SHERIDAN — The Sheridan Hawks, 3-3, are ready to host division opponent Great Falls Americans, 4-1, Friday and Saturday. Great Falls is currently tied for second in the division with the Gillette Wild and the Hawks are tied for fourth place in the division.
“In previous years they have been pretty solid,” head coach Andy Scheib said. “This year I know they are down a little bit on numbers. Overall I think they are a pretty solid team.”
The Hawks will host a pink out with players wearing pink jerseys for Friday night, said Owner Brent Milner in a message to The Sheridan Press, with jerseys being auctioned off and all proceeds going to the Welch Cancer Center at the Sheridan Memorial Hospital.
Scheib said the pink out should provide a good atmosphere for the game and is excited to see the turnout.
The Hawks once again face a top opponent in the division, looking to pick up the win and build momentum for the season.
“Defensively we need to be sound; [goalie Zach] Hearn needs to have a big game,” Scheib said. “Offensively we have to be able to put the puck into the net. We have been working on our flow with team chemistry stuff off of the ice. As far as on ice stuff goes, we are still in the defensive mode right now. We have got to stop giving up goals and start scoring more.”
The Hawks started the year off with a shutout but has allowed at least two goals in each matchup since the opening game.
In the most recent game, the Hawks lost to the Wild 2-1.
“I do not think we compete as hard as we possibly could,” Scheib said. “I do not think we necessarily played horrible but there is obviously still some room for improvement.”
The effort of the players was something Scheib talked about following the second game against division leader Bozeman Icedogs, a game the Hawks lost 5-2 and starting goalie Hearn was pulled. The Hawks have a chance to show improvement in their effort against the Americans.
“We are just trying to set the tone right away,” Scheib said. “Obviously we cannot have kids not giving 110% all of the time. We are trying to do different things, changing the lineup a little bit. We switched some guys from forward to defense. We had some Ds we moved back to forwards, shaking up the lineup.”
Through the first month of hockey, the Hawks remain healthy with no injuries preventing players from stepping on the ice. Forward Blake Billings will miss Friday’s game because of a penalty he received in the Sept. 28 bout.
Billings has the second most points for the team with 11 and is tied with Logan Syrup with the most goals at six. Kolten Wright leads the Hawks in points with two goals and 10 assists.
The puck will drop at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and 7 p.m. on Saturday.