The Richardson Pioneer Weyburn Red Wings started 2024 off on the right foot, as they clinched the Highway 39 Cup with a 3-2 win over the Estevan Bruins Friday night. The win also vaulted Weyburn into sole possession of first place in the Viterra Division

It would be the Bruins, however, who were first on the board, as Daniel Tokariwski scored at the 7:35 mark of the opening period to give Estevan the lead. Weyburn, though, was eager to get the goal back and would do so by the end of the period. 

Nick Kovacs would score his fourth goal of the season on the power play with 3:46 left on the clock to even things up 1-1. The goal was assisted by Jerome Maharaj, who picked up his team-leading 20th assist with the helper. 

In the second period, the Red Wings would continue to pour the pressure on Estevan starter Cam Hrdlicka, and it paid off with 6:42 remaining. Elijah Anderson would put the puck past Hrdlicka to make it a 2-1 game, with Tyler Teasdale assisting on the goal. 

Then, the Red Wings would add to the lead early in the third, as Jaxon Ruthven scored his seventh of the year, with Maharaj adding his second assist of the night. The power play goal came 6:43 into the frame. 

The Bruins would ramp up their pressure to try to pull even. They would fire 17 shots on Dazza Mitchell in the period, with just one managing to get past the veteran netminder. That lone goal came with 5:17 to play in the period from Zach Burfoot, making it 3-2. 

From there, the Red Wings would turn up the intensity on defence even further, and limited quality scoring opportunities from their storied rivals. This included a key penalty kill with 2:03 left on the clock, with the Estevan net empty in favour of the extra attacker. 

Weyburn would kill off that win and preserve the win to improve to 13-12-0-4 on the season. 

The Red Wings will be back in action Saturday night, as they travel to Melville for their first match-up of the season with the Millionaires. You can catch all the action in that game on Great Plains Ford Red Wings Radio, Country 106.7. Nick Nielsen will have the call, with the pregame show starting at 6:45 p.m.

The two teams will then meet back at Crescent Point Place Tuesday night.