Weyburn Red Wings (8-3-0-1) vs. Flin Flon Bombers (6-4-1-1)

Crescent Point Place, Weyburn, SK

7:30 p.m.

Great goaltending, moose legs, moose burgers, and a brawl. Those words succinctly sum up the growing rivalry between the Weyburn Red Wings and the Flin Flon Bombers. They renew acquaintances tonight at Crescent Point Place in their second meeting of the season, and the first game played in Weyburn between the two teams since the Bombers won last years quarterfinal series. The intensity of the rivalry, though, is still felt by the fans, after a post-game brawl between the two teams after game four of that series in Flin Flon.

In the previous meeting between the two this season, the Red Wings came away with the win at the SJHL Showcase in Warman. The 4-3 victory saw Shaun FLeming make 42 saves while Landon Walters picked up two goals, including the game winner.

Since those games, the Red Wings found themselves in a bit of funk, giving up 13 goals in two games to the Estevan Bruins and the Humboldt Broncos, before rebounding to win four straight, outscoring their opposition 20-9 in that stretch. For the Bombers, they came back from the loss with a three game winning streak, but then ended up losing four in a row, the most recent a 6-4 loss to the Estevan Bruins. The two separate streaks will collide tonight.

The Bombers this season have been relying on the strength of Dondre Watson to get the puck in the net, as he has 10 goals in 12 games this season. The first year Bomber has accounted for nearly a quarter of the goals scored by the Bombers. With top forwards Brandon Switzer, Joel Kocur and Alex Smith gone from last year, the Bombers have relied on the strong supporting cast from last year, and the new players to the team. It has been paying off, with the Bombers in first in the Sherwood Division. The scoring by committee has been working, but the strength from last season's playoff run seems to have taken a step back.

Brendan Newton and Zac Robidoux, the goaltending tandem that came just short of a Canalta Cup win, have looked average to start the year. While Newton and Robidoux have three wins apiece, and a shutout each, their GAA is fairly far back from the top of the table.

The Red Wings have been scoring by committee as well, and it has helped them propel to the top of the Viterra Division. Returning players such as Cole Woodliffe, Carson Rose, Ian Parker and more have found ways to get the puck in the net. The Red Wings have had every player on the roster pick up a point so far this year as well. The defensive corps has been strong as well.

Jeremy Lagler and Mike Eskra continue to pick up points on the season, quarterbacking the powerplay as well. Lagler also has a four point game under his belt. The play of Blake Dempsey, Carter Budzak and Carson Scheschuk have also been bright spots on defense for the Wings, along with Devon Becker and Dylan McCabe.

The goaltending for the Wings has been spot on as well. The acquisition of Nathan Hargrave has given the Red Wings a strong presence in between the pipes. With Shaun Fleming serving as a strong back-up, who can put in stellar performances in relief, the Red Wings should be good for the season.

The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. at Crescent Point Place. As for what many fans will be expecting in a game between these two burgeoning rivals, I leave you with a video from game four of last year’s quarterfinal series.