In an emotional contest between the Weyburn Red Wings and Yorkton Terriers, it would be the Wings coming out on top with a 4–2 victory.
Both goalies were suiting up against their former teams and it would be Ben Laidlaw outduelling Riley Lamb to backstop the Wings to their third consecutive victory. He made 45 saves and earned First Star honours.
“It felt really good. That's sort of been the exciting part of this whole trade for me, just getting a fresh start," the winning goaltender said. "Coming into a room like that with great people who play good defence and great in their own end, it's definitely helped me a lot out there.”
Former Wing Riley Lamb was making his second consecutive start for Yorkton and allowed four goals on 25 shots.
“Ben was excellent and has been these past two games. I'm happy for him," head coach Kyle Haines said. "He's getting thrown into the fire there and he has something to prove. When a team gets rid of a guy, you definitely want to show them they made the wrong move. I'm very happy for him and he faced a lot of shots tonight. He played really well for us."
On this night it would be the Red Wings drawing first blood as their lethal powerplay struck again. Sean Olson stayed hot with his sixth goal since the Christmas break. The lead wouldn’t last long however, as Jared Legien made a great rush up the ice and slipped it five-hole to even the game up.
All square after 20 minutes, the teams continued to battle back-and-forth in the middle period. Yorkton’s Dino Antoniadis was the beneficiary of a ghastly turnover and threw the puck on net and a bad hop fooled Laidlaw. It was the last time he was beat on the night.
The Red Wings didn’t quit though and evened things up just 1:29 later. Will Cruise potted his third of the season past Lamb to knot things back up at 2–2 through two periods.
With two big points on the line, the Wings came out of the locker room and were the hungrier team. Drew Anderson scored for the third straight game and it would stand as the eventual game-winner. Seventeen-year-old defenceman Mkyllan Couture recorded his first career point with an assist on the marker.
Laidlaw kept his team in front with a number of high-quality stops, including a couple on the sniper Legien.
A great passing play would be finished up in front by Ty Brown for his sixth goal of the season. It was another powerplay goal for the Wings and it would be the insurance goal the team needed.
Yorkton was flustered and unable to amount much of a comeback bid in the final minutes. Some great defensive play, selfless shot blocking and a great overall team effort in the third period helped ice the win for Weyburn. The third straight win for the Wings keeps them undefeated in 2019.
Coach Haines has this team rolling and can’t say enough good things about the team’s recent effort.
“It's been a lot of fun to be apart of. I feel like we've got a different hockey team here," Haines said. "Guys are buying in all over the ice. We're blocking shots, getting pucks deep and it looks like we're having fun out there. We're playing good hockey and it's fun to see.”
With a Melville overtime loss, the Wings creep up and within three points of the Mils for the final playoff spot with 21 games left on the year. It’s certainly going to be an interesting stretch run in the SJHL.
Weyburn will get a few days off before kicking off a three-game home stand next weekend. Melville will be back in town on Friday night, with Lamb and the Terriers visiting Crescent Point Place on Saturday.