The Richardson Pioneer Weyburn Red Wings continue their seven-game homestand Friday night as the La Ronge Ice Wolves come to town.
The last time the two teams met was back on December 2nd when the Ice Wolves eked out a 5-3 victory over the Red Wings. This time, however, there will be some big differences to the lineup for the Ice Wolves, as they are missing defenseman Kaycee Coyle and forward Ethan Strik to suspensions handed down by Hockey Canada. The Red Wings are also coming into the game as the hottest team in the SJHL, having finished January with a record of 7-2-0-1.
Being on home ice for a long stretch has also been beneficial for the team, according to captain Matthew Reidy.
“It’s nice when we get our home crowd here, and we can do our same routine as always, so it’s always good playing at home,” Reidy said after practice Thursday.
Reidy has come into his own this season. Last year with the Wings, the feisty forward from St. Albert, Alberta finished with eight points in 44 games. This year, he has doubled his goal total with four and has 14 points overall in just 36 games. Half of those points came in the month of January, including a three-assist performance on January 21st against Melville. He also leads the team in penalty minutes with 165.
The team is hoping that the hot play in the month of January can carry over to February as they look to further separate themselves from the rest of the pack, and climb up the standings towards first in the Viterra Division.
“Just play like we’ve been playing and things will work out,” added forward Matteo Turrin. “We’ve been playing hard, playing with a lot of integrity and speed so I think if we keep that up, we’ll be fine.”
Turrin is in his first season with the Red Wings, and in 19 games, has picked up 16 points.
The Red Wings have also been lighting the lamp at a breakneck pace over the past month. They scored 42 goals in the month of January – 4.2 per game. They have already matched their total output for goals so far this season with 128, and are poised to continue the pace heading into February.
They are being led offensively by the trio of Jakob Kalin, Ty Mason and Ryley Morgan. Kalin finished January off with eight goals and six assists, while Mason finished the month with 15 points in total, including eight goals, and Morgan added 12 points, including four goals.
The Red Wings come into the weekend sitting in 8th place in the SJHL, holding down the last playoff spot. They have two games in hand on the Nipawin Hawks, who are seven points up on them for 7th place and have five games in hand on the Estevan Bruins, who are winless in their last four and are in 6th place. This means the next couple of weekends will be crucial for the Wings as they finish off their homestand.
The game Friday against La Ronge and Saturday against Yorkton will both be at Crescent Point Place, and the puck drops for both games at 7:00 p.m.