The St. Paul Canadiens are clicking down the stretch of the regular season.
With only four games left until playoffs, the Canadiens (18-6-3) can finish no worse than 3rd in the NEAJBHL and find themselves riding a six-game win streak after a pair of wins this weekend over the Lloydminster Bandits and Vegreville Rangers.
“I think we’ve found a way to win some games when we’re not maybe 100 per cent, which can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on which way you look at it,” said Canadiens coach Shawn Germain.
“It seems like we got two lines going up every night, it just depends on which two they are. I think we’re still looking to put that complete game together. We’re obviously never satisfied. We’re always pushing to be better but I think overall, we’re okay with where we’re at.”
St. Paul has gotten the better of defending four-time league champions Wainwright Bisons twice during this win streak and sit four points behind them for 2nd place in the league.
“I think we definitely haven’t lost sight that we could move up this time. We got some help. But I think the main focus is just taking care of business on our side, we can’t really control what happens with the other game,” said Germain.
Germain credits strong goaltending from Hayden Lyons and Bradley Mistol as a catalyst in this stretch.
Through splitting time this season, the duo each have .900-plus save percentages and winning records.
“We’ve been really happy with our goaltending lately. They’ve given us a chance to win every single night and I think they’ve stolen a couple for us down the stretch here. Obviously, goaltending is really important as you go into playoffs, so that’s been encouraging.
“Brad being 16 – he definitely hasn’t shown that. I feel like he’s almost a pro at 16 which is weird. The way he prepares himself, the way he practices, the way he gets ready for a game. He’s really on task and he’s definitely above his age.”
Lane Wycotte has been one of the offensive drivers for the team.
He leads the Canadiens with 38 points ahead of captain Brayden Goulet with 37 points and Brody Green with 34 points.
Meanwhile, Green has lit the lamp 25 times this season.
“He kind of does it quietly. You’ll look at the sheet and he’s got a couple of assists and then four goals another night. He’s just one of those guys that just contributes each and every night just because of his work ethic,” said Germain.
“He’s [Brody Green] a pure finisher. The kid can score goals and we’re hoping we can get a similar thing from him in the playoffs.”
Although it’s unlikely, the Canadiens sit five points back of the Lac La Biche Clippers for first, who’ll they face on Sunday.
The league’s top team through 28 games has handed St. Paul a loss in their first five meetings.
“They’re a very good team. So you got to be your best if you’re gonna beat that team, and we’re hoping that we can do that on Sunday.”