The Carlyle PureChem Cougars may not have made it very easy on themselves but they are picking up wins and putting some distance between themselves and the pack at the Christmas break in the Big Six Hockey League.
The Cougars won 5-4 at the Kipling/Windthorst Oil Kings Friday and 7-4 at the winless Arcola/Kisbey Combines as they enter the break 8-2-2, good enough for 18 points and a four-point lead over the Yellow Grass Wheat Kings and six points over the Redvers Rockets, Wawota Flyers and Carnduff Red Devils.
Kipling/Windthorst entered the third period down 5-3 to Carlyle and Carson Harcourt scored his second of the game with 6:22 left to bring the game to one. Goaltender Landon Audet held down the fort for the Cougars, who got goals from Ben Johnstone, Brett Turgeon, Kelly Currie, Clayton Geiger and Cooper Fox.
The following night, the score was tied 4-4 in middle of the third period thanks to three quick goals by Arcola/Kisbey by Brady Third, Rhett Palmer and Kevin Gauthier. But Nathan Deck’s second and third goals of the game, supplemented by Mitchell Morrison’s goal, gave the Cougars a cushion until the end of the game. Turgeon, Billy Greenwood and Brent MacLean also scored for Carlyle.
The defending league champion Redvers is entering the break on a winning note with a 7-3 win over Yellow Grass Friday. Kenton Miller’s hat trick paced the Rockets, and he was helped out on the scoresheet by Jordon Miller, Kevin Mann, Brady Gaudet and Drew Hoff with singles.
Yellow Grass came back the next night to win 4-3 over Carnduff in both teams’ last game before the break. Tanner Reynolds, Blake McMillen and Brandon Trask scored for the Red Devils.
The Midale Mustangs won a pair of games over the Oxbow Huskies to bring themselves up to .500 for the season. Friday in Midale, Connor Burke scored three goals and an assist in a 7-2 win by the Mustangs, and Garrett Sherlock added a goal and two assists. Adam Zeigler, Brad Tomiski and Matthew Geske scored singles for the Mustangs, while Reed Loucks and Derek Cooney replied for Oxbow.
Saturday, with 12 skaters, Midale won 6-4 in Oxbow in the return match. Tomiski, Geske, Konrad Proszak, Braden Kmita, Steven Lindenbach and Logan Martinson scored for Midale, while Cooney, Corey Fitzpatrick, Preston Audet and Klae Bayda scored for Oxbow, who has now dropped five in a row.
The schedule returns Friday, Jan. 4, with Kipling/Windthorst heading to Carlyle and Bienfait at Arcola Kisbey, with three more games Saturday night.