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Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League

Mustangs welcome Hawks, Big Night at the Northern Lights Palace

By Jaret Schneider, 02/02/18, 9:30AM CST

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The Melfort Mustangs(30-9-4-1) and Nipawin Hawks(35-5-2-3) are set for another epic clash on Friday night. Tonight the Hawks head south to meet the Mustangs at the Northern Lights Palace. It is the 6th of 10 meetings between the clubs with the Mustangs holding the slight edge, having won 4 of the previous 5. It’s a big game for both teams as we get closer and closer to the end of the regular season. Thanks to an very impressive run by the Nipawin Hawks they lead all SJHL teams with 75 points. Melfort sits in 3rd with 65.

The Melfort Mustangs have now reeled off back to back wins over Notre Dame and Melville, and are 10-2-0-0 in their last 12 games. The Mustangs have been led offensively at times by numerous different players. In the most recent stretch Reed Gunville and Loch Morrison have been the two to take the reins of the club. They’re two of the hottest players in the league right now. Gunville has points in 11 of the last 13 games racking up 6 goals and 12 assists for 18 points during that stretch. He has been the model of consistency since the middle of December and is putting together another great season because of it. Morrison has been one of the best defencemen in the SJHL and is a on a 9 game point streak to boot. In the last 12 games, Loch has scored 5 times and added 12 assists for 17 points. Between the pipes Hunter Arps has played the last two games for the Mustangs and got wins in both starts. He sits with an impressive 11-2-1 record with a 2.58 Goals Against Average and a .899 Save Percentage. Evan Plotnik is expected to get the call between the pipes tonight. On the year he is 19-7-3-1 with a .919 Save Percentage and a 2.37 GAA.

The Nipawin Hawks have been the hottest team in Canada since the beginning of November. Sitting with a 24-0-1-1 streak since Nov 10th, the Hawks have points in 26 straight games and are slowly running away with the SJHL regular season crown. Their last regulation loss you ask? November 10th at the NLP against the Melfort Mustangs. Similar to the Melfort Mustangs the Hawks are led in scoring by their best Defencemen, Josh McDougall. McDougall has 58 points on the year to lead all D-men is scoring. Up front, Brandan Arnold and Michael Grant have combined for 95 points.

Leading Scorers:

Melfort

Loch Morrison 17G, 32A- 49P

Reed Gunville 9G, 27A- 36P

Justin Ball 18G, 17A- 35P

Carson Albrecht 18G, 15A- 33P

Nipawin

Josh McDougall 15G, 43A- 58P

Brandan Arnold 26G, 19A- 45P

Michael Grant 21G, 19A- 40P

Chad McCartney 11G, 23A- 34P

Tonight’s game begins at 7:30pm from the Northern Lights Palace and the game will be broadcast on CK750. After tonight the teams conclude the home and home in Nipawin tomorrow.