The Richardson Pioneer Weyburn Red Wings opened up the preseason for the 2023-24 season Tuesday night, hitting the highway to take on the Yorkton Terriers. The Red Wings would rally back after an early deficit, winning 3-2 in a shootout.
Weyburn would also welcome their newest assistant coach to the bench ahead of the game. Over the weekend it was announced Willy Mason would be joining the coaching staff. Mason is no stranger to the SJHL, with his son Ty spending two years with the Red Wings. Willy Mason played two seasons with the Estevan Bruins before that. He would even be 4th in penalty minutes for the league in the 1999-00 season.
For Yorkton this would be their first time playing under new head coach, Emery Olauson. Olauson was recently announced as the head coach of the Terriers, taking over for the departing Matt Hehr.
Olauson is no stranger to the SJHL, having spent three seasons in the league, including one with the Red Wings at the turn of the century. From there, he went on to play professionally before coaching with the Fayetteville Fire Antz of the SPHL, the Brand Forks Bruins of the KIJHL, the St. Stephen County Aces and Edmunston Blizzards of the MJAHL and the Columbia Valley Rockies of the KIJHL.
The Terriers would be the first to strike, scoring a pair of goals on starting goalie Ryan Piekarski in just four minutes. From there, the Red Wings would shut things down, limiting the Terriers to just nine shots after the opening 20 minutes.
Weyburn would get on the board at the 8:32 mark of the first period, when Wyatt LaCoste scored on the power play, assisted by Jackson Murphy. Then, 6:45 into the second, Lucas Schmid would score for the Wings to make it 2-2. Liam Fitzgerald and Ryley Cyca would have the helpers on the tally.
Neither team would be able to find the back of the net in the rest of regulation, and through a 3-on-3 overtime period, leading to the shootout. In the shootout, Weyburn would shine as Payton Hu and Ryder Rommalaere would score on Luke McKecknie. At the same time, Piekarski turned aside shootout attempts by Dylan Schoenroth and Kierin Osberg to secure the victory.
The Red Wings won’t have much time to rest, as they are back on the ice Wednesday night in Melville. They play the Bruins in Estevan Friday night, before hosting their Highway 30 rivals Saturday night at Crescent Point Place. The Wings then close out the preseason with games against Yorkton next Wednesday and Notre Dame next Friday.
The regular season opens up at home for the Wings on September 22nd when they host the Terriers at Crescent Point Place.
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