The Ice Wolves rolled into the Northern Lights Palace on a season long ten game winning streak. Actually an SJHL high ten game winning streak. The Mustangs on the other hand are experiencing their first bout of adversity since all of the big deals Darrell Mann made at the trade deadline.
Having only won four of their last ten games the Mustangs could really use a spark in the form of ending the Wolves streak.
Although it seemed improbable at one point, the Mustangs almost go that spark courtesy of their powerplay. They would fall just short though and the Ice Wolves came out with a 4-3 victory.
This game started out almost exactly the same as the Wolves and 'Stangs' last meeting. Almost a little tentative as neither team wanted to make that first mistake. The Wolves would strike first on the powerplay. Travis Eggum got some help as he tried a cross-net pass, the puck flew in of one of the Mustangs' skates. From that point on the Wolves were rolling.
They would pick up two more in the second period from Doug Lindensmith and Rhyse Dieno. Up three nothing and time winding down in second period, the Wolves seemed to be ready to waltz to an eleventh straight victory. With about a minute and thirty seconds left in the frame, the Wolves took a too many men penalty much to the chagrin of Bob Beatty. The ensuing powerplay would result in a Scott Brkich powerplay goal giving the Mustangs life headed into the third.
Early on in the final frame, Doug Lindensmith snuffed out that hope for the Mustangs and their fans. Lindensmith's second of the game puts him up to 97 points on the season as he strives to be the third Wolf to reach the century mark. The lead was 4-1 and once again the Wolves were in the driver seat.
Then things went a little sideways for the Wolves. Aaron Enns took a very undisciplined slashing penalty by the Wolves' bench. The Mustangs struck on the powerplay on a nice high speed goal by Brody Haygarth. Then the Mustangs turned it up to 11. Two minutes later they would be rewarded after a great shift. Scott Brkich unloaded a point shot that was tipped on the way to the net by Brayden Metz and all of a sudden it was a one goal game.
The Mustangs came within an inch of tying it up when in a scramble the puck went off the post and away from the net. The Mustangs were all over the Ice Wolves for the remainder of the game. Adam Bartko was very strong in net and was the reason La Ronge was able to hold on to the 4-3 lead.
Three Stars - As Selected by Gino De Paoli (CK750)
1. Doug Lindensmith - LR - 2 G - Lindensmith has been on a roll lately after slumping for a couple of weeks. He's quickly closing on 100 points and his second of the evening stood up as the game winner.
2. Dayton Fossum - LR - 3 A - Fossum continues to rack up the points from the blue-line. His three tonight put him to 38 on the season which is 3rd among SJHL defencemen. The Ice Wolves assistant captain could be the darkhorse candidate for the league's Most Outstanding Defenceman award.
3. Scot Brkich - MELF - 1 G, 1 A - His powerplay goal gave the Mustangs life when they had none. He also took a great chance away from Rhyse Dieno in the third period and assisted on the goal to come within one. A great night from the former Nipawin Hawk.
The Wolves have a day off tomorrow (aside from a short skate in the morning) to rest up and get ready for the final couple games of this road trip.
They'll pick up again on Friday in Yorkton. I'll have that broadcast along with CTV Yorkton's Braden Malsbury starting at the usual time of 7:15 with the pre-game show.