Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League

Comeback bid falls short in North Battleford 

Despite a late push, the La Ronge Ice Wolves dropped a 4-3 decision in North Battleford Wednesday night.

“I thought as the game went on, we just kept getting better and better,” said Ice Wolves Asst. Coach Kyle Schneider. “Give our guys a lot of credit – they never quit.” 

The North Stars opened the scoring 9:20 into the first frame when Steven Kesslering ripped home his 16th of the season past Topher Chirico. Jake Southgate made it a 2-0 game with 1:04 left in the opening stanza on the power play. 

Evan Waldie gave the home squad a 3-0 edge 3:45 into the second when he snuck a shot past Chirico, who turned away 32 shots in a losing cause.

The Ice Wolves got on the board 54 seconds into the third period on the man advantage when Walker Jerome clanked in his 12th of the campaign. Jerome notched his second of the evening at the 2:13 mark of the frame on the power play as La Ronge made it a 3-2 contest. 

Keiton Klein tallied on a breakaway with 3:55 left in the third, giving the Battlefords a 4-2 advantage. With Topher Chirico on the bench, La Ronge made it interesting in the late stages. Flynn Maxcy punched home his fifth of the season with 1:13 left on the clock, but that is as close as the Ice Wolves would get Wednesday. 

“Coming into the second, we definitely gave a good pushback,” said La Ronge forward Walker Jerome. “We ended up going down three after two (periods), but we had a good pushback in the third and made it a close game.” 

With the setback, the Ice Wolves are now riding a four-game losing streak. La Ronge is now 21-12-3 on the season, which still has them occupying third in the overall standings.

The Ice Wolves are back in action Jan. 11 at home when they host the Nipawin Hawks at the Mel Hegland Uniplex.