The Weyburn Red Wings hosted their Highway 39 rivals, the Estevan Bruins, for the annual New Year’s Day game, the Tom Huston Classic.
The Wings stepped onto the ice with that “New Year, New Me” attitude to snatch a win that ended a previous six-game losing streak. However, missing from the lineup was captain Cade Kowalski. Not only was Kowalski nowhere to be seen at the rink, he wasn’t even mentioned as one of the players not dressed. Nonetheless, the Wings proved that they didn’t need their captain to find success.
With a large portion of the stands being filled with Estevan Bruins fans, the Wings’ confidence seemed a bit shaken at first, allowing the Bruins to get the first goal of the game. This however was the exact wakeup call the boys needed as just over eight minutes in the frame, Ben Hiltz answered back with an unassisted goal. Jordan Kazymyra then found himself wide open in front of the net to receive a pass from Hiltz and snap the puck to the back of the net.
The second period brought more success for the Wings with Hiltz once again getting an unassisted goal. Later in the frame, Ty Brown brought the puck past the blue line to behind the Bruins’ net. Jacob Piller came to help Brown defend off the Bruins players and was able to chip the puck over the net to a wide-open Jevon Schwean who hammered it past the Bruins’ goaltender. It’s important to mention that Schwean managed this while heavily bleeding from his face due to a mouth injury.
The Bruins certainly turned up the heat for the third period and outshout the Wings 20-7, but Cody Levesque was in the zone and wasn’t letting anything past him. With multiple two-on-one plays, Levesque stood his ground and protected his net like his life depended on it. It was quite an impressive show by the rookie, sending the fans into an eruption of cheers every time he made a save.
In an attempt to even out the score, the Bruins pulled their goalie, but it backfired with Sean Olson gliding the puck past the goal with a shot taken from Wings’ territory. To end off the scoring for the night, Drew Anderson grabbed his first goal as a Red Wing on the power play. Brown and Piller were credited with the assists.
The Red Wings swept the Bruins with a 6-1 win, in large credit to Levesque who was awarded the first star of the game for saving 45 out of the 46 shots taken at him.
The Wings really get down to business this weekend with a pair of games. On Friday, the Melville Millionaires come to Crescent Point Place to take on the Red Wings. Then on Saturday, the team travels to Yorkton to face the Terriers. Both games will require the boys’ full attention and skillset with Yorkton sitting third in the league and Melville only sitting one spot above the Wings. The puck drops for both games at 7:30 p.m.