WILKIE — It’s a grand representation for playoff hockey at its finest and fans in Wilkie and Macklin are loving every minute of it.
The Sask. West Hockey League semifinals have displayed the best of senior hockey. The end result is a Macklin/Wilkie SWHL final.
The Macklin Mohawks took the first two games of the SWHL semifinal, however Kindersley would not go down without a fight and took game three of the series forcing a game four. However, the Mohawks aimed to be non-friendly hosts March 5. Kindersley, who dominated regular season, had Macklin push them to overtime to decide a winner, with the Mohawks capturing the series.
Carson Pickett scored just seconds into the opening period, firing up a driven Mohawk team. Fans described the game as a goaltending duel and they loved every minute of it. Kyle Dumba again showcased why he is a fan favourite, stopping shot after shot aimed his way.
The Kindersley/Macklin finals matchup was the third time since 2019 the Mohawks have eliminated the Klippers from playoffs. This year’s SWHL final will be a rematch of 2022, which Macklin won in five games.
The Outlaws took the first two games of the best-of-five series against Edam and would get to host game three, possibly a deciding game, at home Feb. 28. Wilkie brought it big when they needed to and defeated Edam by a score of 5-2 and will now face off in the league final against familiar opponents, Macklin Mohawks.
The weekend also included both teams competing in their respective provincial north finals, however results were not as favourable with both Wilkie and Macklin being eliminated from provincial contention.
The Outlaws faced off against Wadena Wildcats of the Long Lake Hockey League and won their series opener on the road with dozens of Wilkie fans in the stands. Game two was set in Wilkie March 4 but the Outlaws were unable to secure the win at home and had to play a deciding game three in Wadena March 5. Even though the Outlaws pushed through with everything they had, a game three was lost in overtime thus ending their provincial quest.
The Mohawks took two overtime periods to defeat the Kyle Elks in game one of the best-of-three north provincial D series. Game two returned to Macklin March 3 and a third game took place March 4 in Kyle. The weekend did not go as hoped for the Mohawks as they lost both game two and three to end their hopes for a provincial final appearance.
An incident is being looked into by Hockey Sask during a Macklin/Kyle playoff game that resulted in this statement being issued on the SWHL website, “The SWHL has a zero tolerance policy for any racism in our league. League suspensions will be imposed over and above Hockey Saskatchewan's sanctions to any player or coach in our league that is found to violate this policy.
"As well, any spectators at our rinks that contravene the zero policy towards racism will be removed from the building immediately. Those spectators will be banned from attending any SWHL games for the duration of the season. It is well past the time that we deal with racism head on, firmly and swiftly.” Joe Cey, SWHL president