The Kindersley Red Lions are now proud owners of third place in the SWHL Standings.
Earning 11 out of the 12 possible points in the last six games, the Lions now look to use their last five games before the playoffs to catch the Macklin Mohawks, who currently sit on 2nd place with a mere three points ahead of the Lions.
“From now on I’ll be looking at each game as if each one is a playoff game, that’s how important these next few games will be for us,” says Coach Wayne (Sambo) Sampson.
The Lions have certainly done well in preparing for the important upcoming games. On December 20, the Red Lions hosted the Luseland Mallards in front of home fans at the West Central Events Centre (WCEC) and ultimately took the day with a 7-5 gain over the Mallards.
The Lions followed their game with the Mallards with a first-time match up with the Bigger Nationals in what was later described as one of the best games seen in Sask. West Hockey League. Within the first minute of the game, the Lions nabbed a 2-0 lead with goals first from Shayne Neigum and then from Djay McGrath with an assist from Johnny Calkins just 24 seconds later.
The game continued in a back and forth fashion until the end of the first period saw the scoreboard 4-2 Lions’ favor. The Lions increased their lead 5-2 into the second period with a rebound goal from Calkins, a goal that seemed to wake the Nationals from their trance. Suddenly, they came to life and brought the game to a 5-5 tie; Lions’ goaltender Luke Sproule was forced to leave the ice with an injury, and Travis Vogel took his place.
Kindersley and Biggar continued to battle back and forth until they were locked at an 8-8 tie. With crowds roaring on their feet, the teams fought desperately until Biggar player Josh Shatford tipped the scales in the Nationals favor with a 9-8 score in overtime.
Undaunted by the close defeat, the Lions went on to squash the Luseland Mallards 9-5 in a second matchup at their annual Christmas game on December 23. The Lions followed their win up with a second on December 29 as they sent the Unity Minors packing with a 5-3 win on the home ice. The Lions finished up the year with another sound victory for the home fans as an intense game with the Eatonia Huskies ended 2-1 in overtime.
With only five more games left before they hit playoffs in early February, the Red Lions are looking to keep up their momentum and make a fourth win in a row at their next home game on Friday, January 12 when they rematch with the Eatonia Huskies at the WCEC at 8:30 p.m.
The second game of the weekend for the Lions will be another home game at the WCEC with the Biggar Nationals on Saturday at 8:30 p.m. After such a tight game with the Biggar Nationals last time, fans can only expect an evening of tense excitement as the Lions will seek to make sure they are on the winning side of the scoreboard this time around.
Another exciting event for the Red Lions will be their Ladies Night Out event on January 20 at the Kindersley Elks Hall. Complete with door prizes, a silent auction, a photo booth by Devon Coles Garden Gallery, raffle tickets and a DJ, the evening promises a full night for attendees. Tickets are available at the Red Lion Cold Beer and Wine Store for $45 each.
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