The Richardson Pioneer Weyburn Red Wings return to the ice Friday night, after getting an extended break over the Christmas holidays. They will do so by playing their Highway 39 rivals, the Estevan Bruins, in a home and home series that starts in Estevan.
The game in Estevan will be the first meeting between the two clubs since October 2nd, when the Bruins skated to a 4-2 win over the Wings. Estevan holds the edge in the season series between the two clubs with two wins, however Weyburn has outscored Estevan in the three games 13-9, including a 9-2 drubbing back on September 23rd.
“They’re huge games for us, obviously,” said Red Wings head coach Cody Mapes. “They’re always s huge games when you play Estevan. This home and home will be good. We’re excited to get going; we’ve had a good week of practice.”
Offensively, the Red Wings will be led by the duo of Ryley Morgan and Ty Mason. Since Morgan came to the team in a trade at the November roster deadline, the two have combined for 17 points in a span of six games.
For Morgan, this will be his first time experiencing the Highway 39 rivalry, but he has played in a number of rivalry games as a member of the La Ronge Ice Wolves against the Flin Flon Bombers.
“I’m sure it will be probably pretty similar to La Ronge – Flin Flon, and I’m looking forward to it,” Morgan said.
Mason is expecting the intensity to be turned up a notch.
“I think it’s going to be a good fast, physical game,” Mason told Discover Weyburn. “I think if we play Red Wings hockey, I think we’ll come out on top.”
Coming into the game, the Bruins are currently first in the Viterra Division with a record of 20-15-0-1. The Red Wings are currently sitting in third in the division with a record of 11-18-0-1, and also have six games in hand over the Bruins, which will mean a chance to make up a lot of ground in the standings.
Special teams will also factor heavily into the games on the weekend, as they usually do when the Red Wings take on the Bruins. Coming into the game, the Red Wings have had the fewest power play opportunities in the SJHL, with 112, and have converted on 17 of those for a power play percentage of 15.2, while the Bruins have been able to score on 34 of their 182 power play opportunities, for a conversion of 18.7.
After the game Friday night, the teams will come to Crescent Point Place Saturday for the return half of the home and home series.
Catch all the action in Friday’s game on Red Wing Radio BIG 106, with the pregame show starting at 6:45 p.m. The game Saturday night will start at 7:00 p.m. at Crescent Point Place.