The Weyburn Red Wings played a home-and-home series against the Estevan Bruins over the weekend. First to host the Highway 39 rivalry was Weyburn on Friday night.
Before the game even started, tensions were high in Crescent Point Place. Bruins fans packed the stands and the chirping between the two teams fans started early.
On the ice, the Bruins demolished the Red Wings 7-0. With two power play goals and two heart-breaking shorthanded goals, the Red Wings were completely stunned by their rivals.
As with any good rivalry, a couple fights broke loose. Justin Plett was kicked out early in the second with a game misconduct. From there, Bruins’ Jake Heerspink and Red Wings’ Burke Johnston dropped the gloves resulting in both of them being handed five minutes for fighting and a game misconduct. Carson Scheschuk and Bruins Turner Ripplinger quickly followed with a fight of their own.
The Red Wings had a small bench to begin the game with as Garrett Szeremley, Sean Olson, Jacob Piller and Carsen Robertson did not dress for the game. With three more Wings’ players being benched, the team could not catch a break with the majority of the game play remaining in their end.
The next day on Saturday, the two teams faced off in Estevan. The game didn’t start off near as ugly as the night before. The Bruins were able to put two up on the board before Jordan Kazymyra scored the first Red Wings goal of the series. Will Cruise and Dawson McKenzie were credited with the assists.
With one more Bruins goal in the first and three to follow in the second, the Bruins were up 6-1 on the Wings. At 16:01 in the second, Heerspink got a two-minute roughing penalty giving the Wings a one-man advantage and allowed the newest Red Wing, Tyler Leibl, a chance to score an unassisted goal.
The game was not without its fights. Call-up Red Wing Keigan Callander threw fists with Kolton Leslie just eight seconds in the second period. The two of them were given five-minute fighting penalties and game misconducts. Just as the second period was coming to a close, Bruins Tristyn DeRoose instigated a fight with Red Wings’ defenceman, Eric Soar, resulting in DeRoose being given two minutes for slashing, two minutes for instigating, five minutes for fighting and a game misconduct. Soar only served a two-minute roughing penalty. The Bruins went on to score a seventh goal before the end of game time with a final score of 7-2.
After these two messy games, the Red Wings now sit three points behind the last playoff spot which is currently occupied by the Melville Millionaires. This weekend the team will hit the road for three critical away games against challenging opponents.
On Thursday, Weyburn will be hosted by the second-place team in the league, the Kindersley Klippers. Then on Friday and Saturday, the boys will play back-to-back games against the Humboldt Broncos. While both teams are placed quite highly in the standings, the Red Wings proved the weekend before that they have the ability to outplay these teams.
The Red Wings had a solid base against the top team in the league, the Nipawin Hawks, on Jan. 25. While they took a 2-1 overtime loss, the Wings played an impressive game. The Red Wings defeated the Melfort Mustangs 5-4 on Jan. 26, who were sitting in fifth place at the time. This proves that the Red Wings have the skills to beat the top teams in the league, but they just have to make sure their mindsets and drive are focused and come ready to play.