Above: Flag Bearer Ben MacInnes from the 9A1 Fort Garry Flyers
This game bore the resemblance of being at a track meet, the only apparent difference was the fact that these two competitors were wearing skates and carrying sticks. Speed and lots of it was the main item on the menu for this match up. Arguably, these two clubs may very well be the quickest in the League. The score board read 4 – 1 Hawks when the final horn sounded but the game was much closer than the score might indicate. This was an intense, highly skilled and very entertaining game. Just like Friday night, this one had implications of play-off hockey.
The Canucks would open the scoring at the 13:15 mark of the first period and 4 1/2 minutes later, Mike Lorange would even the affair up at one with assists from Beau Zelenewich and J P Lovell. In the second period, your Hawks would knot a pair of unanswered tallies off the stick of Dylan Zeke. Earning assists would be Shane Kustra-Nelson (with a pair) and singles going to Reg Bowles and Cody Groen. Shane Kustra-Nelson would complete his productive afternoon with an unassisted empty netter in the dying minutes of the third to seal the deal and more importantly give the Hawks those much cherished two points.
Hawk’s Ben Thorlakson also had quite the afternoon at the office. He made 36 saves to preserve his 16th win of the season. Canuck tender Tyler Wiess was credited with stopping 19 of the 22 shots directed his way and was charged with the loss. Hawk’s PP was 0 for 1 and the PK was good on the lone Canuck odd man opportunity.
Only 4 games remain on the Hawk’s schedule. Next up is a home game against the Transcona Railer Express who are fighting for their play-off lives. This one is set to go on Friday, February 24th at the Eric Coy Arena. Game time is 7:30 p.m. Hope to see you there.
The MM was on full display last night at the Coy in front of a large crowd mainly consisting of the “Friendship Force” Club Members from Australia and New Zealand, most of whom were witnessing their first ever hockey game. They were being hosted by the Friendship Force Clubs of both the Winnipeg and Manitoba Chapters. I can’t tell you if it was the boisterous, huge crowd or the fact it was another game of serious consequence to the victor of this storied rivalry that got the engines running at peak power but I can tell you that both the Raiders and Hawks put on one heck of a show for the visitors from down under. No question about it, they witnessed a dandy!
The biggest disappointment of the night, other than losing the game and two critical points, was the fact that the home crowd and our visitors failed to see any Hawk goals. Once again, the Hawk offence was AWOL. I can already hear the people strumming on their tiny fiddles, oh, we played hard, we competed, we had better chances than the Raiders, we ran into a hot goal-tender, YES, YES, YES and YES to all the above but unfortunately we are now at the stage of the season where, like it or not, winning is the only stat that really matters. Bottom line, it is great to see the effort but points are not doled out based on your compete level.
The only goal of this contest was scored at the 13:23 mark of the second period and it came off the stick of Raider forward Dawson Anderson. What seems to be a Hawk norm this season is the fact that their starting tender gives them every opportunity to win and that was again the scenario in this game. Ryan Hall was tagged for the loss despite turning back 31 of the 32 Raider shots directed his way. Ryan Brown was credited with the win and recorded his second shut out of the season stopping all 28 Hawk scoring attempts. PP was 0 for 2 and the Hawks did not have to kill a penalty.
This loss ended any chance of a first place finish. Now it is imperative that the boys get focused on the remaining five games and retain second place. It won’t be easy. Their next opponent is the St. James Canucks who are on a role. It takes place on Sunday, February 19 at the St. James Civic Centre and the start time of this one is 2:45 P.M. Hope to see you there!
Pictured Above: Skills Competition Winners Team Red!
On Valentines day, our Hawks spent some time together sharing camaraderie and some friendly (?) competition. Here are some notable results!
Mike Lorange – Accuracy – 4/5 targets, 12.3 seconds
Shane Kustra Nelson – Fastest Skater, 15.5 seconds
Tyson Bannatyne – Hardest Shot – 94 mph
Team Red – Shootout Winners
Team Red – Overall Champions