The effort was certainly there, but the La Ronge Ice Wolves ended up dropping a 5-2 decision to the Hawks in Nipawin Tuesday night.
“That’s a lot closer of a game than a 5-2 score,” said Ice Wolves Asst. Coach Kyle Schneider. “I thought we played really well during the first 40 minutes tonight.”
The Ice Wolves outshot the Hawks 45-30 at Centennial Arena, but Tyson Endall stole the show, making 43 saves in the Nipawin net. At the other end of the ice, Topher Chirico turned away 25 shots in a losing cause.
Kale Taylor scored his first of the season for the Ice Wolves and Jacob Cossette had the other La Ronge marker. Evan Forrest and Maguire Ratzlaff paced the Nipawin offence with two goals each. Chase Visser had the other goal for the Hawks late in the first frame.
The Ice Wolves had a seven-minute power play in the second period, but they were unable to capitalize. La Ronge went 0/6 on the man advantage, while Nipawin scored two times on five power play opportunities.
“I think that’s just kind of how it goes when you’re in a bit of a rut,” said Schneider. “We hit the post at the one end of the ice – then about 15 seconds later, they get a breakaway when we make one mistake — and it ends up in the back of our net.”
With the setback, the Ice Wolves are now 2-8-1 on the season, which still has them in 11th in the SJHL standings.
La Ronge will look to snap a five-game losing streak Friday night at home when they welcome the Melfort Mustangs, who have posted a 7-1 record through the early stages of the season. Following Friday’s tilt, the Ice Wolves will host their Sportsman’s Dinner Saturday night at the JRMCC with guest speaker Andre Roy.
The Ice Wolves will then close out a busy weekend Sunday afternoon when the Kindersley Klippers come to town for a rare 5 p.m. puck drop at the Mel Hegland Uniplex.