The last time the Neepawa Natives were on the winning side of the scoresheet 1,001 fans were packed into the Yellowhead Centre for the community-driven ‘free game’.
Since then the Natives have struggled to earn a ‘W’, dropping eight straight including back-to-back losses over the weekend to the OCN Blizzard and Winkler Flyers.
Neepawa 3 - Winkler 10
Saturday night in Winkler the Natives were creamed by the Flyers to the tune of a 10-3 scoreline.
Neepawa-born player - and former Natives star - Ward Szucki opened the scoring just under three minutes into the game to give Winkler an early lead. The Flyers would score six more unanswered before Clark Rempel responded with a powerplay marker for the Natives with just under thirty seconds left in the second period.
The two squads then traded goals to open the third period as Winkler scored less than seven minutes in, Robby Moar responded, the Flyers put away another at the 10-minute mark and CJ Kort finished the back-and-forth series three minutes later.
Winkler added one more with just under five minutes left in the game en route to a convincing 10-3 victory.
Neepawa made the most of its powerplay opportunities, going two-for-three with the man advantage. The Natives also played a disciplined game, taking no penalties the entire 60 minutes.
Jared Knott took the loss for Neepawa, allowing seven goals on 34 shots. Alex Henry took over goaltending duties for the final frame, allowing three goals off 17 shots. The Natives threw 37 shots on the Flyers keeper.
Craig Sivaldason and Moar had two assists each. Troy Hoban and Kort had one apiece.
OCN 5 - Neepawa 1
The OCN Blizzard took over the Yellowhead Centre Friday night, beating the Natives 5-1 despite only outshooting them 31-27.
OCN scored one in the first period and three in the second to take a convincing 4-0 lead into the third frame before Kort responded for the Natives on the powerplay at the 10-minute mark.
OCN would add one more to finish off the scoring at 5-1.
Troy Hoban and Derrick Brooks had an assist each. Knott took the loss between Neepawa’s pipes.