FOLLOWING TONIGHT’S GAME IS THE PROGRESSIVE 50/50 DRAW – POT OVER $45,000
story by Play-By-Play Voice of the Red Wings, Steven Wilson, of DiscoverWeyburn.com
Weyburn Red Wings (11-7-0-1) vs. Kindersley Klippers (7-10-1-0)
7:30 p.m., Weyburn SK
Crescent Point Place
The Weyburn Red Wings will be looking to pull themselves out of a two game skid when they host the Klippers tonight,. It is the first home game for the Wings in nearly two weeks after they went 2-2 on a road trip through the Sherwood Division last week. For the Klippers, the are 2-7-1-0 in their last ten games, and have falled to last place in the Finning Division.
This will be the second meeting of the season between the two teams. The played at the SJHL Showcase in Warman, with the Wings coming away with a 1-0 victory. The game was the first time Wings netminder Nathan Hargrave took the ice against his former team, and it was also the first shutout of the season for the netminder. Since that game, the two teams have been on similar trajectories. Kindersley has gone 5-6, with many of their wins being one goal games. The Klippers have also been a little shell-shocked in that span, with five games where they gave up 5+ goals. Weyburn has gone 7-6 in the 13 games since the last meeting between the two teams, and in that stretch, have kept pace with their opponents, scoring 43 goals, and allowing 43.
Both teams come into the game off of shutouts. For the Klippers, it was against the Notre Dame Hounds Thursday night, with Notre Dame picking up the 3-0 win, limiting Kindersley to just 14 shots on goal. For the Red Wings, they were shutout by the Nipawin Hawks 2-0 last Saturday, as they were unable to solve the Nipawin netminder, as he turned away all 45 shots faced.
Discipline has been a key issue for both teams so far this season. The Red Wings are the third most penalized team, with 412 penalty minutes in 19 games. They have given up 93 power play opportunities, and 20 power play goals. The 78.5 per cent penalty kill rate is ranked 8th in the league. Kindersley, on the other hand, comes into the game with the third pest penalty kill in the league. While they are second in the league with PIMs (465), they have only allowed 17 power play goals while being shorthanded 105 times this year.
The power play will be a major factor in the game. The inability to convert with the man advantage has been a sore spot for the Wings in recent weeks, and they will be looking to show improvement at home. They have a power play conversion of just 16.3 per cent, which is ninth in the league. The only solace for the team is that Kindersley’s is tenth in the league, at 13.8 per cent.
Offense is something the Red Wings are looking to improve upon each and every night, but it isn’t like they aren’t getting the opportunities. They are fourth in the league in average shot attempts, with 34.37 a game. The problem is that they are giving up just as many back the other way. The Wings will be looking to some of their big guns up front to get the puck in past the goaltender tonight as they seek to break their slump.
The Red Wings are 3-2 against Finning Division opponents so far this season, while the Klippers have won two of their three games against opponents from the Viterra Division. The lone loss coming against the Wings at the Showcase. For the Wings, the win tonight will help edge them closer to the Estevan Bruins, who are beginning to pull away from the rest of the Viterra Division. Kindersley is looking for the win so they can try to get some momentum to get out of the basement of a very competitive Finning Division.
The puck drops at Crescent Point Place at 7:30 p.m.
Game Day Preview brought to you by Tim Hortons.