The Weyburn Red Wings dominated the second and third period of Monday night’s game against the Melville Millionaires, using three power-play goals to come away with a 4-1 win. The victory is the second in a row for the Wings.
With the Red Wings bench a little short of regulars, two local AP’s were used in the game. Jaxon Robertson, who plays for the Midget AA John Hulbert Construction Wings was backing up starting goalie Arik Weersink. Zac Robins, who skates with the Midget AAA Moose Jaw Generals, was patrolling the blue line, paired with Red Wings captain Mike Eskra.
“It was a great experience, playing here all my life growing up and then going to Moose Jaw, it’s nice to play in front of my old friends and family,” Robins said after the game.
The power play was key to the majority of the goals scored in the game. It started in the first period when Melville forward Tucker Chapman gave the Money Men an early lead when he fired a rebound past Weersink with the man advantage. It would be the extent of the offense for the Millionaires, as the Red Wings came back from the first intermission hungry to pick up the win.
“Wasn’t a huge fan of the first period, but I thought that the guys came out in the second and really started shooting pucks and getting to the net,” Red Wings assistant coach Tucker Neuberger explained.
While the Red Wings didn’t beat Melville goalie Connor Dochuk in the second, it wasn’t due to a lack of effort. Weyburn outshot Melville 20-3 in the middle period, with Dochuk called upon to make a number of key saves. The pressure kept up in the third, with the Red Wings finally bursting the dam open to score four unanswered goals.
Chapman was given a double minor for high sticking when his stick caught Red Wings veteran Landon Walters in the face. The damage was a number of broken teeth, resulting in the four minutes. Walters would get the best revenge possible. Just 90 seconds after taking the stick to the face, Walters beat Dochuk from the left-hand side of the crease, assisted by Cole Woodliffe and Jevon Schwean. The goal ended an 11 game goalless drought for the 20-year-old from Regina.
“It felt awesome. It was a big drought and I had to get out of it, and it felt great,” Walters said.
It would only take 19 seconds for the Wings to score their next goal, on the back half of the four-minute double minor, when Ty Brown took a feed from Ben Hiltz and wired it past Dochuk. The goal was also assisted by rookie Cade Kowalski.
With a two-one lead, the Red Wings didn’t let up. They would go on to fire 23 shots in total in the third period, but now they were going through. The frustration at seeing so many pucks got to Dochuk, as he was given a minor for unsportsmanlike conduct when he batted the puck out of the playing surface after a whistle.
The onslaught from the Red Wings didn’t let up, though. With just under five minutes remaining on the clock in the third, Erik Olson notched his ninth of the campaign, when he wired in a one-timer on a pass from Kowalski. Eskra was handed the other assist on the goal, which was the third power-play marker of the night for the Red Wings.
The scoring was finished off by Ben Hiltz, who batted a puck down the ice, while short-handed and with the Melville net empty, to make it a 4-1 game. Woodliffe and Wyatt Arndt were credited with assists on the goal.
The Red Wings, who are now once again tied with Estevan for first in the Viterra Division, will have a few days off before their next game. They play host to the Humboldt Broncos on Friday. It will be the first meeting of the season between the two teams. Saturday night, Weyburn then hosts the Battlefords North Stars, who they beat 1-0 this past Saturday.