Coach expects best to come in playoffs

High Prairie Red Wings player Nolan Noskey, right, stickhandles the puck as he is chased by Mayerthorpe Northern Alberta Lightning player Tray Preuss, left, in National Junior Hockey League action Feb. 9 in High Prairie.

Richard Froese
South Peace News

The High Prairie Red Wings have secured second place in the National Junior Hockey League while the Edson Eagles claim first.

Both teams sealed the top two spots after the Red Wings lost to Edson 6-3 on the road Feb. 10 and beat the Mayerthorpe Northern Alberta Lightning 9-4 at home Feb. 9.

Braydan Auger, Ty Cunningham and Kaden Desjarlais scored in Edson for the Eagles, who trailed 1-0 after the first period and 4-3 after the second period.

High Prairie goaltender Cole Webber was busy as the Eagles outshot the Red Wings 77-56, including 32-23 in the second period.

At home, Auger scored three goals to lead the Red Wings, who led 4-0 after the first period and 7-3 after the second.

The fourth Red Wings’ goals was scored with just 0.1 second on the clock.

Dayton Shantz scored the final two goals in the game to become the Red Wings all-time goal scorer in team history.

Nolan Noskey also scored twice while KC Papastesis and Nicholas Rollinmud added one each.

High Prairie goaltender Joseph Isaac had a solid game as the Red Wings outshot the Lightning 71-29, including 26-8 in the first period.

Red Wings’ head coach Trent Meyaard says the Red Wings are now focused on getting prepared for the playoffs, with five games remaining in the regular season.

“We are fine-tuning any areas of our game we can,” Meyaard says.

“I expect us to push really hard down the stretch for a fourth straight championship.”

He is focused on gearing up for the Red Wings to play at their potential.

“We have yet to play with our best roster once this season due to school, work and injuries,” Meyaard says.

“It’s looking like everything will come together around the playoffs or the last couple of weeks in the regular season.

“I expect us to be ready to go.”

After the regular season ends March 9, High Prairie and Edson will both have byes in the first round of the playoffs.

Upcoming, the Red Wings host the Fox Creek Ice Kings on Feb. 23 before both teams battle in Fox Creek on Feb. 24.

After that, the Red Wings have just one home game remaining in the regular season when they host Fox Creek on March 8.

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