Fort Smith’s MacPherson ‘best defenceman’ in Sask. league

Fort Smith’s MacPherson ‘best defenceman’ in Sask. league
Klippers’ captain Shaun MacPherson.Photo: Kindersley Klippers.

The Kindersley Klippers just keep rolling in the 2014-15 Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL) season at an incredible pace with help from team captain Shaun MacPherson of Fort Smith, NWT.

Over the weekend, the team swept the Flin Flon Bombers 3-2 Friday before knocking them off again 4-3 in a shootout Saturday.

In the last month, the team has only lost one contest 3-2 in overtime to Weyburn on Jan. 2 and has won eight other games including the most recent wins.

With 67 points, the team leads the Kramer division and is in second place overall behind Melfort Mustangs, which has 71 points in the 12-team league. Kindersley beat Melfort 3-2 in a shootout on Oct. 11 before losing to the Mustangs 3-2 on Dec. 22. The teams will meet for the final time on Feb. 21.

On Saturday, MacPherson, Landon Gross and Marc Dubeau were the marksmen in regulation time before the Klippers won the shootout. Kindersley was ahead 2-0 after the first period and 3-2 after 40 minutes.

“I don’t want to take away too much from the three previous wins (La Ronge, Humboldt, Estevan) who are in the basement (of league standings), but when you beat a top team like Flin Flon two straight that’s something,” coach Rockie Zinger said. “What you saw out there was playoff hockey for the last 120 minutes.”

In the third period Saturday, the Bombers took control but Zinger indicated these things happen when the opponent is strong.

“When you get two really good teams you will get shifts in momentum,” Zinger said. “That is to be expected.”

MacPherson, whose power play marker was a high shot from the point in the first period, came in for some praise from the coach.

“He is the best defenceman in the league, hands down,” Zinger said. “I have known since the beginning that he is someone you can lean on and you saw that out there tonight. What he brings to the team not a lot of players can. For me, it was easy to make him captain this year knowing the kind of player he really is.”

MacPherson said the two wins were great for the hockey team.

“It is always a bonus when you can beat a team like Flin Flon,” MacPherson said. “They have a couple of new guys in their roster so I knew they were going to be a top opponent for us.”

Unfortunately for Yellowknife’s Devin Case, the two wins came with a personal cost. On Friday, he got an assist but was also injured and did not play Saturday.

“It’s an old injury I have gotten before,” Case said. “I dislocated a knee cap and going by the past, it means a four to six week recovery period so I won’t be back until the playoffs.”

The Klippers only have three games left in the month of January, including this Friday when they host Nipawin before closing out the month with a two-game home stand on Jan. 30 against La Ronge and Jan. 31 against Melville.

Follow all the league action on www.sjhl.ca.

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