The La Ronge Ice Wolves kicked off a three-game swing with a 4-0 loss in North Battleford on Wednesday night to the North Stars.
For the third straight game, putting the puck in the net proved to be a challenge for the Ice Wolves, who are averaging 2.46 goals per game at the moment.
“I think the effort was there for the most part of the game,” said Ice Wolves Assistant Coach Gaelan Patterson. “I think we kind of got lost at the end there — seems to kind of happen quite a bit.”
Following a scoreless first frame, the North Stars got things going 17:12 into the second when Braydon Buziak recorded his third of the season on the man advantage.
Matthias Urbanski scored two beautiful goals in the third, while Tanner Robin added a late marker, which sealed the deal for the North Stars.
Ice Wolves defenceman Stephon Perreault felt his team’s effort was good for 50 minutes of the contest.
“Once they scored their second goal, you kind of saw the energy die away,” said Perreault. “It’s something we got to work on, we got to work on putting together a full 60 minutes.”
Merek Pipes made his second straight start in the La Ronge net. Pipes ended the evening with 41 saves in a losing cause. Joel Grzybowski only had to make 23 saves for his first shutout of the season. The Ice Wolves failed to convert on three power play opportunities.
The Ice Wolves have now dropped 14 straight games to the North Stars. The last time La Ronge beat North Battleford was Jan. 23, 2016 in Edam. On that night, the Ice Wolves skated away with a 7-1 win in front of a wild crowd.
With the loss, the Ice Wolves slipped to 4-9 on the season, which has them in 11th in the overall standings. The Ice Wolves will look to end a three-game slide on Friday when they take on the North Stars again at the Civic Centre. You can catch Friday’s game live on MBC Network Radio, the pre-game show begins at 7:15 p.m. with Braden Malsbury.
The Ice Wolves will conclude the three-game trip on Saturday in Kindersley against the Klippers. The next home game for La Ronge is next Wednesday when the Weyburn Red Wings make their first visit to the Mel Hegland Uniplex.
(PHOTO: The Ice Wolves took on the North Stars Wednesday. Photo by Braden Malsbury.)