July 16th, 2024

Cubs distance themselves in standings with weekend sweep

By JAMES TUBB on December 12, 2023.

Medicine Hat Cubs forward Josh Drefs shields the puck while on a rush in the third period of the Cubs' 4-0 win Sunday at the Kinplex over the Airdrie Techmation Thunder.--NEWS PHOTO JAMES TUBB

jtubb@medicinehatnews.com@ReporterTubb

The Medicine Hat Cubs handled their business over the weekend.

The Cubs won both of their games this weekend, beating the Cochrane Generals 4-1 on Saturday and topping the Airdrie Techmation Thunder 4-0 on Sunday. They received some help across the league, with a Coaldale Copperheads loss on Sunday, putting Medicine Hat in sole possession of second in the South division with a 17-3-3 record.

Head coach Randy Wong says it was a mission-accomplished weekend.

“It’s important you get your wins because everyone else in the South seems to be getting their wins,” Wong said. “It’s hugely important that, based on the playoff format, trying to get a first-round bye and not having to play that first ‘survivor series’, so you’ve got to get those points at the home for a good stretch. Including this weekend, we’ve got seven games over Christmas and New Year’s that we’re at home, so we’ll take advantage of that.

“We played a tough Cochrane game Saturday, it was one of those teams you have to try and get your points against, so we separate from them a little bit. You give yourself a little bit of breathing room, but you still have Okotoks and Coaldale right there.”

Four different players scored for the Cubs in Saturday’s win, with Hayden King, Keynan Cairns, Callan Prosofsky and Darnell Glasgo each finding the back of the net. Tyler Wakelam made 30 saves for the victory.

Dimitrius Virostek made 28 saves for the shutout on Sunday with Kyle Woolridge notching a goal and an assist. Garrett Harty, Brady Mahar and Caleb Garrecht each scored in the win.

The Cubs had two additions to their roster for the weekend, with overagers Connor Douglas and Dylan Trembecki, who played the last two seasons for Medicine Hat. Both come from Duchess, Alta., and weren’t Abel to join the Cubs at the start of the season due to work commitments.

Wong says the addition of the veteran forward and defenceman is like a free mid-season trade that adds more energy and depth while not changing the tone of the team.

“Really it’s nothing new for the returning guys, they all know them, and for the new guys we have in the room, they’ll adjust real quick because they’re good character people,” Wong said. “When you have that addition there, you’re not going to destroy any chemistry within the room, and that’s important when you add guys late in the year that you’re not wrecking something that’s been really good and positive. So it’s a great fit for our team going down into the second half.”

The Cubs have one more game before they hit the Holiday break, hosting the Strathmore Wheatland Kings on Saturday at the Kinplex. Wong says they already addressed the team ahead of this weekend about keeping the pace up with the break around the corner, and he is looking for the same approach for their final game.

“It’s easy to get caught up in it being almost Christmas and we’re ready to go home, but I just asked the guys to stay focused and make sure we get this weekend done,” Wong said. “Now we just talked about one more game. So let’s have a good weekend, practise and make sure we get that game before we decide to start our Christmas. Let’s not start our holidays early.”

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