WSHL WEEKLY NOTES 12.07.18 – PROVINCIAL DIVISION
COLD LAKE WINGS (2-14-1-1, 9 pts)
The Cold Lake Wings scored 11 goals in the two games they played last weekend, but it was not enough to snap their 13-game losing streak.
Cold Lake has scored more goals then Meadow Lake (64-57) and has allowed fewer (134-150), yet find themselves six points behind the Mustangs in the Provincial Division standings.
The Wings welcome the Edson Aeros and Hinton Wildcats to Imperial Oil Place this weekend where they will try to get back in the win column.
Cold Lake swapped 16-year-old forwards with Edson on November 30, acquiring Chris Pynn in exchange for Henry Mayer. Pynn, a 5’10”, 181-pound native of Thompson, MB, notched three assists in 15 games with the Aeros.
Wichita, Casper and Steamboat are on the docket for the Wings as they make their first trip to Las Vegas for the at the league’s Western States Shootout showcase event December 18-21.
EDSON AEROS (13-3-1-1, 42 pts)
The Edson Aeros’ first trip to the Western States Shootout will be a doozy. As a result of their first place standing in the Provincial Division, the Aeros will face one of the most challenging slates that any team will see at the showcase, going up against El Paso, Long Beach and Ogden.
Those three teams have combined to collect 142 of a possible 183 points (.776). That does not even adjust for the games they have played against each other, which would drive that number higher.
Edson had scored 14 shorthanded goals this season – five more than any other team in the WSHL – and they have done it in just 18 games played. That puts them on pace for 40 shorties over the course of a 51-game season.
The El Paso Rhinos – a dominant team that lost just two games all season and went on to win the Thorne Cup – was tops in the league last year with 38.
Kevin Lundin (5) and Emil Johansson (4) are ranked 1-2 in the league in shorthanded goals.
HINTON WILDCATS (10-6-1-1, 33 pts)
A split with first-place Edson last week showed that the Hinton Wildcats are in the race for the Provincial Division title for the long haul. Hinton won on Saturday at home, 4-3, to move within nine points of the Aeros for the top spot in the division.
The Friday game in Edson was tied in the third period before the Aeros eventually won, 6-4, but the Wildcats played the top team in the division pretty much even over 120 minutes of hockey – an encouraging sign.
And a positive indicator for the Wildcats’ long-term outlook - they boast seven skaters with 20 or more points this season and all of them will have junior eligibility remaining next year (1999 birth year or later).
Hinton will go up against Northern Colorado, San Diego and Steamboat at the showcase in Las Vegas.
MEADOW LAKE MUSTANGS (5-13-0, 15 pts)
They couldn’t buy a win in the early part of the season but, entering this weekend the Meadow Lake Mustangs have won three in a row and four of their last five.
The ‘Stangs swept both ends of a home-and-home series with Cold Lake last week. Shane Hounsell figured in six of seven Meadow Lake goals, scoring twice and picking up four assists, as the Mustangs defeated the Wings, 7-4, in Cold Lake on Friday evening.
Hounsell (3-2-5) and Andrew Hawes (2-4-6) led the Mustangs to an 11-7 win at home on Saturday.
Hounsell, 19, has now produced 18 points (9-9-18) in just five games since joining the team.
He played 70 games of Junior A hockey in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, including 18 this season, before joining the Mustangs. Hounsell showed some offensive upside earlier in his career, scoring 26 goals in 28 games in Midget AA in 2015-16, adding eight more in as many playoffs games.
Andrew Hawes has made just as big an impact, putting up 11 points (7-4-11) in just three games. The 18-year-old played three seasons in the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League with the Tisdale Trojans.
--- Compiled by Scott Harrington for Harrington Sports Media