The La Ronge Ice Wolves came into the Warman Legends Center hungry for a win after a 1-4-0 start in their first five games. And given the opportunity to shine on the big stage at the showcase with college scouts in attendance, the pack did not disappoint.
The game featured the first start of the season for goalie Xavier Cannon, La Ronge’s veteran backstop, while Boston Bilous was in net for the Bruins looking for his 4th win.
Estevan opened the scoring at 4:18 of the first on a goal by Antoine St. Onge. La Ronge would push back in the second half of the frame, outshooting the Bruins 12 to 10 but failing to find the back of the net.
The Wolves kept pressing in the second, and at 7:13 Aaron Greyeyes wired home a beauty on the powerplay following a Mark Rumsey slashing penalty. Assisting were Tristan Lambert and Walker Jerome. The goal was Greyeyes’ third in as many games. Only 13 seconds later Mason Beuckert scored his first in the SJHL in his first game in this league with assists by Walker Jerome and Parker Layton. The 17-year-old certainly did not look out of place against the older players at the Jr. A level. The second period ended with La Ronge up 2-1 and the shots 25-23 for the Wolves.
Estevan applied pressure at the start of the third, and at 3:07 Mark Rumsey evened things up at 2 on the powerplay. The Ice Wolves bent but would not break, putting on pressure of their own and causing some mistakes from the Bruins. They were rewarded at 13:13 on a delayed penalty when Joshua Singh rushed the length of the ice and tucked away his first in the SJHL making it 3-2. The lone assist went to his partner on defence, Parker Layton.
Bruin frustrations would boil over at 15:54 when Nolan Jones blindsided Holden Knights behind the play with a crosscheck to the head. This resulted in a 5-minutemajor and game misconduct for Jones, putting La Ronge on the powerplay for the rest of the game. With less than 2 minutes to play, Estevan Head Coach Jason Tatarnic would pull Bilous to have 5 skaters on a face off in the La Ronge zone, but at 18:34 Gavin Matteygave the Wolves a 2-goal lead with Brandon Della Paolera picking up the assist. Scoring was capped off with Nolan Doell extracting revenge for his friend Holden Knights by putting one past Bilous at 19:40, assisted by Aaron Greyeyes. The final score was 5-2 with La Ronge outshooting Estevan 38-35.
The win improves the Ice Wolves’ record to 2-4-0 on the season. There may have been some folks around the league that were writing La Ronge off this early in the season, but with the game they played against Estevan, the Wolves have served notice that no one should take them lightly.
The La Ronge Ice Wolves’ next action is Wednesday at the Showcase against the Kindersley Klippers at 7:30 pm. Catch the action on HockeyTV, or on Ice Wolves’ radio by clicking the icon at www.icewolves.ca.