The Richardson Pioneer Weyburn Red Wings held the lead over the Melville Millionaires for the majority of the game Friday night, but a pair of third period goals would swing the momentum back to the Millionaires. Melville held on to skate to a 4-3 win over the Wings.
Melville had initially jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first two minutes of the game. Noah Wills scored 1:39 into the first period, and it was followed up with a goal by Zach Cain at the 1:54 mark.
“It’s tough when you’re down 2-0 a minute and a half in; it’s tough to come back from that,” said Red Wings head coach Cody Mapes after the game. “The guys did a good job to battle back and came out of the first period with the lead.”
The comeback for the Red Wings was started by defenseman Sebastian Hamming. Skating in his fourth game with the club, Hamming would beat Melville goalie Alexis Giroux at the 7:52 mark, taking a feed from Davis Chorney and firing it on goal. The original shot was stopped, but persistence paid off as Hamming found the net. The other assist on the goal was credited to Cooper Chisholm.
The Wings would then get another first goal, this time from Troy Hamilton. In just his second game of the year, the forward from Brandon, Manitoba, who was acquired last week from the Waywayseecappo Wolverines of the MJHL, beat Giroux at the 8:41 mark to give Weyburn the lead. The goal was set up by Graham Skinner, who rifled the puck along the wall into the Millionaires zone, chasing after it himself, and then passing it out front for Hamilton to put it in.
The Wings weren’t content with just tying the game, however. Hamilton scored his second of the game just under five minutes later, this time of the power play.
The Wings took advantage of an offensive zone faceoff, with Hamilton playing the puck back to Dobson at the blueline. Looking at his options, Dobson noticed Hamilton was standing in the right-wing faceoff circle all by himself, and took the feed and ripped it on goal. It had initially looked like Giroux would drop down to make the save, but the puck went five-hole, and the Red Wings were up 3-2 after 20 minutes.
In the second period, Jackson Fellner did all he could to preserve the lead for the Red Wings. The rookie netminder faced 13 shots in the second period, and he turned them all aside, as Weyburn found themselves in a bit of penalty trouble. The Wings ended up taking three minors, and an additional 10-minute misconduct penalty through the period, with Melville doing all they could to try to tie the game up.
“We haven’t seen that in a while and that bit us tonight,” said Mapes after the game about the penalty trouble. “Even If you don’t give up a power play goal, you have guys sitting in the box and guys taking tens, and this just can’t happen.”
Their efforts would eventually pay off in the third period when Cain scored his second of the night. With the game tied, Melville looked for the go-ahead goal, and that came when Cole Larocque managed to beat Fellner with just over eight minutes remaining in the third to make it a 4-3 game.
In the final moments of the third, the Red Wings threw everything they had at Giroux to try to even things up. Perhaps the best chance came from Hamilton, who had a wide-open cage but Giroux managed somehow to get his pad across, tipping the puck wide with his skate.
The Red Wings will have the weekend off, and then start preparing for the road trip this week into the Sherwood Division. The Wings open it up Wednesday night in Melfort, with games Friday and Saturday in Flin Flon.