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Wednesday , 23 June 2021

Cold Lake Wings continue to struggle in new year

Wings players stuck around after playing Meadow Lake on Friday night to sign autographs for some young fans.

Turning the calendar to a new year has not alleviated the on-ice woes for the Cold Lake Wings.

The Wings lost a pair of games this weekend to the Meadow Lake Mustangs: falling 5-2 at home on Friday, and getting blown out Saturday 11-2. .

On Friday, the Wings were knotted 2-2 heading into the third period, and despite scoring chances, the wheels fell off again.

The Mustangs scored under a minute into the frame and added another with six minutes left to give them the final edge on the road.

“I thought that overall we had our chances. We had a lot of odd-man rushes and if we buried our chances it would’ve been a different hocley game,” said Wings coach Marek Babic, who took over the coaching reins on Dec. 8.

“I’m not too upset about this game, the boys worked hard. They tried their best. A couple of bounces, it kind of felt like a rubber ball out there opposed to a puck, I thought if we scored on those chances it would’ve been a different game,” said Babic.

The Wings are 3-22-2-1 and have no home wins this season. They sit nine points behind the Mustangs for third in the Western Provinces Hockey Association, and light years behind the leading Edson Aeros and Hinton Wildcats.

Inukai, Beck acquired from Hinton

The Wings struck a deal last week with Hinton acquiring former Cold Lake goaltender Brendan Culbertson and forwards Ryoto Inukai, and Trey Beck, for 20-year-old netminder Max Gaudet.

Beck, sixteen-years-old, chimed in on the powerplay in the second period, and earned compliments from his coach after the game.

“I thought he played great. I thought him and Ryoto played an awesome hocley game. Definitely they had butterflies, didn’t know the systems too well, but they worked well. I think that new blood showed a difference in the game today.

Inukai hails from Japan originally, and moved to Canada five years ago. He scored his first goal with the Wings on Saturday in a losing effort.

The Wings are back on the road next weekend to face Edson and Hinton.

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.