WSHL WEEKLY NOTES 03.01.19 – PROVINCIAL DIVISION

by Scott Harrington

 WSHL standings are expressed W-L-OTW-OTL (“W” and “L” represent regulation wins and losses; shootouts are included in overtime results).  Three points are awarded for a regulation win, two for an overtime win and one for an overtime loss.

 COLD LAKE WINGS (4-31-2-2, 18 pts)

www.coldlakewings.com

@ColdLakeWings

 With six games remaining on their regular season schedule the Cold Lake Wings are still mathematically able to catch Meadow Lake for the third spot in the division but the Mustangs’ magic number is down to a single point.  Cold Lake would have to win out and Meadow Lake would have to lose all of their remaining games for the Wings to grab the #3 seed.


Therefore, it appears that the Wings will be travelling to Edson for a best-of-three Provincial Division Semifinal series beginning March 22.


The Wings scored a season-high 11 goals last Friday, handing Meadow Lake an 11-2 thrashing at Imperial Oil Place.


Dylan Tonks continued his goal-scoring exploits for the Wings, scoring five times to give him 13 goals in his first seven WSHL games.  Conor Frith (2-4-6) and Riley Smith (1-4-5) did a great job setting Tonks up all night and Cold Lake netminder Skyler Hildebrand took care of things at the other end, stopping 24 of 26 shots.


Tonks scored two more goals in a 6-3 loss at Meadow Lake the following day, giving him 15 goals in just eight games.


Edson and Hinton come through Cold Lake Friday and Saturday, respectively.

EDSON AEROS (30-6-1-1, 93 pts)

www.aeroshockey.ca

@AerosEdson

 With the inaugural Provincial Division title wrapped up, along with the #1 seed for the divisional playoffs that goes along with it, the Edson Aeros will work on fine-tuning their game over the final three weeks of the regular season.


With their place in the standings secure, there are some individual accolades for some Aeros to shoot for.


Sebastian Heden (54-69-123) looks like he has the scoring title pretty well secured, and Emil Johansson’s 61 goals are almost sure the lead the circuit as well, but the league lead in assists does not belong to an Aero.


Timothy Prexler (38-72-110) of the Bellingham Blazers is not only trying to stay within range of Edson’s dynamic duo when it comes to the points race.  His 72 helpers are the most of any player in the WSHL, but Heden could certainly overtake him.


The Aeros will play three-in-three this weekend – a rarity for the Provincial Division teams.  Edson will play at Cold Lake Friday, then Meadow Lake Saturday and Sunday.  They will be staying in Meadow Lake for the extra game Sunday to make up for an earlier game that was cancelled due to extreme weather.


HINTON WILDCATS (20-16-1-2, 64 pts)

www.hintonwildcats.ca

@HintonWildcats

The Hinton Wildcats have secured the #2 seed and home ice for the Provincial Division Semifinals.  Barring a perfect storm of Cold Lake wins and Meadow Lake losses over the last stretch of the regular season, the Wildcats will host the Mustangs in what should be a very competitive best-of-three series.


It also creates some intensity for the two Hinton-Meadow Lake tilts at Hinton’s Murray Rec Center this week as the two teams try to establish something prior to the playoffs.


Hinton bested Meadow Lake in the first seven meetings between the two teams this season – then Meadow Lake won the next two to create some intrigue – but the Wildcats posted a significant 11-4 win on Thursday night.  Game Two of the two-game set is Friday evening.


The two teams will face each other one more time, March 8, at Meadow Lake.


Last week, we made note of the recent struggles of Hinton’s leading scorer Branden Auger to find the net.  He then lit the lamp in three straight games – including a two-goal performance against Edson – to give him 30 goals on the season.


A productive Auger will be very important to the Wildcats’ post-season aspirations.

MEADOW LAKE MUSTANGS (11-26-1-0, 35 pts)

www.meadowlakemustangs.com

@ML_Mustangs

 Shane Hounsell scored three goals and assisted on two more as the Mustangs came back with a 6-3 win on home ice Saturday.


With 60 points in just 25 games this season, only three players in the league have produced more from a points-per-game perspective:  Edson’s Heden and Johansson, who are lapping the field at 3.42 and 3.19 respectively, and Bellingham’s Jamahl Eakett (2.47).


Hounsell sits at 2.40, but one of the more impressive things about his season is that only 10 of his 60 points have come on the power play.  He has been incredibly productive playing five-on-five which can be invaluable to the Mustangs.


Hounsell collected 24 points (10-14-24) in 71 games over two seasons with the Junior A La Ronge Ice Wolves of the SJHL, but the 19-year-old Meadow Lake native really found his scoring touch upon returning home. 


He scored 26 goals in 28 games for the Meadow Lake Midget AA team in 2015-2016.



--- Compiled by Scott Harrington for Harrington Sports Media