Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League

Ice Wolves take 2-1 series lead

The La Ronge Ice Wolves took a 2-1 series lead versus the Melfort Mustangs following a thrilling 4-3 overtime victory Tuesday night at the JRMCC.

The Ice Wolves were forced to move to the JRMCC after major ice issues at the Mel Hegland Uniplex proved to be too difficult to fix prior to puck drop.

“They were putting the net in and it hit a freon pipe, so the ice started melting,” said Ice Wolves Head Coach and GM Kevin Kaminski. “Thanks to Kevin Roberts and the JRMCC staff on short notice.”

The Ice Wolves opened the scoring 1:31 into the second on the power play when Connor Abric sent a twisted wrister into the back of the net past Joel Favreau. La Ronge took a 2-0 advantage 10:01 into the second after Walker Jerome solved Favreau on the power play for his first of the series.

Melfort’s Dawson Leroux made it a 2-1 game 14:03 into the second after beating Dawson Smith, who was sensational, making 36 saves for the win.

The Mustangs tied the game at two 7:02 into the third when Zac Somers tallied. The Ice Wolves answered the call 12 seconds later when Trenton Curtis wired a rocket upstairs for his first of the series, giving La Ronge a 3-2 edge.

Melfort tied the game at three 15:52 into the third stanza after Kevin Minnoch sent a shot in from the point. For the second straight game, regulation solved nothing, so extra time was required.

Just 32 seconds into the extra session, Jacob Visentini ended the game on the man advantage when he threw a shot in the slot that eventually found its way past the Melfort netminder.

“It kind of popped up into the air – and it was like slow motion, but it went into the back of the net, finally,” said Kaminski. “It was exciting, it was great to get the win here, especially in front of a great crowd here tonight at the JRMCC. This is going to be a long series – momentum changes here throughout the game. We’ve got the momentum now – and we have to make sure we play a full 60 minutes.”

The Ice Wolves will try to take a commanding 3-1 series advantage on Wednesday night in northern Saskatchewan. Stay tuned to our social media channels for more information on game four, including the location of the game and ticketing details.