courtesy of Steven Wilson, discoverweyburn.com
It was a controversial finish to the game Thursday night between the Weyburn Red Wings and the Battlefords North Stars, as a goal was allowed with the net off the moorings with 1:51 left in the game, giving the Battlefords a 2-1 win over the Red Wings.
The Two teams went toe-to-toe for much of the game, with the goaltenders getting a workout. Arik Weersink made 32 saves in the loss, while Taryn Kotchorek made 18 saves to pick up the win.
The North Stars were the first to get on the board in the opening frame when a dump in by Chaseton Braid went off the stick of Ben Hiltz and past Weersink. The goal came at the 4:52 mark of the period, and the Wings didn’t waste much time getting it back. Just over 3:30 later, with a power play, Cade Kowalski found Ty Brown in front of the North Stars goal, and the wily veteran got the puck past Kotchorek. Mike Eskra had the other assist on the power play marker.
Neither team would score again, despite several opportunities throughout the rest of the first period, the entire second, and the majority of the third. The controversy came with pressure from the North Stars late in the game.
With a number of players in the crease, one of the North Stars shoved Eskra into Weersink, while Braid fired the puck on net. At the same time, the force of Eskra colliding with Weersink forced the net off the moorings. The puck slid past Weersink, and the goal was allowed to stand, giving the North Stars the edge.
Red Wings head coach Wes Rudy was visibly upset the goal was counted. Referees Adam Bloski and Hayden Brown didn’t explain the goal, despite the protestations of the Red Wings bench.
In the final 1:51, the Wings pressured, with a number of great opportunities, but Kotchorek was able to keep Weyburn at bay, preserving the win.
With the game between the two teams being the only one on the SJHL schedule, the Red Wings remain five points back of the Estevan Bruins for first in the Viterra Division and two points back of the Notre Dame Hounds for sixth. The loss does eliminate one of the games in hand the Wings had over each team.