Coach optimistic despite 2 losses
South Peace News
The High Prairie Red Wings are optimistic to end their first season in the Greater Metro Junior A Hockey League on the winning track.
After losing two games in a weekend home stand Jan. 31 and Feb. 2, the Wings are shooting for first place in the West Division.
“I think, potentially, with the talent we have, we can win all eight games left in the regular season,” head coach Ryder Prue says.
“Coming off a tough weekend, we’re not looking in the rear-view mirror.”
High Prairie is gunning to overtake the first-place Slave Lake Icedogs.
“My goal is absolutely first place, we’re eight points behind,” says Prue, who is pressing the players to focus.
“They have to keep their eyes on the prize.”
He says the team is capable of a hot stretch, with winning streaks of four and five games during the season.
“We have to keep the foot on the pedal and hopefully we can take first and get a bye in the first round of the playoffs,” Prue says.
The Red Wings play the Icedogs four times, including a game Feb. 8.
Slave Lake clipped the Red Wings 11-1 Feb. 2 at the Sports Palace in High Prairie’s biggest loss of the season.
Trailing 4-0, the Red Wings scored their only goal of the game when Benny Yellowknee scored in the second period at 7:27 assisted by Rylan Schuberg and John Yellowknee.
Slave Lake kept pressing and led 7-1 after two periods and poured it on with four goals in the final frame.
Red Wing goalie Bradley Roncin was busy in net as the Icedogs outshot High Prairie 44-24.
The visiting Enoch Northern Alberta Tomahawks doubled the Red Wings 4-2 on Jan. 31.
Trailing 2-0 early in the second period, the Red Wings responded with two late goals.
Larry Yellowknee scored short-handed at 18:34 assisted by Mikal Chalifoux and Tyson Mitchell.
High Prairie scored with 24 seconds left in the second period to narrow the deficit to 3-2.
The Red Wings outshot the Tomahawks 34-33 as Bradley Roncin was between the High Prairie pipes.
High Prairie has just seven games left in the regular season, including three at home.
The Red Wings host the Enoch Northern Alberta Tomahawks on Feb. 16 at 4:30 p.m., Slave Lake Icedogs on Feb. 21 at 8:30 p.m. and on March 6 at 8:30 p.m.
The Wings visit Slave Lake Feb. 14 at 8:30 p.m.