Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League

Game Day Preview – Red Wings vs Bruins


by the Voice of the Red Wings, Steven Wilson from


The Weyburn Red Wings and the Estevan Bruins will be meeting for the seventh time this season, when they take the ice tonight at Crescent Point Place. The storied rivalry has seen many twists and turns over the past few seasons, and this year, a few new chapters have been added to the book.

The Red Wings enter the game looking to rebound from a 2-1 loss at the hands of the Notre Dame Hounds on Tuesday, while the Bruins’ last game was a 5-4 win over the Yorkton Terriers.

Last season, the Red Wings held onto first place in the division from wire-to-wire, with the Bruins looking to play catch-up. This year, the Bruins have had that advantage, but the Wings have been holding steady, and are now in a position to close the gap. The Bruins have a tough series of inter-divisional games coming up in the next few weeks, against opponents they have struggled against, while the Red Wings will have a similar schedule, but with better records against those same opponents.

Coming into the game tonight, the Wings will look to veterans like Carson Rose and Braden Mellon to carry the offense. Rose has scored in each of the four past games, putting up seven goals in that time span. Mellon has six assists in the same time frame, and has put up 10 points in the last nine games. Their linemate, Jake Wozney, has been no slouch in the offensive department either, as he has 10 points in the same span as well.

The blueline for the Wings has also been contributing well on offense, with Erik Olson picked up six points in the last five games, and Mike Eskra chipping in with some key goals as of late, including a game winner over the Battlefords North Stars a few weeks back.

The Bruins are a potent, high scoring team, third in the league behind only the Battlefords and Flin Flon. They are lead by Matt McNeill, who has 54 points, with Lynnden Pastachak right behind him. The Bruins have eight players with 30 or more points on the roster. Where they have struggled this year is when it comes to discipline, and keeping the puck out of the net.

The Bruins are the second most penalized team in the league, and average nearly 30 minutes a game. Their opponents have used this to their advantage, with 47 power play goals against Estevan.

The goaltending has also been a key issue for them all season long. Only three other teams have allowed more goals than Estevan, and those teams all have records below .500. Nathan Alalouf and Curtis Meger, who have shared the duties in the crease all season, have GAA’s of 3.25 and 3.22 respectively, and save percentages barely over .900. At the other end of the ice, Carter Phair, who has carried the bulk of the starts lately for Weyburn, has a GAA of 2.23, and a save percentage of .930.

The game tonight starts at Crescent Point Place at 7:30 p.m. You can catch the broadcast live on Red Wing Radio K106, starting with the pregame show at 7:20 p.m. The return game of this key home-and-home series will be played tomorrow night in Estevan.


Game Day Preview sponsored by Tim Hortons.