South Peace News
The unbeaten High Prairie Red Wings posted three more wins in the Greater Metro Junior A Hockey League play last week.
High Prairie stretched its winning streak to 55 games over two seasons after a thrilling game that featured two teams in the GMHL top-10 rankings for February.
The No. 2 Red Wings beat the No. 7 Enoch Northern Alberta Tomahawks 4-2 at home Feb. 3.
High Prairie boosted its season record to 31-0 in a game postponed from Jan. 15 when a small number of Red Wing players and staff tested positive for COVID-19.
Keygon Okemow was stellar in net for the Red Wings, who were outshot 43-36. He was kept busy in the third period as the Tomahawks peppered 21 shots, but their only goal came with six seconds left.
Head coach Trent Meyaard says Okemow was the big difference in the game.
“We got an MVP performance by Keygon who made some game-changing saves as he has done all season to save the day at the right time,” Meyaard says.
Paydin Young, Bray- dan Auger, Benny Yellowknee and Mikal Chalifoux scored for the Red Wings who led 4-1 after the second period.
High Prairie scored two power play goals and one short-handed.
“It was great to see the boys get rewarded for their work in practice,” Meyaard says.
“We came out with lots of energy.”
Chalifoux is back on the Red Wings’ roster after playing with the Binghamton Black Bears of the Federal Prospects Hockey League since mid-October. He returned after he became a father Jan. 8 and wants to spend more time with his family.
“We are excited to have Mikal back as he is a difference maker,” says Meyaard.
The weekend before, the Red Wings blanked the host Gibbons Pioneers 10-0 on the road Jan. 28 and crushed the Mackenzie Mountaineers 14-5 at home Jan. 29.
High Prairie goaltender Ethan Bewer recorded his second shutout of the season, both against Gibbons.
The Red Wings out shot Gibbons 56-9.
Bewer was in net when the hometown Red Wings shut out the hapless Pioneers 10-0 on Nov. 27.
Theo Cunningham, Dayton Shantz and Auger each popped a pair for the Red Wings, who led 3-0 after the first period and 7-0 after two.
Rielly Mackinaw, Harlan Noskiye, Reece Hopfner and Trey Cunningham also scored for High Prairie.
Hopfner scored four goals at home against a short-handed Mackenzie team. Gabe Blais, Harlan Noskey, Auger and Keaton Auger each added a pair of goals for the Red Wings who led 7-0 after the first period and 7-3 after the second period.
Mackinaw and Noskiye also scored for High Prairie.
The Red Wings outshot the Mountaineers 48-20 as Brad Roncin was in goal for High Prairie.
Hopfner is one of two players the Red Wings signed in the last week of January.
“Reece brings us another scoring punch,” Meyaard says.
Hopfner played four years in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League and the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. He is a second cousin of Red Wing general manager and owner Kevin Hopfner.
High Prairie also signed Kelton Noskiye, a younger player who played most of his minor hockey in Peace River’s AA system.
“Kelton and Reece both add depth to our lineup and healthy competition for starting roster spots,” Meyaard says.
Last weekend, the Red Wings hosted the Gibbons Pioneers on Feb. 4 and visited Mackenzie on Feb. 5.