If the Prince Albert Icehawks want to climb out of the Prairie Junior Hockey League’s North Division basement then they will have to continue with their improved play when they host the Saskatoon Westley’s at 7:30 p.m. on Friday at the Kinsmen Arena.
The Icehawks, who have won their last four games -- all on the road -- trail the Westley’s by three points and hold a game in hand on their Saskatoon rivals. Friday’s game will also have a little more meaning for the Icehawks as their last loss was an embarrassing 10-1 setback to the Westley’s just prior to their recent run of success.
Prince Albert, which will complete its pre-Christmas portion of the schedule on Sunday when they will host the West Central Rage at 2:30 p.m. at the Kinsmen Arena, continues to be led offensively by sophomore forward Brett Boyer.
The 19-year-old Boyer has 26 goals and 18 assists in 22 games to sit just three points out of the league scoring lead, a position held by Tucker Neuberger of the Southern Rebels. Also having strong seasons are Lyndon Arcand and Lucas Anseth with 30 and 29 points, respectively.
Although his numbers aren’t among the league leaders, goaltender Tyler Gordon has played a significant role in the Icehawks’ turnaround as the second-year netminder was the goaltender of record in three of the four wins during the streak and saw action in all four of the games. Gordon has faced 586 shots in the 15 games he has played in while Aidon Patrick has also had strong outings in a support role.
The Icehawks, who won just five games all of last year and failed to make the playoffs for the first time in franchise history, could creep to within one point of the fifth-place Delisle Chiefs with a sweep of their weekend games.
It is one game at a time, however, and the Westleys should provide a good gauge on Friday of where the team stands.