Icehawks host Royals on Monday
Daily Herald Staff
The Prince Albert Icehawks will find out Monday if a two-week break was timely or a detriment when they return to Prairie Junior Hockey League action at 7:30 p.m. at the Kinsmen Arena.
Playing arguably their best hockey in the last two years, the Icehawks entered the Christmas break with wins in five of their last six games and points in all six matches as the one loss came in a shootout.
The recent run has improved the Icehawks’ record to 9-14-2 on the season and leaves them two points back of both the Saskatoon Westleys and Delisle Chiefs for fifth place in the North Division standings. The Westleys and Chiefs, however, both had late games on Sunday so that margin could be altered by the time the puck drops Monday.
Regardless, Prince Albert knows their fate is in their own hands and Monday’s game against the division-leading Saskatoon Royals will certainly be a test as to where they stand.
The Icehawks and Royals have met twice this year with Saskatoon winning both times although the first encounter – an 8-5 loss – was heartbreaking for Prince Albert as they held a 6-5 lead with just over two minutes to go before Saskatoon erupted for four goals to steal the win. The second meeting wasn’t as close as Prince Albert spotted the Royals a 10-goal lead before eventually getting on the board and falling 10-1.
Individually, Brett Boyer continues to be the offensive star for the Icehawks as the second-year forward has 12 goals and three assists in his last four games to sit in second place overall in league scoring. The 19-year-old from St. Louis has 30 goals and 20 assists to trail Tucker Neuberger of the Southern Rebels by just two points for the league scoring lead.
Monday’s game is the first of four straight at home to start the New Year with the Icehawks also hosting the Tri-Town Thunder on Friday (7:30 p.m) and the Saskatoon Quakers on Sunday (2:30 p.m.). The homestand concludes on Jan. 15 when Delisle will make a visit (7:30 p.m.) with all games scheduled for the Kinsmen Arena.
Following the lengthy stay at home, Prince Albert will have just 11 games left on the schedule with six of those being away from the friendly confines. The Icehawks are very much in the playoff hunt, but they will have to continue with their inspired play and that begins with Monday’s tilt against the defending league champions.