Monday, November 5, 2012

Hawks Lose All 3 On Southern Swing:


Unfortunately for the Nipawin Hawks, the off-ice attitudes and mindsets couldn't be put on the scoreboard. The guys grew closer and the friendships grew stronger, but the Hawks were unable to win in Weyburn, Estevan and Notre Dame.

The weekend started on Friday with a 4-1 loss to the Weyburn Red Wings(see below post) before heading down to Estevan to get in the hotel and catch some z's before the Bruins played host on Saturday night.

In Estevan, not only did the team get to play in the SJHL's finest barn, but they got to play in front of over 1500 fans. Those fans team up with the Bruins to put the Hawks down 3-0 after 2 periods thanks to goals from Darcy DeRoose, Wyatt Garagan and Tanner Froese. Shots were 25-15 after 2 periods and there weren't many sparks aside from a Tayler Balog 10-minute misconduct.

To start the 3rd, the Bruins netminder Curtis Martinu skated to center for whatever reason and collided with Tad Kozun and then speared Kozun in the throat. As a result of this altercation, Kozun has received a questionable 3 game suspension for being the instigator, which begins Tuesday. Martinu has also received a 3 game suspension which I'm sure is sitting well with the Bruins coaching staff as their backup netminder has now allowed 9 goals in under 60 minutes of action this season. After the penalties were sorted out, the 3rd got going and the Hawks started with an extended powerplay that allowed Dustin Skilliter to get on the board with Yan Kalashnikov and Eric Bollefer getting helpers. Under 3 minutes after that, Jeff Datoff would score his first of the season with a point shot that beat Travis Pelletier to cut the lead to one, assists to Jesse Bernard and Wheaton King. Then it was Dexter Bricker's turn just 3:25 later, after a nice rush from Datoff who fed it to David Heath who hit Bricker in the high slot. Wouldn't you know it, 14 seconds later the Hawks took the lead, as Wheaton King and Jesser Bernard got away on a 2-on-1 and King buried his 5th for the 4-3 goal. Getting upset, the Bruins started to look dangerous with several players taking near-miss runs at some of the Hawks. The only real connection was a Tyler Kauk board on Michael Lambert, which resulted in Lambert getting up slowly. Carter Coben took a later penalty and then moment later Hudson Morrison delivered a hit to the head of a Hawk, earning the gate for the game so the final minute was 4-on-4 under the :06 second mark when Coben got out. Coben rushed to the net where several Estevan players were jamming at the puck and they eventually found it, beating Davis Jones to tie the game with just 3 seconds left. The Bruins bench went nuts as did the crowd, who began throwing souvenir pucks at the Hawks bench and on the ice, not to mention a pack of cigarettes among things.

Final shots in regulation favored the Estevan Bruins, 38-24 but the teams were knotted up at 4-4. Overtime had a few chances either way including a big stop from Jones in close, and then Grant Jensen put his team down a man but they were able to kill it off just fine and the OT ended, shots 3-3.

In the shootout, Tanner Froese started things off but was stopped by Jones, before Yan Kalashnikov went in and missed wide on the right side. Austin Yano would then beat Jones to put his team up prior to Jesse Bernard equaling things up. Nick Weiss again gave Estevan the lead which set up Wheaton King to give the Hawks another chance. King went in, but couldn't pull the trigger to beat Pelletier setting up the Hawks loss and the winless road record continues.

Final shots were 41-27 with Estevan winning 5-4 to improve their record to 6-8-2-0 while the Hawks fell to 6-6-0-3. Davis Jones was, like always, sharp making 37 saves in the loss.










On Sunday afternoon, the Notre Dame Hounds had a chance to continue the Hawks winless stretch on home ice, and they did just that in overtime.

Ian Williams would open the scoring on a setup with Brandon Millian and Mitch Boucher at 9:24 before Wheaton King tied it up 2 minutes later from Jesse Bernard and Jesse Williamson(who played forward and looked great) and that would be it for the first period with the shots being 12-8 in Notre Dame's favor.

The Hounds looked frustrated at something in the middle frame, taking a few penalties while getting a way with a few, but the Hawks would eventually capitalize with 5:02 to go when Wheaton King tried to hit Tad Kozun in front of the net, but the puck instead made it's way to Eric Bollefer, who got his 3rd goal of the season. 56 seconds after that, the Hawks really woke up when Yan Kalashnikov picked up his first SJHL goal from Tayler Balog, making it 3-1. The Hawks outshot the Hounds 10-8 in the period.

In the 3rd, the ref and linesmen seemed to be calling a much more level game, but the Hounds played their hearts out and outshot the Hawks 14-6, while carrying most of the play. 32 seconds in to the period, Brandon Millin scored to cut the lead to one. Sam Aulie and Boucher got the helpers. Davis Jones was tested in the 3rd making several big stops including a back of leg save after he got spun around backwards in the net. With 1:26 to go, the Hawks would give up the late lead when Sam Aulie beat Jones on shot 33.

After a short break, the teams took to the ice for a 5 minute overtime with opportunities coming both ways. I thought the Hawks would finally get the monkey off their back but Carson Grolla used his speed and strength to get around several Hawks and get the puck in deep before beating Davis Jones to end the road trip with just 2 points of 6, and no road victories to look back to with a smile. Final shots were 37-27, and for the Hawks, their powerplay finally clicked going 2/4. Jones made 34 saves while Ty Reichenbach played strong making 24 saves in the win.

Overall, the Hawks road trip with a failure, as they went 0-1-1-1. But let's look at the grand scheme of things, that makes this road trip a huge success. From the guys laughing at dinner to hanging out at the hotel, the team made the most of their opportunities to hang with the boys and grow as a family. I owe a thanks to the coaches, Doug and Tyson, for their time this weekend as well as the players for hangin' out with the broadcast and Brian Kahlbenn just for being awesome. Also big props to Rod Peterson who provided color with me Friday and Saturday and did an absolutely fantastic job and I hope to have him on again soon!

Next up for the Hawks is Flin Flon on Tuesday night. Here's to hoping Garret Lockeridge will be back as well as the other injured players. Gametime at the Cage is 7:30!

Also a reminder next weekend is the Melfort Mustangs-Nipawin Hawks rivalry weekend, so make sure to come to Nipawin on Friday in Mustang colors and then Melfort on Saturday in Hawks colors! If you have 2 people with team colors, tickets are just 2 for 15 dollars.


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