The Richardson Pioneer Weyburn Red Wings have started 2023 at breakneck speed.
Since returning from the Christmas break, the team has put up a record of 6-2, including a pair of wins over the Estevan Bruins. Their points percentage of .750 since January 1st is second best in the league, and they have been averaging four goals a game, the third highest amongst the SJHL’s 12 teams.
“I think before Christmas we were trending the right way, but we just weren’t necessarily getting the results,” said Red Wings head coach Cody Mapes. “I think things have kind of come together. We’ve been getting good goaltending and we’ve been at home too and we’ve been good here.”
The Red Wings have posted 11 wins in the 18 games they have played at home this season, and of their seven losses, all but two have been by a single goal. The Red Wings have also been able to find ways to score at home as well, averaging 4.11 goals for per game at Crescent Point Place, and 4.25 since January 1st. The overall season goals for per game for the Red Wings has been 3.10, which means the friendly confines of CPP have been to their advantage this year.
The goal-scoring by the Red Wings this season is also greatly outpacing where they were last year. In 57 games, the 2021-22 Red Wings had a total of 128 goals for or a goals for per game of 2.25. So far this season, with 38 games played, Weyburn already has 118 goals.
The Red Wings are on pace to hit 189 goals for this season, which last season would have put them in the middle of the pack, and based on what teams currently are on pace for, would be the fifth-highest in the league at the end of the regular season.
Defensively the team has also been fairly solid as of late. While they have allowed 3.76 goals against per game on the season, at Crescent Point Place they have allowed 3.35 goals per game. This has been in part due to the goaltending, as well as the buy-in from the rest of the team.
“Guys are feeding off it,” Mapes said when it comes to the willingness of everyone on the roster to step up and do things like block shots. “It kinda started with guys like Ian Maier, and Kovacs, and Reidy and Jeffreys and those guys but everybody seems to be doing it now.”
The Red Wings are also riding the momentum of a four-game winning streak as they look to continue their seven-game homestand at Crescent Point Place. They will be playing the Melfort Mustangs on Friday, and then the Kindersley Klippers on Saturday as they aim to make it six wins in a row. The points will also go a long way in helping them move up the standings, as they seek to catch the Nipawin Hawks for seventh overall.