Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League

Game Day Preview – Red Wings vs Nipawin Hawks


story by Play-By-Play Voice of the Red Wings, Steven Wilson, of



Weyburn Red Wings (9-4-0-1) vs. Nipawin Hawks (6-3-2-0)

Crescent Point Place, Weyburn, SK

7:30 p.m.

The Weyburn Red Wings will be looking to start a new streak tonight when they host the Nipawin Hawks at Crescent Point Place. For the Hawks, they are seeking a streak of their own, after a loss to the Estevan Bruins last night.

Nipawin has had a fairly solid start to the 2016-17 season. Doug Johnson’s team has been stingy defensively, as they have allowed just 23 goals this season, which is by and far the fewest in the league. They have, though, also played the fewest number of games so far this year, thanks to the quirks of the schedule.

For the Hawks, a big reason for their strong defense has been their goaltending. Kristian Stead has carried the bulk of the work for the Hawks so far this season. His GAA of 1.98 and save percentage of .940 are solid numbers, and have lead to all six of the wins for the team. Given that he has faced an average of 31 shots per game as well, he has definitely earned his title as a premier goaltender in the league.

The offensive output of the Hawks could be one of their biggest drawbacks. They are averaging just over three goals a game, which could when facing a stingy defence like the Red Wings, could result in an uphill struggle on getting goals on the board. With The offensive output for the Red Wings so far in the month of October, they have also been able to score against strong teams and goaltenders. It will be a tough task for Stead against the Wings, but on the flipside, a challenge for the Wings as well.

The Hawks are a disciplined team, as they have been most years under Johnson. They are the second least penalized team in the SJHL so far, despite playing in the Sherwood Division, which has been known as a bit of rough and tumble division in the past few years. The Hawks are also capable of making a team pay for a lapse in discipline, with a powerplay that converts just over 22 per cent of the time. Weyburn, on the other hand, has struggled with the man advantage this year. They are converting just over 17 percent, which is a far cry from where they were at the end of last season. The penalty kill for both teams could be described as average, although the Hawks have had fewer opportunities to ply their trade.

It will be a goaltending duel when these two teams meet. The winner will have momentum when they meet again in one week’s time. For the Wings, the win will give them a point against every team in the Sherwood Division as they head out on the road next week. For the Hawks, they want to salvage as many points as they can on their road trip through the south.


Game Day Preview brought to you by Tim Hortons.