Red Wings sweep last place Rampage

The second-place High Prairie Red Wings are chasing the first-place Edson Eagles for top spot in the National Junior Hockey League. Red Wing player Dayton Shantz, left, and Eagle captain Jordan Radke, chase the puck in NJHL action Oct. 21 in High Prairie.

Richard Froese
South Peace News

The High Prairie Red Wings swept two games in Vulcan the first weekend in February in junior hockey.

The second-place Red Wings narrowly defeated the Vulcan Rampage 6-4 on Feb. 3 and 6-5 on Feb. 2 in National Junior Hockey League action.

Tate Paul, Ty Cunningham, Noah Cunningham, Nicholas Rollinmud, Dayton Shantz and Cody Waller scored in the second game for the Red Wings, who led 4-0 after the first period and 5-0 after the second period.

The Rampage outscored the Red Wings 4-1 in the final period to make the game close.

Tucker Bayly was solid in the crease as the Red Wings outshot the Rampage 42-37.

Shantz tallied three goals in the opening game as teams were tied 1-1 after the first period. The Red Wings led 4-2 after the second period.

Paul popped a pair of goals while Nolan Noskey added one.

Bayly was strong in the net as the Red Wings outshot the Rampage 54-24.

Red Wings’ head coach Trent Meyaard says Vulcan is a much stronger team at home than on the road.

“Vulcan is a great team at home,” Meyaard says.

“With travel, their players in school and working are unable to make road games a majority of the time.”

Heading into the final quarter of the regular season, the second-place Red Wings are striving to overcome the first-place Edson Eagles.

“We will have to practise hard, be detailed with a good work ethic for 60 minutes every games and we will win,” Meyaard says.

Edson has 56 points in the standings as of Feb. 8 while High Prairie has 46 points, followed by third-place Gibbons Pioneers with 28, fourth-place Mayer- thorpe Northern Alberta Lightning with 22 points, fifth-place Fox Creek Ice Kings with 21 points and sixth-place Vulcan Rampage with 14 points.

After the regular season ends March 10, the top two teams in the league get a bye in the first round of the playoffs.

The opening round will see No. 3 play No 6 while No. 4 faces No. 5.

In the second round, the No. 1 team plays the lowest seed while No. 2 faces the higher seed.

The Red Wings boosted their roster as the team seeks to defend its title as the West Division champions in the Greater Metro Jr. Hockey League for three straight seasons before the NJHL was formed in 2023.

Upcoming, the Red Wings hit the road this weekend when they visit the host Gibbons Pioneers on Feb. 16 and the Mayerthorpe Northern Alberta Lightning on Feb. 18.

After that, the Red Wing have just two home games remaining.

High Prairie hosts the Fox Creek Ice Kings on Feb. 23 and March 8.

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