Nipawin Hawks part ways with Johnson after over a decade as coach

Logo Courtesy SJHL Website.

The Nipawin Hawks made what was a surprising move and parted ways with head coach and general manager Doug Johnson on Saturday, Dec. 4.

In a release signed by the Board of Directors they stated.

“It is after a lengthy discussion that the Nipawin Jr. A Hawks Board of Directors has made the difficult choice to release Head Coach/GM Doug Johnson of his duties.”

“We thank Doug for his 11 and a half years of service and dedication to our organization. He helped to revive our organization and bring it back to life, several years ago. However, now, we believe it is time for a change.”

The Hawks named first year assistant coach and former Hawks’ forward Tad Kozun interim coach.

Johnson was the winningest coach in Hawks history with a record of 342-207-25-31. He was also a three time SJHL coach of the year.

As of Dec. 6 the Hawks are in fourth place in the Sherwood Division with a record of 10-13-0-5 with 25 points. The La Ronge Ice Wolves are in third with a record of 12-16-1-2 with 27 points and the Melfort Mustangs are in second place with a record of 14-9-1-4 with 31 points.

In Kozun’s debut as head coach the Hawks lost 5-1 to the Ice Wolves on Saturday, Dec. 4 in La Ronge.

La Ronge led 2-0 after the first period and 3-0 after the second period.

Christian Albertson scored the lone Hawks’ goal.

Gavin Mattey had a pair of goals for La Ronge; Conrad Mitchell, Walker Jerome and Aaron Greyeyes added the other Ice Wolves’ goals.

The home-and-home between the Ice Wolves and Hawks opened with La Ronge winning 3-2 in a shootout in Nipawin on Friday, Dec. 3.

Gavin Mattey scored the winner for La Ronge in the three round shootout.

The game was scoreless after the first period and La Ronge led 2-0 after the second period.

Braxton Buckberger and Carter Wickenheiser scored for Nipawin in the third period. Mattey and Curren Wintonyk-Pilot scored the La Ronge regulation time goals.

Harmon Laser-Hume made 27 saves for Nipawin; Xavier Cannon made 25 saves for La Ronge.

The Hawks opened their week with a 6-0 loss to the Estevan Bruins in Nipawin on Tuesday, Nov. 30.

The Bruins’ Cam Hrdlicka stopped all 21 shots he faced to record the shutout.

Estevan led 2-0 after the first period and 5-0 after the second period.

Mark Rumsey had a pair of goals for the Bruins. Nolan Jones, Dayton Deics, Cody Davis and Caelan Fitzpatrick added the other Estevan goals.

The Bombers were in Nipawin to play the Hawks on Tuesday, Dec. 7, results were not available.

The Mustangs snapped their losing streak with a 5-2 win on Saturday, Dec. 4 over the Melville Millionaires to close Parent-Billet Weekend.

The Mustangs led 3-0 after the first period and 4-2 after the second period.

Carter Anderson and Leith Olafson each scored a pair of goals for the Mustangs; Seth McCulloch added the other Melfort goal.

Jonathan Krahn scored both goals for Melville. James Venne made 27 saves for Melfort.

The Mustangs opened Parent-Billet Weekend with a 6-2 loss to the Yorkton Terriers on Friday, Dec. 3 on Teddy Bear Toss Night.

The Terriers led 2-1 after the first period and 5-2 after the second period.

Tye Scherger scored the Teddy Bear Toss goal for Melfort in the first period while Curtis Hammond added the other goal. Steven Norum scored a pair of goals for Yorkton; Tanner Sklaruk, JD Hall and Erik Boers added the other Terriers’ goals.

Venne made 11 saves in just over 34 minutes of action before he was relieved by Alex Bell who stopped all 11 shots he faced.

The Mustangs opened their three game home stand with a 4-3 loss to the Estevan Bruins on Wednesday, Dec. 1.

Melfort led 1-0 after the first and second period.

Trenton Curtis had a pair of goals for the Mustangs while Ben Tkachuk added the other goal.

The Bruins four goals in the third period included a pair of goals from Mark Rumsey including the game winner, Caelan Fitzpatrick and Zach Burfoot.

The Weyburn Red Wings were in Melfort to play the Mustangs on Wednesday, Dec. 8, results were not available.

La Ronge opened their week with a 3-2 win over the Weyburn Red Wings on Monday, Nov. 29 in La Ronge.

The Ice Wolves led 1-0 after the first period and 2-1 after the second period.

Nate Looft, Aaron Greyeyes and Ethan Strik scored for La Ronge. Drew Kuzma and Nikolas Sombroski responded for the Red Wings.

The Battlefords North Stars were in La Ronge to play the Ice Wolves on Tuesday, Dec. 7 results were not available.

The Mustangs are in North Battleford to face the North Stars on Friday, Dec. 10 and Kindersley to play the Klippers on Saturday, Dec. 11.

The Hawks are in North Battleford to face the North Stars on Saturday, Dec. 11.