Busy weekend for NACI Tigers hockey


By Eoin Devereux

The Neepawa Press/Neepawa Banner

It was a busy weekend for the Neepawa Area Collegiate Institute (NACI) Tigers on the ice, as the hockey team played three games on three consecutive nights.

The first of the weekend was at home on Friday, Dec. 2 against the Deloraine/Hartney Colts, NACI put in a solid effort, but simply couldn’t handle the speed and skill of Colts forward Tanner Ardron. The 16-year-old notched four points (two goals - two assists) on the night to pace Deloraine/Hartney to the 6-3 victory. Brayden Teetaert, Jack King, Grady Franklin and Eric Sorensen also scored for the Colts. As for the Tigers, Ben Rainka was an offensive juggernaut for the home side, scoring a hat trick.

NACI didn’t have much time to reflect on the defeat, as they hit the road to Oak Lake, for a matchup with the Virden Golden Bears. That game ended on a much more positive note, as the Tigers powered through to a 6-4 win. This contest had a much more even distribution of goals than the Colts game, as five Tigers accumulated the six goals. Ryan Kostenchuk was the lone multi-goal man, with two. Baren Mitchler, Wiley Speiss, Ben Rainka and Tysne Stanski all put away singles for NACI, while Dez Ramsay picked up the win in goal.

Finally, on Sunday, Dec. 4, NACI faced the league’s top team, the Vincent Massey Vikings. Jesse Jones scored twice for the Neepawa Tigers as they handed the Vikings their first regulation loss of the WHSHL season, in a 4-3 showdown at the Enns Brothers Arena in Brandon. Ryan Kostenchuk and Tsyne Stanski also scored as the Tigers improved their regular season record to 5-2-0-2. The generally positive results from the weekend, helped to move NACI into fourth place in the league standings.

The Tigers will play three more league games, all on the road, before the holiday hiatus. First, they travel to Russell on Wednesday, Dec. 14, to challenge the Trojans. Then on Dec. 16, the Tigers will be in Carberry to go against the Wildcats. Finally, NACI will close out the year in Dauphin on Dec. 22 to take on the Clippers.