By Kevin McBain
The Kindersley Clarion
The Kindersley Klippers had a light schedule this week, playing just a neutral site game in Macklin on Nov. 29, beating the La Ronge Ice Wolves 3-2.
Fans got to see a wide-open Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League affair with the teams combining for 89 shots. The Klippers’ young guns led the way, with Kyle Bosch scoring two and Wil Van der Sloot picking up the other. Van der Sloot also recorded assists in both of Bosch’s goals.
In net for the Klippers, Billy Girard stopped 44 of 46 shots. Merek Pipes of the Ice Wolves stopped 40 of 43 shots in the loss.
Klippers assistant coach Larry Wintoneak said it may have been a good show for the fans but not so much for the coaches.
“I think we were kind of looking ahead to our road trip and we didn’t give them the respect that we should have and it was a bit loose. I think they had 19 goals scored against them in the previous two games and we may not have been very focused on the task at hand,” he said. “But we did find a way to win, which was important.”
He said that it was great to see Girard get the win.
“Billy got the start in net and it’s good for him to get the points,” he said. “We were hoping to give him a little more support in front of him, but we didn’t really step up to the plate, so to speak, but he did well and held the fort for us.”
Head coach Geoff Grimwood returned behind the bench for the Klippers on Wednesday after serving his three-game suspension. But he left the team to be a guest coach at the Team West training camp held Dec. 1 to 5 in Calgary. He will return behind the bench for Wednesday’s game in Wilcox.
Forward Nikolas Malencia will also return to the lineup on Wednesday after serving a six-game suspension for goaltender interference against Weyburn.
Wintoneak said he’s looking forward to having these two back and hitting the road.
“We’ve invested a lot of time in practice and conditioning in November and I think we are all ready to hit the road,” he said. “It will be good, we won’t have as many distractions and we can get into a routine and get in some team bonding, which is all important.”
The Klippers went to Wilcox yesterday and were scheduled to take on the Hounds yesterday and today. They’ll be in Weyburn for games Friday and Saturday before returning home to host Humboldt on Dec. 12 and Nipawin on Dec. 13.
The team will be getting to know their new mates, acquired on trade deadline day, Dec. 1. Joining them on the trip will be newly-acquired 1997-born forward Keilan Olson and ’99-born forward Bryson Cecconi, who were picked up from Nipawin for ’98-born forward Christian Bosa and a 2019 third round pick and futures.
Olson is from Calgary and stands 5’7” tall and weighs in at 156 pounds. He plays right wing and is automatically the team’s leading scorer with seven goals and 17 assists in 24 games this season.
“We’ve been looking for a right-handed shot and we’ve had our eye on him for awhile now and Geoff had the chance to pull the trigger,” said Wintoneak. “He will definitely help us out offensively and will be great for our power play.”
Cecconi is also a right-winger and stands six-feet tall and weighs in at 186 pounds. He’s from Powell River, B.C. With Nipawin, he recorded three goals and chipped in one assist in 10 games played.
Unfortunately, the Klippers had to say goodbye to Bosa and popular forward Jordan Funk, who was traded to the Flin Flon Bombers for future considerations and a 2019 sixth round draft pick.
- Don’t forget to pick up your $50,000 50/50 ticket. Only 1,000 tickets are being sold at $100 each. The draw for the early bird prize (Edmonton Oilers tickets) will be made Dec. 19. The top prize will be drawn on Feb. 24.
You can get your tickets from any board member, player, at the Klippers booth or by calling 306-430-8011.