Icehawks suffer pair of blows to teeter on brink of elimination from PJHL playoffs

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Prince Albert Icehawks' netminder Tyler Gordon gets a helping hand from a teammate during Saturday's 6-4 loss to the West Central Rage. Gordon made 44 saves in the setback, which pushed the Icehawks one step closer to elimination from the Prairie Junior Hockey League playoff picture.

Daily Herald Staff

The Prince Albert Icehawks are fighting for their playoff lives, but they took a couple of blows this weekend that have left them a bit dazed.

Not only did the Icehawks fall 6-4 to the visiting West Central Rage on Saturday, but the Delisle Chiefs, the team Prince Albert has to catch to get the final berth in the Prairie Junior Hockey League’s North Division Survivor Series, outscored the Tri-Town Thunder 4-1 that same night.

Those results leave Prince Albert seven points back of the Chiefs and with just five games remaining on the schedule that means the magic number for the Icehawks has been lowered to two.

Any combination of Delisle wins or Prince Albert losses totalling two leaves the Icehawks on the outside looking in for the second straight season. The Chiefs also have a game in hand, but unless the Icehawks put some wins together, that game will have little meaning in determining Prince Albert’s fortunes.

On Saturday, the Icehawks certainly didn’t have the start they were hoping for as the Rage jumped into an early 3-0 lead before Logan McKay got Prince Albert on the scoreboard late in the first period.

West Central reclaimed their three-goal advantage before the first period was over, but Prince Albert didn’t lie down. Parker Turner got the lone goal of the middle frame to cut the deficit in half and Lyndon Arcand got the Icehawks to within one in the first minute of the third period, but a West Central goal 15 seconds after Arcand’s tally proved to be the winner.

Tyler Tilford once again got the Icehawks to within one goal, but the Rage shut the door the rest of the way and scored in the final minute to complete the scoring.

Tyler Gordon made 44 saves in the Prince Albert net to give the Icehawks a chance at pulling out the win, but Zach DeGraves was equally as impressive in the Rage goal turning aside 37 shots.

For the second straight game Prince Albert was without its leading scorer Brett Boyer, who suffered a concussion in a game played in Saskatoon last weekend. The Icehawks could have used Boyer, who has 34 goals in 32 games this season.

The Icehawks return to action on Wednesday when they will host the Tri-Town Thunder at 7:30 p.m. at the Kinsmen Arena. Delisle is also back on the ice that night when they will visit the Quakers in Saskatoon. Prince Albert will be looking for favourable results on both fronts to keep their playoff hopes alive. Unfavourable results would end the run that night.

 

Organizations: Prince Albert, Prairie Junior Hockey League, Tri-Town Thunder 4 Daily Herald Survivor Series

Geographic location: Saskatoon

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