The Sr Klippers hockey club came into Macklin with a spotlight on them.
Recent developments include their first loss. On Wednesday January 11th Edam defeated Kindersley 7-6 in overtime. That game was played in Edam, and today's match up between these two is back in Kindersley. 5pm puck drop at the West Central Event Centre - Co-op Arena - 400 4th Street East.
The spotlight revealed that Kindersley would play Drake in senior A provincial playdowns. The other 4 teams in the North (Loreburn vs. Leroy) (Hafford vs. Meadow Lake) first round must be finished by February 13th. Kindersley and Drake are in a bye situation, their series is to be completed by February 27th.
The final bit of Klipper news that was revealed was a roster change. Two of the top scoring Klippers sat out on Saturday. Brody Ryberg was away with out a reason given to us at the time of publication. Assistant captain Shayne Neigum appeared to have suffered a lower body injury.
Al Neufeld is the head coach of the Macklin Mohawks. He was able to summarize the past few games in one word: disappointing. "We've struggled a bit here lately. We have Ty Kunz in the line-up tonight and hopefully that will spark the guys."
They came out like a house on fire. The Mohawk's coach was right. They looked inspired. This Saturday night game was being broadcast on the radio, and television. They had a lot of ups and downs throughout the season. It appeared that they were going make some hockey night history with a win.
They gave the hometown crowd lots to cheer about. Macklin had 8 shots on goal before Kindersley even had 1. More on that later.
The Mohawks couldn't solve Klipper's goalie Travis Child. They were clearly frustrated in the third period, as they tried a few different strategies with no success. They had a couple of whiffs because of broken sticks on one-timers. It's pretty easy to say they were second guessing themselves, and squeezing their stick. They outshot Kindersley 36-31. Kindersley outscored them 6-2.
Now for the rest of the story: It's not all about shots.
Kindersley had a few scoring opportunities without an official shot on the score clock. Jonny Calkins had opponents spinning in circles at one point with a play that really didn't look like much to start.
Calkins is a master of the 'give and go' play. He can use any player on the ice for it. There's none better at it right now then Shayne Neigum. Hopefully we get a chance to see the two of them back on Kindersley's top line. Calkins racks up the assists this year and it's because of the tic-tac-toe plays that he and Neigum execute together.
Midway through the first period Jonny Calkins dishes the puck to his teammate. He gets it back. He missed the 5' x 8' net by a quarter inch. He fired the shot high and wide. No shot. It doesn't count.
The Macklin side of the ice had a few scuffs on it now. Here they come again. Macklin's Mitch Brennan got in the shooting lane and deflected a puck up over the glass. It's still a goose egg for Klipper's shots.
We give the shot clock to much credit these days. Shots on net are equally as important as puck possession time. Faceoff wins, blocked shots, hits and penalty minutes per team are valuable stats. Kindersley's penalty in the first half of the first period, allowed Macklin to continue setting the pace. It wouldn't continue that way.
Mohawk's swift skater Tye Sherger got his a stick up in the face of Jonny Calkins. He was probably trying to get under Calkin's skin, because that's what the scouting report will tell you that you have to do in order to beat this team.
A missed pass between Mohawks made the difference. Klippers second line centerman David Dziurzynski picked it up. His linemate on one side is younger brother Darian. He has uber-talented Djay McGrath on the other side. David Dziurzynski made two quick motions. He gained possession of the puck, settled it down, and then served a back hand pass to Byron Ismond.
It was a scramble in front of the net. Mohawk's goalie Kyle Dumba would probably appreciate a clear view of the shooter. However, the puck came off Ismond's stick like a bullet. It then ricocheted a couple times before landing at the side of the net... like a gift... for a guy who has been doing a lot of giving
Djay McGrath was in the right place at the right time. He tapped it in. We had a 1-0 lead for the Klippers.
Kyle Donaldson sniped the second goal. The puck went past Dumba on the blocker side.
Each team had 3 penalties in the first period. They each had 4 penalties in the second period. However, Kindersley had four goals in the second and they kept their foot on Macklin's throat with some puck luck and power play opportunities. Macklin may have recognized that and stayed out of the box for the third. Save for a roughing call that also sent a Klipper to the sin bin.
Kindersley's second period goals came from Djay McGrath, Kyle Donaldson, Jackson Bauml, and David Dziurzynski. Macklin's only 2 goals also came in the second,and they were from Foster Steinhubel and Carson Pickett.
Macklin will close out their SWHL season next weekend with a home game against Hafford on Saturday Jan 21st.
Klippers wrap up their regular season tonight at 5pm vs Edam 3 Stars.