The battle of the best in the Sask West goes tonight in Kindersley. The Klippers are in a must-win situation to close out the season when they welcome Wilkie to town for a make-up game. The game was originally scheduled for January 19th until it was cancelled due to inclimate weather and poor road conditions.
One point separates the teams in the SWHL standings with the Outlaws currently possessing first place after a 4-2 victory last Saturday in Kindersley over the Sr. Klippers. They also hold a game in-hand on Kindersley.
When speaking to Byron Ismond, a defender and alternate captain for the Klippers, he mentioned how they have some things to clean up when they step back on the ice against their northern visitors. He talked about where it all went wrong for them in their last loss.
Hoping to end the regular season with a win before they begin their next chapter, the Klippers will have to invest their best on the ice tonight against their rivals. Kindersley leads the season series 2-1, but each game has been decided by one or two goals.
It has also been a bit of a rough patch for the Klippers as of late. Following a 15-game winning streak to start the season, Kindersley has now lost their last four and have dropped from first to second in the league.
No question tonight's fixture is the biggest game of the season for Kindersley. They'll have to return to what they did right in the two games earlier this season in Wilkie when they defeated the Outlaws. Here, Ismond explains what that entails.
Of course both Wilkie and Kindersley are jostling for the right to have home ice advantage throughout the postseason, an advantage both teams would love to pocket if they end up meeting each other in the finals. Although no matter what happens in tonight's contest, the Outlaws and the Klippers will have a bit of a break from league hockey since they'll receive a bye in the first round of the playoffs.
With the SWHL reducing its number of teams from eight to six this season, first and second will advance straight to the semifinals; the Klippers and Outlaws will await the winners of the best-of-three quarterfinal matchups between third versus sixth (Luseland Mallards) and fourth versus fifth (Unity Miners).
Ismond discussed why the bye will truly help out the Klippers at a hectic time of the year.
If the Sr. Klippers can come out on top this evening, they still need some help from the Biggar Nationals if they have a hope of clinching first place. The Nats are in Wilkie tomorrow night for a must-win scenario of their own as they try to catch the Macklin Mohawks for third place in the table.
Tonight's showdown kicks off at 8:30 p.m. from the Co-op Arena at the West Central Events Centre. The Sr. Klippers have dubbed their regular season finale as their Emergency Services Game with G-Mac's Ag Team match the 50/50 take home as a donation to STARS Air Ambulance. The Kindersley Fire Department will also be selling raffle tickets at the game.