SEPTEMBER 5TH EXHIBITION GAME
Courtesy of Steven Wilson, Voice of the Red Wings and DiscoverWeyburn.com
The Weyburn Red Wings opened the preseason schedule Tuesday night, but it would be the Notre Dame Hounds who came out on the winning side, notching a 2-1 victory. Despite the loss, Red Wings head coach Wes Rudy was pleased with the performance of his team.
“Notre Dame threw probably 90 per cent of their line-up at us tonight, and we had a really young lineup,” Rudy said after the game. “I thought they played well, and stepped up to the plate, and didn’t quit, which is nice, and we were right there until the buzzer went.”
The Hounds opened the scoring in the first period, when Curtis Wiebe forced a turnover at the Weyburn blue line, and came in unopposed, scoring unassisted on starting goalie Cody Levesque.Notre Dame would add another goal just before the 15-minute mark of the second when Luke Mylymok scored on Jake MacLennan, who played in the second half of the game.
The Red Wings had plenty of quality chances during the first two periods but were unable to solve the goaltending tandem of Jacob Standen and Tanner Douglas who patrolled the crease for the Hounds. A number of those chances came on the power play, as the Red Wings had six opportunities with the man advantage.
One of the players receiving top power play line minutes was Cade Kowalski. The forward from Morden, Manitoba is in his first pre-season with the Wings. He had a role in generating those opportunities while working with veterans like Noah Wozney and Ben Hiltz.
“It felt good. They really helped me out there a lot,” said Kowalski. “We talked a lot out there, said what we liked, what we didn’t like, and we’ll get back at it.”
Another player in his first pre-season was Ethan Ernst. The underage player was skating in his final game of the preseason before he returns to the Notre Dame Midget AAA program. Hailing from Weyburn, Ernst was excited about having the chance to play in front of his hometown. It was a moment he will likely remember for a long time.
“It was pretty cool with all the fans here, cheering me on, just going out there and showing them what I could do.”
In the third period, the Red Wings looked for a spark to generate offense and found it in the form of Ben MacLennan. Another rookie, he is the younger brother of Red Wings goaltender Jake MacLennan. The rookie threw a number of big hits and dropped the gloves with Notre Dame defenseman Burke Johnstone late in the game.
Shortly after the spirited scrap, the Red Wings pulled the older MacLennan from the net in favor of the extra attacker. The strategy worked, with the Red Wings getting a great chance with just over a minute to go.
Jevon Schwean and rookie Chase Nameth set up veteran blueliner Jamieson Ree, who made no mistakes with his shot from just inside the blue line, beating Douglas in the Notre Dame net. The goal gave the Wing a boost for the final minutes, as they threw everything they had at the net to notch the equalizer.
Ultimately, though, they couldn’t get the second goal, and the Hounds came away with the 2-1 victory.
The Red Wings will now get ready for their next game, Wednesday night against the Waywayseecappo Wolverines of the MJHL. The Wolverines are coming off an 11-0 drubbing at the hands of the Bruins Tuesday. The puck drops on the exhibition game at 7:30 p.m. at Crescent Point Place.