Daily Herald Staff
The Prince Albert Icehawks will try and continue to do their part, and hope for help from others, as they make their stretch drive to try and secure a Prairie Junior Hockey League playoff spot with a game on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Kinsmen Arena against the West Central Rage.
The Icehawks got off to a good start in their playoff quest on Wednesday when they ended a five-game losing streak with a 6-4 triumph over the Saskatoon Westleys, but that is just the beginning of what is going to have to be a lengthy string of victories if they hope to overtake both the Westleys and Delisle Chiefs for the final spot in the North Division Survivor Series.
It was an encouraging win for the Icehawks in many ways as they did so without the services of their leading scorer Brett Boyer, who did not dress for the game. Six different players – Parker Turner, Darian Clarke, Bradley Boehr, Bryce Nemish, Brandon Carlson and Lyndon Arcand – shared in the scoring while Aidon Patrick was spectacular once again in the Icehawks’ net stopping 36 shots. Lucas Anseth also had a big game collecting three assists.
Prince Albert entered the weekend trailing Delisle by five points, but the Chiefs have a pair of games in hand. The Icehawks were doing some scoreboard watching on Friday as Delisle hosted the defending league-champion Saskatoon Royals (score was unavailable) and they will do the same Saturday as the Chiefs are in Carrot River to take on the Tri-Town Thunder.
With just six games left on the schedule, the Icehawks’ magic number to officially be eliminated is four depending on the outcome of Delisle’s game on Friday against the Royals. What that means is any combination of Chief wins or Icehawks’ losses totalling four will put Prince Albert on the sidelines for the second straight year when the playoffs begin later this month.
Delisle isn’t the only team Prince Albert has to worry about as the Westleys are just one point back of the Chiefs and a Saskatoon win on Sunday against the Ochapowace Thunder will push the Icehawks even closer to the brink of elimination as they will leap past Delisle in the standings should the Chiefs come up empty handed this weekend.
The bottom line is the Icehawks have to win and Prince Albert will be hoping home cooking continues to bring them good fortune as they will complete their final homestand of the season next week with a game against the Thunder on Wednesday and Fort Knox on Saturday. The Icehawks will then conclude the regular season with three games on the road with their final game being in Delisle against the Chiefs.