Almost two months into the season, a dozen games and Halloween right around the corner, let’s fill our pillow cases not with candy but with Takes from around the MJHL!
Hopefully their good and yummy and not like raisins.
Take 1: Billet appreciation nights are great. It’s always a treat to see the billet moms and dads get recognized for opening their home to players from across North America. They had one in Portage over the weekend and it was cool to see the players present the families with flowers. It’s amazing how some homes hold as many as four players. This league doesn’t run without billets and this is a great way to say thank you to them.
Take 2: Shoutout to official Taylor Friesen who was at the WHL Cup in Red Deer, Alberta recently. He’s made the transition from player to official and has become one of the most admired officials in the league. He’s worked hard and it’s paying off. Taylor got to referee the bronze medal game between Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Here’s hoping he gets more opportunities with the MJHL Showcase coming up and the MJHL/SJHL Showcase in the province as well, later this year.
Take 3: I can’t wait for inter-divisional games to start. It’s going to feel a lot more like seasons past. Not that four games against the same team is horrible… it’s hockey after all… but it’s hard to know where certain teams are at by reading a box score or watching on Hockey TV. Attendance has been coming up of late and here’s hoping with more teams getting to play the other division, it keeps drawing in fans.
Take 4: To the equipment men and women across the league, I salute you. If you’ve ever tried to walk on ice, you know it’s slippery (you’re welcome for the most obvious statement in 12 Takes history), but you try walking across the ice with people watching and carrying a bunch of things with you! Not easy. I’ve heard close calls but never actually seen anyone fall, thankfully. Here’s hoping that record stays intact. Safety first.
Take 5: I’m ready for a big trade. Don’t know who or to where or even why… but I feel like a big trade needs to happen. Could be within the league or could be from outside. Just feeling like we need a little roster movement here to shake things up. Fans get excited about trades. They like to do some research and learn about the players coming in. Gets people talking. It’s been pretty quiet so far on the trade front but it could pick up at any point. Perhaps around the MJHL Showcase.
Take 6: Exciting news for Winkler Flyers announcer Kevin Pauls, who will be broadcasting games at the MJHL Showcase this year. Kevin’s done a great job this season with the Flyers and he’s really working hard already to make the best possible broadcasts for those games in November. Go find Kevin on Twitter to hear him in some highlight packages and also openly wonder aloud if the players in a scrum were talking about Kraft Dinner and how they may prefer it. It’s pretty funny.
Take 7: Perhaps my favorite stat of the year so far comes from Waywayseecappo where forward Troy Hamilton is tied for the league lead with 11 goals. He has 11 goals and 0 assists. He’s leading the Cy Young category right now. He has 7 power-play goals. Either he’s deadly accurate or teammates are afraid he’ll hurt them with his shot so they get out of the way of even deflecting them. I think weofficially start the “Troy Hamilton Helper Watch”. Don’t’ stop doing your thing, Troy, because it’s working for you and the Wolverines.
Take 8: On the other side, the Blues Eric Fawkes and Josiah Vanderhooft have 15 assists each. If you take away their goals, they would still both be on the edge of the MJHL’s Top 10 in points so far this season.
Take 9: While I’m looking up stats to pump player’s tires, have you seen what Colby Jaquet is doing in Dauphin? The defenseman has 17 assists this year. His career-high in points in the MJHL is 39 in 59 games… he’s got 21 points in 12 so far! I dug into the trade that sent Jaquet from Selkirk to Dauphin for Ben Bonni (2004 born defender currently playing for the Spokane Chiefs of the WHL), Ethan Williment (2004 born forward who was re-acquired by the Kings for a 2022 2nd round draft pick), and future considerations. Worked out well now for the Kings but if Bonni ever suits up for the Steelers, it could tilt a lopsided looking trade pretty quickly.
Take 10: Check out what the OCN Blizzard have for sale! Halloween jerseys!! What a cool idea. They even did up special name bars to be added. What a really cool idea and with support from a local business, you can pick up a jersey. If you’re a MJHL jersey collector or just like cool, unique jersey’s, get on this. Check out the OCN Blizzard Twitter to get the number to place your bid.
Take 11: I know the Steinbach Pistons are doing a Halloween night this weekend where they’re encouraging kids to dress up in their costumes. Hope all the teams do that and we can get a bunch of pictures of players with different costumed kids. I’ve seen a bunch of teams going out to clean up the community and that’s really cool as well. The MJHL social media does a great job sharing that sort of thing so the more teams do, the more the MJHL can share it.
Take 12: With the baseball World Series under way, if you’re looking for a great podcast whether you’re on the bus traveling to a game, driving with the family or just want something great to listen to, listen to The Edge: Houston Astros. An incredible series delving into the controversy from their past World Series Championship and the fallout that occurred. It goes into incredible detail and it helps clear a lot of things up when it comes to the trash banging ring. It’s really good and very much worth a listen if you have the time.