The Richardson Pioneer Weyburn Red Wings closed out a four-night, three-game homestand Monday night as the La Ronge Ice Wolves came to town. The Ice Wolves themselves were finishing off a five-night, four-game road trip. La Ronge would capitalize on a pair of goals by Aaron Greyeyes and hold on to top the Red Wings 3-2.
“It was a tough loss,” said Assistant coach Nathan Deck after the game. “We had a solid weekend and we wanted to finish it off here but we just didn’t have the effort we needed here tonight. They played hard, simple, didn’t do anything special. They just worked hard and we didn’t match it.”
The Ice Wolves opened the scoring in the game just 3:17 into the first period when Greyeyes scored on a 5-on-3 power play. Weyburn captain Braden Birnie had taken a slashing penalty just under two minutes into the game, and then Nik Sombrowski was called for tripping while dropping to block a shot on the ensuing power play, prompting the two-man advantage.
The first period would be a chippy one, with the two teams combining for 36 minutes in penalties, most of those minutes coming from coincidental roughing penalties or misconducts. Despite both teams getting power play opportunities in the period, the Greyeyes goal would be the only one of the frame.
Weyburn managed to tie things up early in the second period. Drew Kuzma notched his ninth of the season, assisted by Sombrowski, just 1:25 into the period. The tie wouldn’t last long, though.
Just over three minutes later, Greyeyes scored his second of the game to restore the lead.
The chippiness didn’t abate in the period, either. The teams would combine for nine penalties, four of those roughing minors.
In the third, La Ronge extended the lead to two goals when Ethan Strik scored at the 7:46 mark of the frame. Up 3-1, La Ronge started to close down defensively, limiting opportunities for Weyburn.
Sombrowski would then score a goal of his own with 8:04 to play in the period. His twelfth of the season was set up by Nick Dobson, who pulled defenders towards him when he carried the puck down low into the corner. His pass over to Sombrowski then found the twine behind Xavier Cannon to make it 3-2.
The Red Wings pressured in the dying moments with a number of quality opportunities, including a few with an extra attacker on the ice in place of goaltender Jackson Fellner. Ultimately, though, Cannon would prevent the Red Wings from tying up the game and forcing overtime.
After the three games in four nights, the Red Wings will now get set to head back on the road, playing the first of four road games Friday night in Melville. They then head up for a trip to Melfort and Flin Flon, not returning to Crescent Point Place until December 17th when they host Melville.