Playoffs shut down

Brendan Willier of the High Prairie Red Wings, right, chases Travis Wakefield of the Slave Lake Icedogs in Greater Metro Junior A Hockey League action March 6 in High Prairie. It was the final home game in the regular season for the Red Wings.

Richard Froese
South Peace News

The playoff run for the High Prairie Red Wings is over just as it started.

Officials of the Greater Metro Junior A Hockey League pulled the plug on the West Division playoffs March 13 over the coronavirus worldwide pandemic announced March 11 by the World Health Organization.

“We are cancelling the playoffs,” West Division expansion director Derek Prue.

“Parents of the players are expressing concern as well.”

He says the Red Wings are excited to return in 2020-21.

Playoffs in the first year for the West Division got underway March 11.

After finishing third in the division, High Prairie lost 4-2 to Northern Alberta Tomahawks in Enoch in the first game in the best-of-five series.

The Red Wings led 1-0 after the first period after John Yellowknee scored at 10:23 assisted by Firekeeper Letendre and Keaton Auger.

Tied at 1-1 after the second period, the Tomahawks outscored High Prairie 3-1 in the final frame.

Mikal Chalifoux popped an unassisted power-play goal at 12:05.

High Prairie outshot the Tomahawks 34-27 as Red Wing goalie Jeremiah Clarke was busy in net.

The Red Wings settled for third place in the division at the end of the regular season when they lost 12-11 to first-place Slave Lake Icedogs on home ice March 6.

High Prairie lost 7-6 in overtime to the Tomahawks on March 7 in Enoch to close out the regular season.

Entering the playoffs, the Red Wings were on a four-game losing streak.

Other minor, high school, junior and professional leagues in a variety of sports also cancelled events or put games on hold indefinitely.

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