© Herald Photo by Dave Leaderhouse
The Prince Albert Icehawks and Southern Rebels line-up for a face-off during Prairie Junior Hockey League action on Saturday at the Kinsmen Arena. The Rebels won the game 6-3 pushing Prince Albert further from claiming a playoff spot for a second straight season.
It was a good news, bad news kind of result for the Prince Albert Icehawks on Saturday.
The good news was that with just 11 skaters the Icehawks battled one of the league's best - the Southern Rebels - right to the bitter end.
The bad news was that the 6-3 setback lowered the magic number for the Icehawks to officially being eliminated from a Prairie Junior Hockey League playoff berth to five.
The Icehawks, who have lost their last five games and six of seven since the Christmas break, are now seven points back of the Delisle Chiefs for the final berth in the North Division Survivor Series. With just eight games left on the schedule that means Prince Albert losses or Delisle wins totalling five will put the Icehawks on the outside looking in for a second straight season.
Despite that gloomy outlook, the Icehawks battled hard on Saturday as Brett Boyer's 33rd goal of the season gave Prince Albert a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes of play.
A weak second period proved to be their undoing as the Rebels, who are tied for the South Division lead with the Traveland RV Storm, scored four times on 26 shots to take control of the contest.
Prince Albert didn't lie down, however, as Logan McKay and Boyer, with his second of the game, got the Icehawks to within one midway through the final frame before the Rebels sealed the win with a pair of goals 41 seconds apart in the final three minutes of play.
Aidon Patrick, who was the lone Prince Albert netminder dressed for the game, made 51 saves to keep the Icehawks in the game. The Icehawks managed just 24 shots at the Rebels' goal in the entire game.
Prince Albert will try and get back in the win column today when they travel to Saskatoon to face the defending league-champion Royals. The Icehawks will then play their next four games at home beginning on Wednesday against the Saskatoon Westleys.