TONIGHT AT 7:30 AT CRESCENT POINT PLACE
story by Play-By-Play Voice of the Red Wings, Steven Wilson, of DiscoverWeyburn.com
Weyburn Red Wings (14-11-0-3) vs. Kindersley Klippers (11-19-1-0)
Crescent Point Place, Weyburn, SK
The Weyburn Red Wings will be looking to extend their point streak to five games, as they host the Kindersley Klippers tonight at Crescent Point Place. A win will also give the Wings back to back victories, something that hasn’t happened since their northern road trip in late October. This will be the third meeting of the season between the two teams. The first two games have been split, with the Wings winning the meeting at the SJHL Showcase in Warman 1-0, but the Klippers taking the game in Weyburn back on Nov. 4th with an 8-3 final.
Kindersley is coming into the game having lost their last two games, falling to Notre Dame 3-1, and Estevan 4-1. The Klippers are also 2-8 in their last ten games, dropping down the Finning Division standings, after pushing to try to take second from the Humboldt Broncos just weeks ago. A flurry of trades at the deadline might help the team.
The Klippers have picked up Cam Shorrock, Kyle Sargent and Jake Gerbner from the Nipawin Hawks, as well as Maison Martin from the Fort McMurray Oil Barons of the AJHL. Part if the deals, though saw the Klippers lose their leading scorer, Josh Bly. For the Red Wings, they have added a few new faces recently as well, with the pick up of Jamieson Ree from the Lloydminster Bobcats, and Ryan Rothenburger from the Swan Valley Stampeders.
Goaltending is a question mark for tonight’s game, with the Red Wings potentially having to go with Shaun Fleming or Jake McLennan in net. Carter Phair, who has been given the starter’s mantle since coming to the team early last month, may not be dressed, as he is day to day with an upper body injury. At the other end, the Klippers, who have allowed the third most goals against in the league so far this season, will need to decide between Nick Trenciansky, who is 3-7-1 on the season, or Justen Close, who is 5-7, but has three shutouts. Trenciansky has taken the last few starts for the Klippers, so it could be Close in goal tonight.
Discipline is another huge factor in the game. The Klippers play a rough and tumble style of hockey, and are the most penalized team in the league by a country mile. They also entice their opponents to take the penalties with them. The Klippers have been involved in one multi-fight situation this year, and combined with the Estevan Bruins for the most penalty minutes in a game this season, a dubious distinction which fell just recently.
On the other hand, the Red Wings are in the middle of the pack in terms of penalties, as they are most years. They have been known for taking a number of misconduct penalties for talking a little too much to the referees after a perceived bad call, or missed call, but the tempers seem to have settled as of late. The Red Wings also have very few fighting majors on the season, which overall they would like to keep that way.
Improving special teams are a message that has been preached by Wes Rudy, head coach of the Weyburn Red Wings, all season. The power play has started to show promise, with the fundamentals of the system in place, and the players able to move the puck well. Finishing has been the concern, though, with the team going 18-for-120 so far this season, or 15 per cent. On the penalty kill, the Wings have had problems shutting down the opposition, and currently have the worst PK in the league at just 77.5 per cent. Kindersley, who has had to kill of the most penalties in the league, does have one of the strongest penalty kills in the league, at 84.5 per cent, while their power play is marginally better than the Red Wings at 16.3 per cent.
When the puck drops tonight, the Wings will be looking to close out at home before their road trip through the Sherwood division with a few wins. The Klippers want to pick up at least two points on their road swing through the southeast, and would like nothing more to start picking up those points tonight.
Game Preview sponsored by Tim Hortons