September was a perfect month for the Nipawin Hawks, literally.
A perfect 6-0 start had them leading the Sherwood Division, the best points percentage in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL), and two-week stint atop the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) Top 20 Rankings.
But like the hit song by Green Day, September has ended and it’s time to wake up.
The Hawks lost their first game of the season against the Kindersley Klippers 5-1 before heading into Battlefords and edging the North Stars 2-1 in a shootout.
Head coach Doug Johnson told northeastNOW in the Flashback he wasn’t pleased with his team’s road trip, even in the victory against the Battlefords.
When it was time to come back home for another game against the North Stars on Oct. 5, the Hawks came out flying (pun definitely intended) outshooting the Stars 10-4, but no score after the first period.
The Hawks scored early in the second thanks to Jordan Simoneau, but the Stars responded with two goals a few minutes later to lead 2-1 after two.
CJHL veteran and newcomer to Nipawin Arik Breton continued his solid start to the season with his fourth goal of the year at 7:35 to tie it 2-2, but a goal from Battlefords’ Matthew Fletcher nearly two minutes later put the Stars up for good before scoring an empty net goal to win 4-2.
The Hawks ended up outshooting the North Stars 36-26 in the game, which is something they couldn’t do on the road games in Kindersley or Battlefords.
Starting goaltender Declan Hobbs is among the top goaltenders in the SJHL so far. In six starts, Hobbs posts a .932 save percentage good for fifth in the league and 2.35 goals against average which sits sixth.
Hobbs has provided the Hawks quality goaltending through the first month of the season, although it will be interesting to see how many starts backup goaltender Patrick Pugliese gets going forward. In three starts his .966 save percentage and 0.97 goals against average sit first in both categories.
Pugliese will have a good chance to gain some more minutes this weekend as the Hawks get ready for a home and home series against their division rival Melfort Mustangs.
First game at home for the Tisdale Trojans since the season opener?
The Trojans downed their regional rival Prince Albert Mintos 6-2 with the usual suspects getting it done.
Cade Hayes scored two goals which added to his scoring lead in the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League (SMAAAHL) early on. Kalen Ukrainetz’s three assists have him sitting third.
Goaltender Tanner Martin made 24 saves on the evening, he’s currently tied for first in the SMAAAHL with a .940 save percentage.
The Trojans are second in the SMAAAHL with a 4-1-0-0 record for eight points in five games but face their toughest test to date on Tuesday, Oct. 9 in Saskatoon facing the first place Blazers (6-0-0-0).
On Twitter: @SchulzePANow
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