That’s it for the regular season, folks
The Whitecourt Wolverines took on the Fort McMurray Oil Barons on Sunday afternoon in a battle for first place in the Viterra AJHL North. The Scott Safety Centre was packed for the final regular season game with boisterous fans excited for the upcoming playoffs.
The March 5 game, sponsored by Eagle River Casino & Travel Plaza, featured a Frisbee toss in the second intermission with all funds raised going to the Stollery Children’s Hospital. Numerous prizes were strewn around the ice surface from Edmonton Oilers tickets to Wolverines’ swag, lights, sticks, and a bike. Fans tried their best to get their Frisbee as close as possible to the prize they wanted most. It was raining Frisbees!
During the first intermission, local figure skater Amanda Wilson, 13, took to the ice in honour of her younger sister Ellie who faced surgeries and over 1,200 procedures at the Stollery Children’s Hospital as she grew up. Amanda has been a member of the Whitecourt Skating Club STARSkate program for five years and flawlessly performed her Introductory Interpretive Program which was choreographed as a tribute to Ellie and her Stollery journey. Great job, Amanda! You are a wonderful big sister!
The Wolverines and Oil Barons came into the match-up incredibly determined to be number one. In the first, it was completely back and forth with no penalties and no goals to speak of. In the second, Morgan Messenger opened the scoring with Mitch Lipon and birthday boy, Eric Krienke assisting him. Fourteen minutes later, the Barons notched one past Diamond, tying it up heading into the third, 1-1.
Forty-six seconds into the final frame, the Oil Barons scored, taking the lead for the first time in the game. A few minutes later they added a cushion to their lead bringing it to 3-1. The Wolverines rallied hard and managed to get within one but it wasn’t enough to take the win, losing 3-2.
The Wolverines cap off their hot regular season with 41 wins, 13 losses, and a total of 88 points. Five players reached the 50-point mark and Mitch Lipon leads the team with 73 points, 48 of which were assists. This year’s top goal scorer is Centre Liam Motley with 30. Starting goalie, Pierce Diamond, wraps up his first regular season as a Wolverine with 801 saves (including five shutouts), putting his career save total at 1,157.
To purchase playoff tickets in advance, head to www.whitecourtwolverines.ca.