The Prince Albert Mintos had the weekend off from Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League play, but team captain Jason Duret got a taste of what his future might hold as the veteran forward suited up for the LaRonge Ice Wolves of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.
Duret, who is tied for third place in league scoring with 14 goals and 40 assists, was in the Ice Wolves‚Äô line-up on Saturday for a game against the Nipawin Hawks and although LaRonge lost 4-2, Duret notched his first-ever goal in the SJHL.
Duret, who played in two games with the Ice Wolves last year as a 16-year-old and managed one assist during that stint, is expected to be back in the Mintos line-up on Tuesday when they travel to Saskatoon to take on the Blazers.
The Mintos, who lead the league with a 29-5-2 record thanks in part to an 11-game winning streak they are presently riding, need just three more wins, or three Saskatoon Contact losses, or a combination of Minto wins and Contact losses totalling three, to nail down home-ice advantage throughout the upcoming playoffs.
Following the Tuesday trip to Saskatoon, the Mintos will begin a five-game homestand with games on Saturday and Sunday at the Art Hauser Centre. The Moose Jaw Generals will be the opposition at 7 p.m. on Saturday while the Notre Dame Argos pay their final visit on Sunday at 1:30 p.m.
Prince Albert Icehawks
The struggles continue for the Prince Albert Icehawks.
Not only did the club‚Äôs losing streak get stretched to 13 games with two more setbacks on the weekend, but Saturday‚Äôs 9-2 defeat in Delisle against the Chiefs was due in large part to the Icehawks only having 12 skaters make the trip.
Keegan Ledoux and Parker Turner scored for Prince Albert in the lopsided loss with the Icehawks allowing 53 shots on goal. Tyler Gordon turned aside 36 of 42 shots in 40 minutes of work while Jayden Rieben was beaten three times on 11 blasts in 20 minutes of action.
On Friday, Prince Albert was keeping pace with the Saskatoon Quakers through 39 minutes of play, but two goals in the final 23 seconds of the middle session opened up the floodgates as Saskatoon cruised to an 8-2 triumph.
Lyndon Arcand and Jordon Harasyn scored for Prince Albert, who had battled the second-place Quakers to a 1-1 draw through 20 minutes of play and were tied at 2-2 until the fatal closing seconds of the middle frame.
Rieben was tested 43 times in suffering the defeat.
The Icehawks, who have no chance of making it to the post-season with their 5-25-4 record, are on the road this week for games in Saskatoon on Wednesday against the league-leading Royals and Friday against the Westleys before heading to Zenon Park on Saturday for a match against the Tri-Town Thunder.
Prince Albert, which has yet to record a win since the calendar flipped to 2013, will play their final home game on Feb. 15 against Delisle. A pair of games in Saskatoon and Fort Qu‚ÄôAppelle will close out the season.
Liteway Electric Raiders
The Liteway Electric Raiders improved their Centre-Four Hockey League midget division record to 11-8-3 with a 3-2 triumph over Watson on Friday.
The Raiders, who trail just North East and Lloydminster in the standings, got two goals from Zach Hurd and a goal and assist from captain Josh Elliot. Jack Green chipped in with a pair of helpers.
Prince Albert was also scheduled to play Meadow Lake on Sunday, but results were unavailable.
The next home game for the Raiders is Feb. 12 when they will host the Humboldt Broncos at 6:15 p.m. at the Kinsmen Arena. That game will be a rematch of the Saskatchewan Hockey Association‚Äôs northern semifinal held late last month when Humboldt won the two-game, total-goal series 7-4. Humboldt is to meet North East to determine the northern qualifier for the provincial playoffs.
Venice House Raiders
After winning six straight games to start the Saskatchewan Bantam AA Hockey League season, the Venice House Raiders have fallen on some tough times with the most recent outing being a 7-1 setback to the Sask. Valley Vipers in Warman on Saturday.
The loss dropped the Raiders‚Äô record to 12-11-0 and leaves them in fifth place in the six-team North Division. The league and provincial playoffs begin in two weeks and if the standings stay the way they are right now, Prince Albert will take on the Battlefords in the best-of-three opening round with the Raiders opening the series on the road.
The Raiders, who got their only goal on Saturday from Reid Manson, travel to Tisdale on Wednesday to face the division-leading North East Wolf Pack before finishing the regular season with three games in three nights, all on the road, on Feb. 15-17. Prince Albert will have two games in the Battlefords and their final match in Dodsland against West Central as a final tune-up for the playoff season.
The NAPA Raiders were idle this weekend and are still waiting for dates to be confirmed for their SHA northern final against Warman.
The Raiders return to league play next weekend when they will host the West Central Wheat Kings. Friday‚Äôs game is scheduled to start at 8:15 p.m. while Saturday‚Äôs match will have an opening face-off at 2:15 p.m. Both games are at the Steuart Arena.