Seven normally is a lucky number, but in the case of the Prince Albert Icehawks it is anything but lucky.
Two more losses on the weekend have put the Icehawks in a precarious position as any combination of Prince Albert losses and Saskatoon Westleys victories totalling seven will mathematically eliminate the Icehawks from a chance at reaching the Prairie Junior Hockey League playoffs for a fifth straight season.
A 7-5 setback to the South Division leading Traveland RV Storm from Pilot Butte on Friday and a 13-0 blowout loss to the Delisle Chiefs on Saturday extends the Icehawks’ current losing streak to five games and lowers their overall record to 5-18-3.
With 14 games remaining on the regular schedule, the Icehawks more or less have to run the table, or at the very worst win 10 of their final contests and hope for a lot of help from around the league.
It has been a trying year for the Prince Albert squad as a rookie-laden line-up has gone through some major growing pains and it was never more evident than on Friday when the Icehawks held a 5-1 lead over the Storm early in the second period only to allow six unanswered goals, including a pair of shorthanded tallies, to go down to defeat.
Dane Madsen had two goals for Prince Albert in that loss while Lyndon Arcand, Parker Turner and Evan Dorian had the others. Tyler Gordon made 38 saves in suffering the loss.
On Saturday in Delisle, the Chiefs scored seven times with the man advantage in building period leads of 4-0 and 9-0. Jayden Rieben faced 38 shots in the Prince Albert goal while his teammates fired the same number at the Delisle net, but could not get on the scoreboard.
Prince Albert will try and get something together when they host the Tri-Town Thunder on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at the Kinsmen Arena. The Thunder, who are tied with the Westleys for fourth place in the North Division standings, have played the fewest games in the league and with their games in hand are within reach of the third-place Chiefs.
Following Tuesday’s game, the Icehawks will take to the road for three straight with stops in Maple Creek to face the Cypress Cyclones, Kerrobert for a date with the West Central Rage and Saskatoon for a match against the Quakers before returning home on Jan. 25 to take on West Central.