer for Blake Norris, and he fired a shot that was tipped in by Mi-Kwan Tallman to get the Red Wings a comfortable 3-0 lead three minutes into the period.
After some 4-on-4 opened up the ice partway through the period and another successful penalty kill for the Red Wings, the Hawks would get one goal late in the period when they set up some sustained pressure, and Joel Mabin made a move from behind the net out front with a picture perfect backhand in tight right over the glove and under the bar, and the Hawks suddenly had enough life to pull their goaltender.
With the goaltender pulled, Mi-Kwan Tallman would block a shot and go down the left side of the ice, tapping the puck into the net and scoring the empty netter that would secure the win for the Red Wings.
FINAL: Red Wings 4 - 1 Hawks, shots 14-6 Red Wings in the period, 30-23 Hawks overall
Berney Weston is the only 2007 born player to suit up in the SJHL so far this season, and he was shot away from earning a shutout. The team in front of him did a good job supporting him with rebound clears and protecting the middle of the ice, but Weston earned the first star last night through and through.
Weston will not be in the lineup Saturday as he returns to the Swift Current Legionnaires for their game Saturday night's rematch against the Hawks, but is waiting in the wings for his next show stealing opportunity.