The Man-Sask AAA novice WolfPack hockey team began the spring hockey season with a couple of exhibition games against the Regina Junior Pats on March 5 at Affinity Place.
The WolfPack fell 9-3 in their first game and dropped a 4-2 decision in the second game.
Despite falling 6-0 in the opening period of the first game, the WolfPack held Regina to three goals for the rest of the contest.
Gretta Henderson got the team on the board in the second and Ty Hoste earned the assist. Tate Kasick added another goal for Man-Sask in the period.
Gavin Granger sored the third goal for the WolfPack and Wyatt LaCoste had the assist.
Coach Lloyd Sehn said he was impressed with the way the team improved over the course of the game. He also mentioned it will take time for the players to learn the systems and what he and the other coaches expect of them.
In the second game, Sehn said that the WolfPack made immediate corrections from the first matchup and they played a lot better.
Regina scored first in the opening period, but Man-Sask responded when Braxon Kabrud lit the lamp. Josh Heistad and Nathan Wagstaff contributed with the assists.
The score was tied 1-1, after the first period.
Man-Sask fell 3-1 in the second, and early in the third Kabrud pulled his team within one by scoring his second goal of the game. Kasick and Henderson had the helpers.
Midway through the third, Regina went up by two. The WolfPack pulled their goaltender with two minutes left but couldn’t get the equalizer, despite many scoring opportunities, Sehn said.
Overall, Sehn was proud with the way his team played both games with only having had two practices, and said the team played their hearts out.
He also mentioned the team consists of high level players and should improve throughout the spring.
“This is the entire reason you play exhibition games and it was a chance to get the bugs worked out before the games mattered,” he said.
Before the puck dropped in the first game, the WolfPack paid tribute to Jeff Marcotte. He was diagnosed with stage 4 Glioblastoma Multiforme (brain cancer) and had the tumour in his brain removed in early March.
Since March 16, Marcotte has been in Scottsdale, Arizona at the Mayo Clinic for treatment.
He takes radiation treatment five times per week and chemotherapy for seven days a week.
Marcotte was one of the founding members of the Man-Sask hockey team and the organization just wanted to let his family know that they’ll be with him every step of the way. Also, the 2015 spring hockey season will be dedicated to him and his family.
Man-Sask will travel to Regina on April 19 and play two exhibition games. They play their first tournament of the season in Minneapolis, Minnesota on April 30.