The Richardson Pioneer Weyburn Red Wings held their fall training camp over the long weekend, and wrapped it up with their first two exhibition games of the season against their Highway 39 rivals, the Estevan Bruins, winning both of them.
The camp opened on Friday evening with around 60 players in attendance, with drills training sessions and two prospects games, plus the annual Red-and-White game on Saturday evening.
“The camp went really well. We found a couple of young guys that will be good draft prospects in a couple of years, and we’ll be keeping an eye on them. We’ve got a few guys who were Weyburn players that we’ll be able to play in the next two years. It’ll be good to see their progress,” said head coach Cody Mapes.
For the exhibition game on Sunday night, Mapes said the roster was pretty close to what it will be on opening day of the season on Sept. 24, with three veterans sitting out so he could play the prospective players.
The Red Wings posted a 5-3 win, but more importantly for the coaching staff, it gave them a good idea of what areas they will need to focus on in the next two and a half weeks before the season opener.
On Tuesday night, the Wings travelled to Estevan and came away with a 3-2 win.
“There were a few guys that are still showcasing themselves for us,” said Mapes. “The guys played well and showed us some different things that were promising.”
He noted the coaches haven’t yet put the players through their systems, and the players were quick to pick up on things they wanted them to do on the fly.
“We’ve got two and a half weeks before the new season starts, and we’ve got a lot of stuff to cover,” said Mapes, noting they will have to have their roster down to 25 players by Sept. 24, and right now they have 32 players to work with.
The Red Wings will be hosting the Yorkton Terriers on Friday evening at Crescent Point Place. In addition, they will play the Notre Dame Hounds a couple of times next week.
In Sunday’s game, the Red Wings were first on the board with a goal by Shayde Peterson, assisted by Ty Mason, before the Bruins tied the game up.
It was Mason’s turn to score in the second, assisted by Peterson and Drew Kuzma, followed by an unassisted goal from Braden Birnie, and a goal by Jackson Hassman, assisted by Graham Skinner and JD Hall.
The Wings’ final goal was from Edison Weeks, with assists from Kuzma and Tate Schofer.
Joseph Young was in net for the full game Sunday, and faced 32 shots over 60 minutes, while Cameron Beson played on Tuesday night, facing 47 shots on net.
In the Tuesday night game, scoring came from Elvis Slack in the first period, assisted by Mason and Jakob Kalin; then in the third period, with the game tied at 1-1, Kalin scored with assists by Ian Maier and Birnie, and Birnie then scored the winning goal with assists from Connor Healy and Slack.