Desperate teams can be formidable foes. Just as the Prince Albert Icehawks.
Coming into Sunday’s Prairie Junior Hockey League game at the Kinsmen Arena, the Cypress Cyclones had yet to win a game in seven tries to start the current season.
They were playing their third game in as many days and the results from the first two were less than flattering. On Friday, the Cyclones were outscored 7-4 by the Royals in Saskatoon and on Saturday they were hammered 9-1 by the Tri-Town Thunder in Carrot River.
Playing with just 10 skaters and two goaltenders, the prospect of winning their first game didn’t look good against the Icehawks, especially after they fell behind 3-1 just over five minutes into Sunday’s game.
That’s when heart took over and the Icehawks took a step back as the Cyclones rallied to pull out a 6-4 victory and send Prince Albert to its third straight defeat.
“We were up 3-1 and we just sat back and gave them momentum,” said a very disappointed Kim Dryka, the Icehawks’ head coach. “They were desperate and wanted their first win. They skated for the full 60 minutes.”
Lucas Seesequasis, Nicholas Guerequeta and Dane Madsen had staked the Icehawks to the early lead and Brett Boyer had added another Prince Albert marker before the first period was over. Darian Clarke had a solid first period setting up three of the goals.
The Cyclones had narrowed the gap to 4-3 by the end of the first period and put things on even terms at 4-4 entering the second intermission. Two more goals in the final 20 minutes sealed the deal and left the Icehawks with plenty of questions to be answered.
“We have to get back to the basics,” acknowledged Dryka. “We know we can play better than we have the last two games.”
“You have to shoot the puck to score and today we just hung on to it a little too long,” added Dryka.
Jayden Rieben started the game in the Prince Albert goal, but was pulled in favour of Tyler Gordon after allowing three goals on nine shots. Gordon finished the game with 29 saves on 32 shots, which was one more than his teammates managed to direct at the Cyclones’ goal the entire game.
Prince Albert, which now sports a 2-4-0 record, has little time to regroup as they are in Saskatoon on Wednesday to take on the second-place Royals. Those two teams will then play a rematch at the Kinsmen Arena on Nov. 6.