Neepawa Farmers just keep on winning



While this goal in the second period was waved off due to goaltender interference, the Neepawa Farmers still tallied nine others in their win over the Wawanesa Jets on Saturday, Dec. 30.

By Eoin Devereux

Neepawa Banner & Press

A ten game winning streak has the Neepawa Farmers ushering in the new year as one of the top teams in the Tiger Hills Hockey League (THHL). A pair of victories over the Hartney Blues and Wawanesa Jets on the last weekend of 2017, improved the Farmers’ regular season record to 11-2-0. Neepawa upended the Blues 9-5 on Friday, Dec. 29 and then quickly followed that up on Dec. 30 with a 9-2 thumping of the Jets. 

For the game in Hartney against the Blues, Matt Lowry had five points (4 goals - 1 assist), while Bret Levandoski (3G - 1A) and Ward Szucki (4 assists) both contributed four points each. 

The next night, the Farmers hosted the Wawanesa Jets at the Yellowhead Arena. The first period saw a very equal matchup, with several quality scoring chances created by both teams.  The Jets opened up the scoring with just over 6:30 left in the period, when Brett Kitt aggressively streaked to the front of the Farmers’ net and powered in the puck. A few minutes later, Neepawa replied with a bit of a strange goal. As forward Matt Lowry moved into the Wawanesa zone, he was able to flip the puck up into the air for what, under normal circumstances, would have been a routine save. On this occasion, however, the Jets goaltender was a bit handcuffed on the play and couldn’t locate the puck, until it was in the back of the net. That made it 1-1 after the first 20 minutes of action. 

In the second, Neepawa started pouring on the pressure,  taking the lead off of a Garett Rempel power-play effort. A few minutes later, the Farmers thought they had another goal, but had it waved off due to goaltender interference. That didn’t matter, however, as Lowry and Rempel would both score goals later in the period, to make it 4-1 for the home team. While Wawanesa did cut into the lead late in the period, they still found themselves down 4-2 going into the third. 

For the final 20 minutes of regulation, the Farmers simply didn’t let up, scoring five more goals before the final buzzer. Riley Kolesar had a pair, while Lance Nugent, Brady Adriaansen and Nolan Speiss all added singles, to make the final score a lopsided 9-2. 

Heading into the back end of the regular season schedule, the Farmers hold a four point lead over the Gladstone Lakers (9-4-0. 18 points), in the THHL Eastern Division. The next game for Neepawa is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 12, when they’ll host the Pilot Mound Pilots. The marquee matchup of the new year will follow on Friday, Jan. 19, when the Farmers faced the defending league champions, the Killarney Shamrocks (11-1-0. 22 points). 

Lakers top Clippers: The Gladstone Lakers continue to nip at the heels of the Neepawa Farmers in the standings, after a 6-4 win over the Cartwright Clippers on Dec. 30. Sean Kubas lead the way for the Lakers, with three points (2G - 1A) on the night. 

Bombers outlast Bisons: The Minnedosa Bombers pick up a pair of points in the standings on Dec. 30 with an 8-7 overtime win over the Melita Bisons. Michael Birch scored the OT winner, while Matt Saler and Shane Jury contributed five and four points respectively.