Daily Herald Staff
The line is drawn in the sand and the Prince Albert Icehawks will try not to cross it when they host Fort Knox in their final home game of the Prairie Junior Hockey League regular season on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Kinsmen Arena.
That line will likely be washed away, however, by the time the puck drops as a game on Friday between the Delisle Chiefs and Saskatoon Westleys will already have settled Prince Albert’s playoff fate.
The Icehawks entered the weekend trailing Delisle by seven points and the Westleys by six with four games remaining to play. If Delisle were to have registered a win or loss in extra time, then Prince Albert would have no opportunity to overtake the Chiefs for the North Division’s final berth in the Survivor Series. Likewise, a Saskatoon win would move the Westleys ahead of Delisle and put them out of reach for the Icehawks.
Despite the gloomy forecast of the playoff future for the Icehawks, it has been a season of vast improvement as Prince Albert has more than doubled its win output from a year ago and on numerous instances was right in their games until late surges allowed opponents to escape with victories.
A big reason for the late collapses was a lack of bodies available for games and in the end had those who dressed just simply running out of gas in the latter stages.
A special ceremony is being planned prior to Saturday’s game with league representatives to be on hand to disperse an award to one of the Icehawks players. No other details were being released prior to the game.
Prince Albert will conclude the season with three games on the road beginning on Sunday in Saskatoon against the defending league champion Royals and concluding on Friday in Delisle against the Chiefs.