The Richardson Pioneer Weyburn Red Wings snapped a five-game losing streak Friday night, as they topped the Melfort Mustangs 3-2 in a shootout. The game would see goaltender Jackson Fellner stop 25 of the 27 shots he faced through regulation, and then also stop all three shooters in the shootout to secure the victory.
“We contained when we had to in the second period, and got a couple real good kills,” said head coach Cody Mapes after the game.
The Red Wings had appeared to have jumped out to an early lead in the game when Edison Weeks had poked the puck past Melfort goaltender James Venne. The goal, however, was waved off; the referee explained he had blown the play dead before the loose puck in the Melfort crease was put into the net.
Shortly after the disallowed goal, the Mustangs would take the lead. A turnover just inside the Weyburn blue line allowed Zac Somers to skate in, and he would score at the 6:39 of the first period, making it 1-0 Melfort.
Weyburn wouldn’t be denied, though.
The majority of the play in the opening frame was in the Melfort end, with Venne tested 16 times in that period alone. One of those shots, though, would find the twine behind the netminder.
The Mustangs were trying to cycle the puck around in the Weyburn end, when Beau Larson got his stick onto the puck, pushing it out into the neutral zone. This lead to a race between Larson and the Melfort defender. Larson reached the puck first, and put a move on Venne, burying his shot into the goal to even things up.
In the second period, the Mustangs would regain the lead.
Nolan Doell, recently acquired by Melfort in a trade with the La Ronge Ice Wolves, would score on the power play at the 8:30 mark of the frame to make it 2-1.
Neither team would score in the rest of the second, with both goaltenders excelling at both ends.
The third would see Weyburn come out with a flurry of momentum, and early in the period, they tied the game.
Breaking out of their own end, Beau Larson put the puck through the neutral zone onto the stick of Braden Birnie. Birnie would find himself on a partial breakaway, and made a move on Venne, moving to his backhand as he passed in front of the crease, and lifted the puck over the goaltender to make it a 2-2 game. The goal came just 1:55 into the period and left plenty of time for opportunities at both ends.
The goaltenders came through for Melfort and Weyburn, and after the 60 minutes of regulation hockey, the teams found themselves heading to a five-minute overtime period. In the extra frame, neither team was able to score despite a number of chances.
This lead to a shootout, where only one goal was scored. Rookie Ty Mason beat Venne to make it a 3-2 victory for the Red Wings.
“We’re trying not to look back, but you take a licking like that it’s good to come back and win the game,” Mapes related after the game. The Red Wings had lost their previous game against the Mustangs 7-1 in Melfort back on October 29th.
Weyburn will now get ready for a matchup against the Battlefords North Stars Saturday night. The North Stars are coming off a 2-1 win over the Estevan Bruins Friday, extending their winning streak to seven games.
Saturday night’s game will also be the annual Teddy Bear Toss game. Fans are encouraged to bring new or gently used stuffed animals, which will then be thrown onto the ice after the first Red Wings goal of the night. Fans are also invited to skate with the team after the game Saturday. The puck drops at Crescent Point Place at 7:30 p.m.