The Warmamn U18AAA Wildcats in action against the Saskatoon Blazers January 12

The Warman U18AAA Wildcats are working their way up the Saskatchewan Male AAA Hockey league standings after earning a valuable six points in the three games they played this past week.

On Wednesday, January 10 they hosted the league leading Saskatoon Blazers and came away with one of their best performances of the year ,earning a 5-0 win.

The home team got off to a quick start with Dylan Danyluk, Beckett Hamilton and Liam Bursaw finding the twine in the first period.

They poured it on in the third period, firing 20 shots on the Blazers goaltender. Two of those shots, one by Beckett Hamilton and one by Janah Marshall, hit paydirt to seal the deal.

Wildcats goaltender Corben Schnurr made 23 saves in the shutout win, earning the home player of the game for his efforts.

This set up an epic weekend series against the Estevan Great North Bears.

Warman U18AAA Wildcats Beckett Hamilton tucks the puck past Estevan Bears goaltender Cole Ivey to give the home team a 3-2 shootout win on Sunday, January 14

While the weather was frigid outside, the action inside could not have been hotter, as the two teams squared off on Friday and Saturday night.

Both games ended up going to overtime with Warman coming out on top each night.

The Friday tilt was a back and forth affair. Estevan  hit the scoreboard first on a Talen Wallis goal, and outshot Warman 8-1 early on.

But, an unassisted shorthanded marker by Cade Hynd sparked a Wildcats rally and they evened the shots by the end of the period.

Connor Bear gave the Wildcats the second period lead. A power play goal by Estevan’s Trevor Reis with nine seconds left in the period knotted the score at 2-2.

Talen Wallis fired his second of the game to restore Estevan’s lead early in the third period. Carsen Adair tied the game mid-period.

Warman decided the game early in overtime when Beckett Hamilton fed a pass to Liam Bursaw, who buried the shot past the Estevan goalie.

Those two players would also play an important role in the Saturday game.

Both goalies earned Stars of the Game. Warman’s Riley Deck made 31 saves while Estevan’s Kaden Perron had 29.

The lucky spectators in attendance on Saturday night were treated to one of the most hard-hitting, fast-paced games of the year. The on-ice action was intense but disciplined, with only one penalty called through sixty minutes.

Both the shots on net (32-32) and the score (2-2) would end tied at the end of regulation.

Warman’s Hudson Brehaut earned Home Star of the game, setting up Warman’s first goal by linemate Kaleb Dewar and scoring Warman’s second goal in the third period on a pass from Dewar.

The overtime period did not settle anything, forcing the game to a shootout.

Warman goaltender Corben Schnurr stopped both Estevan shooters. Liam Bursaw fired a bullet past Estevan goaltender Cole Ivy on Warman’s first shot and Beckett Hamilton sealed the victory with a backhand deke on the second shot.

Warman head coach Courage Bear was pleased with how the team is playing in the new year. He attributes some of that to lessons learned from competing in the Circle K Classic Tournament in Calgary December 27–31.

“You are playing against the best teams in North America,” said Bear. “Make a mistake and everything gets magnified at that level. I was happy with how we competed. We stuck around and fought to the end of every game. It set us up for the new year. They learned some lessons and want to prove they can be better,.

“There is work to be done,” he added. “Second half hockey is always harder. We have a big week ahead and we want to make sure we are ready to go.No excuses, let’s get at it.”

The Wildcats currently have 40 points on 19 wins and

two overtime losses. This puts them three points behind the Saskatoon Blazers, one point behind the Regina Pat Canadians and one point ahead of the Swift Current Legionnaires.

The upcoming week will be huge as the Wildcats travel to Regina on Tuesday, January 16 and play the Blazers at SaskTel Centre on Wednesday, January 17. They will host the Swift Current Legionnaires on Saturday, January 20 (7:30 p.m.) and Sunday January 21 (2:00 p.m.).