MJHL pre-season schedule released ─ opens September 4

Pre-season action in the MJHL kicks off Monday, September 4 with Swan Valley Stampeders taking on Dauphin Kings. The pre-season season wraps up on September 17. The complete schedule can be found on the MJHL website/schedule. The regular season kicks off Friday, September 22.

Two MJHL Alumni Selected in NHL Draft

A pair of MJHL alumni were selected in the NHL draft on Saturday. Nick Henry (Portage Terriers) and Wyatt Kalynuk (Virden Oil Capitals) were selected by Colorado and Philadelphia, respectively. Henry, who currently plays for the Regina Pats, was taken 94th overall. He’s a former MJHL rookie of the year (2015-16). Kalynuk, who has played the last two seasons in the USHL, was selected 196th overall. He broke in with Virden as a 16-year-old three years ago. “Congratulations to both players,” MJHL Commissioner Kim Davis said. “Their selections confirm the high talent level within our league. Every year our league and 11 teams are committed to putting the best talent on the ice each game.”

Brooks Bandits (AJHL) to host 2019 RBC Cup

National Junior A Championship, is headed to Brooks, Alta., where the Brooks Bandits of the Alberta Junior Hockey League will play host to the 49th edition of the tournament

Waywayseecappo Hiring Two New Positions

Full-time Assistant Coach: The Waywayseecappo Wolverines are accepting resumes for the position of full-time Assistant Coach for the 2017-2018 season. The period of employment would be from August-March. The ideal candidate will have a strong hockey background and will be able and willing to assist the General Manager and Head Coach with the overall direction and all facets of the day-to-day operations of the club. To apply, please forward resumes to: arniecaplan@gmail.com by July 4, 2017. For more information contact General Manager and Head Coach Arnie Caplan @ 204-891-4743. Only candidates under consideration will be contacted. Athletic Therapist: The Waywayseecappo Wolverines are accepting resumes for the position of Athletic Therapist / Equipment Manager for the 2017-18 MJHL season. The successful applicant must be a team-oriented individual who is out going, organized and willing to work closely with the coaching and medical staff to serve players’ needs. The position requires strong organizational and communication skills with a positive attitude. The individual will also be required to travel with the team to all road games; travel expenses will be covered by the team. Job Duties include, but are not limited to: Attend all games and practices. Management and repair of team equipment (Sticks, gloves, pants, helmets, jerseys, etc.). Game day set up of dressing room and team equipment. Skate sharpening and daily laundry. Keeping an accurate log on all injuries, team equipment, and medical supplies. Working closely with medical personnel to attend to and assess player injuries, rehabilitation and documentation. Injury prevention and physical preparation guidelines. Communication of injuries to coaching staff and appropriate medical personnel. Maintaining an inventory of both hockey and medical supplies within a budget. Interested applicants are asked to outline their qualifications, Certified Athletic Therapists or related program and previous hockey team experience would be an asset. Those who recently attempted the June CATA exam may also apply. This position requires non-standard hours. Salary will be based on experience and certification. Those interested are asked to forward a resume to: Arnie Caplan – General Manager and Head Coach Waywayseecappo Wolverines Junior A Hockey Club Email: arniecaplan@gmail.com Deadline for resumes is July 5, 2017.  

Blues’ alumni Wowryk committed to Minot State

Former Winnipeg Blues’ forward Adam Wowryk is the latest MJHLer to commit to NCAA hockey program. Wowryk, 21, will be joining Minot State Beavers. “Adam is a highly skilled, 200 foot forward,” Beavers’ Head Coach Wade Regier said in a statement. “Wade is a player who brings a ton of success both in season and in the playoffs to our program. Adam is a player we expect to step in right away as a freshman and make an impact. We lost a couple offensive players to graduation this past year so it was extremely important we filled a need with a player like Adam. “As a player who has worn letters the past couple of seasons, we expect Adam to be a leader off the ice as well.” Wowryk, who hails from Winnipeg, recorded 41 points (18-23) in 57 games last season for the Blues. He also played in the MJHL for Portage and Selkirk. Recently, former Blue Rhett Lough also committed to Minot State.

Neepawa Natives Seek Assistant Coach for 2017-2018 Season

Neepawa Natives are seeking an Assistant Coach for the 2017-2018 season.   Assisting with organizing physicians, dentists, physiotherapists, and counseling as needed for maintaining player’s health including maintaining standards for physical fitness; Assist GM and Head Coach in game preparation; Assist GM and Head Coach in all game video analysis; Assisting all on-ice activities of the players including games and practices, all training to improve the players’ skills, fitness and development of offensive and defensive strategies for the Hockey Club; Assisting and encouraging players with off-ice activities including schools, jobs, and community activities, fitness and nutritional training; Assisting and supervising players in attending promotional activities of the Hockey Club Arranging for travel, accommodations and meals for all road trips Maintaining liaisons with other teams for the purpose of recruiting and/or encouraging players to develop their talent for the Hockey Club; Assisting the GM and/or Head Coach as required in maintaining registration of players and support staff of the Hockey Club to maintain good standing at all times with the MJHL and Hockey Manitoba and providing all documentation and information to both organizations when required to do so; Assisting with assigning players to billets for room and board and maintaining good will with all billets and compliance with billeting rules of the Hockey Club.  The staff will work closely with the Billet Coordinator of the Hockey Club. Assisting the Board of Directors of the Hockey Club and its volunteers with promotion of the Hockey Club in the community and attending functions for that purpose when they do not conflict with attendance at practices or games or meetings to recruit or trade players; Maintaining and expanding a scouting network for the Hockey Club including a network of college contacts and maintaining scouting records, preparation and distribution of recruiting packages and meeting with players and player’s families for recruitment of players; Assist with Hockey Club’s fall and spring camps; Please forward resumes to nnatives@mymts.net If you have questions about the position contact General Manager Myles Cathcart at 204.841.1555c  

Jamie Hodson Named Oil Caps Director of Business and Hockey Operations

Virden Hockey Ventures Inc. announced today that former hockey pro and local product Jamie Hodson has been appointed to the position of Director of Business and Hockey Operations of the Virden Oil Capitals Junior A Hockey Franchise. The 37-year old native of Lenore Manitoba will begin transitioning into his new role immediately. Hodson joins the Oil Caps to oversee and be responsible for all team operations for the 5-year old franchise after a 16-year Junior and Pro career as both a player and coach.  His position will report directly to the board.  Hodson was drafted in the 3rd round 69th overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1998 while playing for the Brandon Wheat Kings and went on to play in the Maple Leafs farm system as well as winning gold medals with Team Canada in the 2002, 2003 Spengler Cup in Davos Switzerland.  Hodson has most recently been with the Moose Jaw Warriors staff for the past 6 years as their goalie coach as well as learning other facets of the game with their experienced hockey personnel.  Hodson has spent a combined 10 years of Junior Hockey with 2 storied franchises in the Brandon Wheat Kings and Moose Jaw Warriors from his playing days to getting his feet wet in coaching over the past number of years.  Jamie will bring his experience and hockey acumen to the table in helping this franchise move into the future. Over the years, Hodson has established himself as an important voice for the game of hockey, not only for his on- ice achievements, but for his leadership qualities off the ice. Hodson brings with him a tremendous sense of community, hockey knowledge and business knowledge that will benefit the Oil Capitals organization for many years to come. Jamie, his wife Lindsey, and their 4 young children reside in Virden.  Their family continually looks forward to being part of the community and raising their children in SW Manitoba. Hodson looks forward to working with all individuals involved within the organization, the fans, and the community in his new role and is excited about what lays ahead for the team into the future.

MJHL regular season opens September 22

The MJHL opens its 60-game regular season on Friday, September 22 with 10 of 11 teams in action. Schedule – please ensure the 2017-2018 season is selected.  Defending MJHL champions Portage Terriers will open their regular season in Winnipeg against the Blues.  Teams will play a balanced schedule ─ three games at home/three games on the road against each opponent. Prior to the regular season, the MJHL will be conducting its first-ever Prospect Development Camp running from July 27 – 30 at the Seven Oaks Arena. The camp will feature list players born in 2000 and 2001 from each MJHL club and will focus on preparing the players for a successful junior hockey career and helping them transition from minor hockey to elite junior hockey in the MJHL and beyond. Another highlight this coming season will be the Old Dutch Player Showcase, scheduled Dec. 11-13 at the Bell MTS IcePlex in Winnipeg. The event is now in its 15th year. This highly popular event attracts scouts from many levels of hockey: NHL, NCAA, WHL and CIS.

Kirk Lamb steps down as CJHL Chairman

CJHL President Brent Ladds to assume role until further notice CALGARY, Alta. (Friday, June 16, 2017) – The Canadian Junior Hockey League announced Friday that Kirk Lamb has stepped down as Chairman of the national organization composed of the 10 leagues and 132 team Jr. A teams across the country and pockets of the U.S. Among his many duties during his tenure with the CJHL, Lamb was instrumental in the completion of the CJHL’s Partnership Agreement with Hockey Canada as well representing the CJHL on the National Hockey League’s Development Group. Lamb first joined the CJHL back in January of 2011 as volunteer chairman before being appointed into a full-time role in October of 2012. Along with his time with the CJHL, he has also practiced law for the past decade with the Calgary firm of Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer LLP. An Alberta native, Lamb played Jr. A in the AJHL and is an alumnus of the CJHL, CHL, and NCAA where he went on attend and graduate from Princeton University before moving onto a minor pro career and eventually law school. As part of the transition, the CJHL has also announced that current president Brent Ladds will add the Chairman’s role to his duties, until further notice, as they work towards the commencement of the 2017-18 season. “We at the CJHL certainly regret Kirk’s decision to step down, however we are extremely grateful for the dedication, leadership and vision he brought in his role,” stated Ladds. “The entire CJHL would like to extend our sincere gratitude to Kirk for his time and extensive efforts he brought in fostering the growth of Jr. A hockey across the country and wish him nothing but continued success in all future endeavours,” added Ladds.  

Swan Valley Stamps seeking Assistant Coach and PT Marketing Director

  The Swan Valley Stampeders Jr. A Hockey Club are accepting resumes for the position of a full time Assistant Coach. The period of full time employment would be from August-March. The candidate would be responsible for assisting in the overall direction of the hockey club.   The ideal candidate will have a strong hockey background, demonstrate leadership skills and a strong focus on player/goaltender development. For a detailed job description or more information regarding the position please contact Taurean White Head Coach/GM, Swan Valley Stampeders Jr. A Hockey Club.   Please send resume to Taurean White, Head Coach/GM, Swan Valley Stampeders Jr. A Hockey Club on or before July 7/17 to taurean@stampedershockey.com   Only candidates under consideration will be contacted.   The Swan Valley Stampeders Jr. A Hockey Club are accepting resumes for the position of a part-time Marketing Director. The candidate would be responsible for Corporate Sponsorship, Game Night Activities, Web Page Updates and all other items as they relate to the marketing direction of the hockey club.   The ideal candidate will have a strong business acumen, an understanding of marketing techniques. For a detailed job description or more information regarding the position please contact Taurean White Head Coach/GM, Swan Valley Stampeders Jr. A Hockey Club taurean@stampedershockey.com   Only candidates under consideration will be contacted.   The positions above may be combined for those candidates that have strong attributes in both areas.

Flyers’ Gall Joins the Thunderwolves After Committing to Lakehead University

  Submitted by Winkler Flyers Winkler Flyers leading scorer Scott Gall has committed to the Lakehead University Thunderwolves (U Sports) for the 2017-2018 season. Gall played four seasons in Winkler, finishing his final season as the team’s leading scorer and Fan’s Choice Award winner.  In 201 regular season games played in Winkler, the Morden, Manitoba native recorded 185 points (97 goals – 88 assists) to go along with 15 points (6 goals – 9 assists) in 27 playoff games. This past season, Gall led the Flyers with 50 points despite missing the last 16 games due to injury. He also served as the club’s Assistant Captain. “My four years spent in the Flyers organization really helped me develop as a player.” said Gall. He went on to say “I am very grateful for the amount of effort the coaches put into helping me and my fellow 20 year olds move on to various college programs.” The Lakehead University Thunderwolves play in the top collegiate hockey league in Canada (U Sports, formerly known as CIS) and are based in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Gall is enrolled at Lakehead’s School of Business.  “Scott has a big body and good hands, and we’re excited to add another power forward to our line-up,” said Thunderwolves Head Coach Bill McDonald on the Lakehead Thunderwolves website.  “He’s been a consistent goal scorer, and the majority of them came from the hard areas around the net.”  He added, “Assistant Coach Andrew Wilkins and I were both impressed with his character during the recruiting process."  Gall joins D Lawson McDonald (University of Nebraska-Omaha – NCAA Div I), D Tyler Jubenvill (Bemidji State – NCAA Div I), D Connor Hamonic (Wisconsin-Superior – NCAA Div III) and D Tyler Lindstrom (Currey College – NCAA Div III) as committed players from the Flyers’ 2016-2017 roster.  The Flyers would like to congratulate Scott for his decision to continue his education and hockey career at Lakehead University, and wish him and the Thunderwolves all the best in the future.  

Pistons’ Grad Leonidas Commits to Lakehead University

The Steinbach Pistons are proud to announce that defenceman Joseph Leonidas has committed to Lakehead University where he will play for the Thunderwolves of the Canadian U Sports Men’s Hockey league, formally known as CIS. Leonidas explains that he had a few Canadian universities contact him about committing to their programs, but that Lakehead was the obvious choice. “Lakehead took the time to fly me down for a visit and showed me what their program was all about. They have a great business program and not to mention a good hockey team. Over the course of my visit, it became more and more clear that this was the place I wanted to be.” Leonidas, who plans to take Honours in Bachelor of Commerce, joined the Pistons this past season in a trade with the Flin Flon Bombers. In 32 games with the Pistons, Leonidas recorded 6 goals and added 15 assists for 21 points. Over his junior career, which included stints in the AJHL, SJHL and the NAHL in the United Sates, Leonidas recorded 95 points. For Leonidas, the thought of playing at the university level excites him. “I’m really looking forward to playing CIS hockey and in front of the largest CIS fan base in the country is going to be amazing. Lakehead has a strong recruiting class this year and the coaching staff and community expect big things moving forward.” Leonidas is thankful for his time in Steinbach as he believes it has helped him progress to the next level of hockey. “Paul, Joey and Graham helped me refine aspects of my game, from video sessions to one on one stuff, and that was one of the biggest reasons for my successes this past season,” said the product of Calgary, Alberta. “The organization was nothing but fantastic to me and my family during my time and I will forever be grateful to have worn the pistons jersey.” “I am excited for Joe and the opportunity that he has earned,” shared Head Coach and General Manager of the Pistons, Paul Dyck. “He is a very skilled player and his skating will help him transition to the university game. We wish him all the best as he begins his collegiate career.”  

Blizzard’s Hedley inducted into Brandon University Wall of Fame

OCN Blizzard Head Coach/GM Doug Hedley is being inducted into the Brandon University Athletics Wall of Fame this coming fall. A former MJHL coach of the year, Hedley has a long history of hockey success including an impressive run with the Bobcats. The Sandy Lake, Man. product had a solid first year with the men's hockey team in 1977-78. He was named the team's rookie of the year and led the Great Plains Athletic Conference with 20 goals.   Hedley's fourth season was his finest as he helped guide the Bobcats to the GPAC championship, while being ranked #1 in Canada. He was third in team scoring and finished sixth in league scoring with 14 goals and 42 points. Following his career at BU, Hedley joined the coaching ranks and has spent over 20 years behind the bench at various levels.   In 2000-01, he led the Nipawin Hawks to a runner-up finish for the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League championship.   He also served as co-coach of the SJHL Selects who competed in the prestigious Camrose Viking Cup in 1999 and 2001 in Alberta. Hedley's SJHL squad won the 1999 championship in a tournament that featured the top junior teams from around the world.   Hedley later made his way to the Manitoba Junior Hockey League where he was named coach of the year in 2009 with the OCN Blizzard. Hedley returned behind the OCN bench in 2016-17 and led the Blizzard to a spot in the Turnbull Cup Final.   He also had a coaching run in the Manitoba AAA Midget Hockey League with the Parkland Rangers. In 2015, he prepared the team to host the 2015 western regional championship.   Hedley also played a key role as event coordinator of the RBC Cup National Junior 'A' Hockey Championship in Dauphin in 2010. The Dick and Verda McDonald Sports Wall of Fame is located on the second level of BU's Healthy Living Centre. The display features team pictures, artifacts, and uniforms from past teams and athletes of Brandon University and Brandon College. Tickets for the Wall of Fame brunch on Saturday, October 14 at the Victoria Inn Imperial Ballroom can be purchased from the Customer Service Centre at the Healthy Living Centre for $50. Tables of eight can be reserved for $350, and those travelling from outside of Brandon can reserve tickets by calling (204) 727-7354 

MJHL Getting Younger

MJHL to get younger: reducing limit on 20-year-old players  The Manitoba Junior Hockey League is taking on a younger look, decreasing the number of 20-year-olds that can play in a game from nine to eight players.  “This motion was approved by the Board of Governors at our recent AGM,” explained MJHL Commissioner Kim Davis. “This reduced limit will be reviewed annually, with the ultimate intention of having the limit to six per team.”  Other news coming out of the recent AGM:  Prospect Development Camp  The MJHL will be conducting its first-ever Prospect Development Camp running from July 27 – 30 at the Seven Oaks Community Centre. The camp will feature list players born in 2000 and 2001 from each MJHL club and will focus on preparing the players for a successful junior hockey career and helping them transition from minor hockey to elite junior hockey in the MJHL and beyond.  Old Dutch Player Showcase  This year’s Showcase will take place Dec. 11-13 at the MTS IcePlex in Winnipeg. The event is now in its 15th year. This highly popular event attracts scouts from many levels of hockey: NHL, NCAA, WHL and CIS.  League Website  The league will be designing a new website and each of the 11 member clubs will also have a new website, all of which are scheduled to launch about mid-August under the direction of Hockey Tech.    New Statistics System  The MJHL will be launching a new statistics system to coincide with the start of next season. The new stats system is called League Stat and is powered by Hockey Tech.  Player Registry  The league will be launching several RinkNet software platforms powered by Hockey Tech beginning next season. The RinkNet program will allow the MJHL to manage its central registry of players more effectively, including trades, protected lists and other league administrative tools. All member teams in the league will have full access to RinkNet Scouting software programs to be utilized by their coaches and scouting staffs.  League Schedule  The league will operate under a balanced schedule format as it has over the past three years whereby each team will play each of the other teams six times (3 home and 3 away). The playoff format for next season will remain the same as 2016-2017.  League Officers  The following persons were appointed to league officer appointments: Board Chairman, Darren Russell and Board Vice-Chairman, Dale Deschouwer. 

2017 MJHL Draft | Auto-Protects by Team

Team                                       DOB                                        POS Dauphin Kings N/A Neepawa Natives Garrett Rainkie                       03-12-2002                            G Tyler Gibson                            08-04-2002                            F OCN Blizzard Branden Hill                            01/21/2002                            F              Cliff Salisbury                          03/28/2002                            F Selkirk Steelers Carl Ingalls                              02/17/02                                 F Jordan Donald                         09/08/02                                F Steinbach Pistons Cole Oswald                            01/17/02                                G Caleb Thiessen                        02/21/02                                F Swan Valley Stampeders Jayden Mosiondz                    11/6/2002                              D Jordan Gray                             12/12/2002                            F Virden Oil Capitals Hunter Andrew                       10/25/02                                 F Ryan Colon                              10/27/02                                 F Waywayseecappo Wolverines Nathan Falloon                       02/16/2002                            G Cole Mentuck                          01/17/2002                            D Winkler Flyers Rylan Thomas                         11-20-02                                D Liam Friesen                           11-25-02                                 F Winnipeg Blues Braden Fischer                        10-02-02                                F Luc Benedictson                      05-24-02                                F Portage Terriers Kian Calder                              07/12/02                                D Kyle VanDeynze                      08/05/02                                D  

Former Pistons Defender Carlson Commits to University of Wisconsin Superior

Courtesy of Dave Anthony from Steinbachonline.com Former Steinbach Pistons defender Ryan Carlson is continuing his hockey career and education, as he announced he will be attending the University of Wisconsin-Superior this upcoming fall. For Carlson, it's a great opportunity to do something he hasn't done in a while and that's play close to home. "It's terrific. My parents have already talked about road games they want to go to and how they'll be at every home game. Plus, my uncle is really excited. He's already been talking about getting season tickets. It's great that I'll be able to live at home, that really is great for me." Off the ice, Carlson will continue his education. "I will be going for a degree in physical education and a minor in health. Furthering my education was a huge part of deciding on this program, in Division 3." The University of Wisconsin-Superior won the National Championship in 2002 but have since struggled at times. Carlson is looking forward to being a part of getting the program back to where it should be. "They have had a bit of a lull, but hopefully, this recruiting class can bring back the rich hockey tradition. With the new coach Richard McKenna, I think we can be successful and we can bring it back. They have a great hockey heritage at UWS." For Coach McKenna, heading into his second year as head bench boss of the Yellowjackets, he know's adding a player like Ryan Carlson is a good step in the right direction. "His size and his skating ability make him a unique player. That's the first thing that caught my eye." It wasn't just on ice things that impressed the coach. "An American kid wearing a letter for a Canadian junior team shows he has leadership ability. After speaking with him I realized why he had that letter and we're looking forward to having him for the next four years." Carlson credits both his hometown of Hermantown, Minnesota and Steinbach for developing him into the person that he is today, as well as a former Pistons teammate. "Talking with Cole Smith, he said that Steinbach and my old high school Hermantown, had such winning traditions, and with winning, it becomes a habit. When you win like that, you learn to lead by example and try to become a humble person. Continuing to learn and being humble about it, makes a good leader." From his point of view, Coach McKenna thinks Carlson will have a bright future, even beyond the next four years. "I don't think he's hit his ceiling yet. I think he will grow in our program and even have the chance to play beyond the college level. Getting players from the Manitoba Junior Hockey League and other Canadian Junior Leagues, mixed in with the American guys, will help us. With this recruiting class, it could fast track us to where we want to be." Carlson is also looking down the road and knows McKenna will play a major factor. "I want to get into coaching. I know I can learn from him and continuing my educational career will help me do that. I hope he can provide some helpful hints in the near future when it comes to coaching." He's not looking too far in the future though, as he's already made some personal goals he’s looking to accomplish. "Just walking into the locker room, the first trophy you see is that National Championship. I just smiled looking at it. Getting to hoist that over the next four years is the ultimate goal."

Bantam Draft key to teams’ success

By Derek Holtom MJHL Web Correspondent A year's worth of scouting will come to a head this Sunday during the Manitoba Junior Hockey League's annual bantam draft. All 11 teams – starting with Waywayseecappo with the first overall selection – will stock their 50-man rosters with local auto protects and a total of six draft picks. Craig Anderson, the Assistant GM/Head Scout for the Winkler Flyers, is entering his eighth bantam draft. He explains drafting junior A hockey players is a multi-layered process. "It's this time of year when you have to separate guys who are going to play in the Western Hockey League, and guys who you feel will play in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League, or choose to," said Anderson. "It's not an easy job, and it also entails calling a lot of these kids to make sure if they were drafted by the Winkler Flyers that they would be willing to come, and to see what their future plans are." MJHL teams kept a close eye on May's WHL bantam draft, which is a strong indicator of where players could possibly end up. From there, Anderson and Winkler's Head Coach/GM Ken Pearson get together to discuss their options for Sunday's draft. "What you work for all year is to scout these kids, and get reports done on them, and talk to the coaches," said Anderson. "For myself, I have spent the entire year watching these players and ranking them. Ken leaves the draft to me and I make the final decision on who is drafted. "But he obviously has some influence, depending on if we're looking for a forward or a defenseman or a goalie," he added. "We then look at our list and see where what we need to strengthen, but for the majority, I run the draft myself." And while these selections won't make an immediate impact for the team's on-ice fortunes, the draft is all about the future. Some of the more talented players will have the opportunity to play junior hockey by age 16, though the majority will become rookies as 17 or 18 year olds. "The draft is very important, and it's a bit tough with it only being six rounds," noted Anderson. "So you really have to do your homework on these kids to make sure you're getting the best possible player." Scouting means long hours, and many nights and weekends spent in arenas, but it is invaluable work which has to be done to come to a draft fully prepared to choose your future players. "I probably take in 200 to 250 games a year, though I don't really keep count," said Tim Schick, Director of Player Personnel and Head Scout for the Winnipeg Blues. Schick also scouts for the WHL's Kootenay Ice, which provides him some extra insight on assessing whether a player might be headed to the WHL or the MJHL. "I do try and find the cut off line (between the two leagues)," he said. "I rate every player from top to bottom, and then decipher where I think the cut off line will be." In Winnipeg, the Blues approach the draft with a bit of a different skew. As the largest centre in the province, the Blues have traditionally opted to keep their draft picks to either Winnipeggers or those just outside the perimeter. But overall, the job remains the same – stocking your roster with as many quality young men as possible. "Usually we stay close to the city, because with our organization, we don't billet a lot of kids," said Schick, though he noted they do not have exclusive access to the largest pool of hockey players in the province. "And now with the open draft, other teams come into the city (to draft players), so it's not like we're getting all the city kids." As for the quality of this year's potential draft class, Schick said all teams in the MJHL should fare well. "I think it's pretty good for the MJHL," he said. "There wasn't a lot of players who went to the 'Dub', but I think the draft is loaded with MJHL guys this year, much like last year." The MJHL AGM takes place Friday June 2 to Sunday June 4 in Winnipeg. Highlights include the board AGM on Friday, the schedule meeting on Saturday, and the bantam draft on Sunday. For live results of the bantam draft, be sure to come back to the MJHL website on Sunday.    

2017 MJHL Draft

The Manitoba Junior Hockey League’s annual draft of 15-year-old players will take place this Sunday (June 4) in Winnipeg. The MJHL Draft will begin at 9 am and will feature the 11 member teams selecting Manitoba players born in the year 2002. This year’s number one overall pick belongs to Waywayseecappo Wolverines. “The annual Draft for the league is always a special event in that it propels teams forward when they select young players who will develop into stars on their MJHL clubs,” MJHL Commissioner Kim Davis said. “The draft is also the final major event in the league’s annual calendar so it’s a great way to wrap up the season.” New this season and going forward, the league is thrilled to partner with Hockey Tech by utilizing the RinkNet Live Draft Centre tool to operate the entire draft proceedings. RinkNet’s Live Draft Centre provides a complete solution for leagues and teams to efficiently manage their draft day preparation and execution.  This live software is displayed on terminals for each member team and enables drafts to be conducted either in-person or remotely through team inputs and league/commissioner approval.  Draft picks posted instantly: Draft Tracker Once a draft pick is confirmed, it will be made available instantly to the public through the Live Draft Tracker that will be accessible at www.mjhlhockey.ca starting at 9 am on Sunday.  Fans, players, and families will be able to follow the draft in real time as teams continuously work to build their future programs. "The draft is always an exciting time not only for the players but for the member teams in our league. We feel the draft is extremely important when it comes to building the core of your team for the future," said Dauphin Kings’ Head Coach & General Manager Marc Berry. The MJHL Draft consists of six rounds with each MJHL team allocated one pick per round with the draft order being based on the order of finish by teams in the standings from the most recent season. The team that finishes last in the standings will receive the first pick in the draft and the selections will follow in that same order for the rest of the draft. “It is a very good draft class this year with some very high-end talent within the province,” said Kevin Saurette, MJHL Director of Operations.  “Teams will have some very tough and important decisions to make and that is a testament to the talent level, commitment and dedication of young hockey players within our province. “Congratulations to the players who get drafted on Sunday as it is a great validation of their skills as a hockey player and a good sign of things to come.  What needs to be remembered is that getting drafted is only the beginning of where you want to get. For the players that do not get drafted on Sunday, use it as motivation, stay positive, work hard and your time will come!” The MJHL encourages fans to follow the Draft through the Live Draft Tracker on our website along with following the MJHL and the member teams on Twitter for updates throughout the Draft.

MJHL grad Rhett Lough has committed to Minot State Beavers

Lough, who hails from Winnipeg, recorded 45 points (16-29) last season split between Wayway and the Winnipeg Blues. He began his MJHL career with Selkirk Steelers. “Rhett is a very talented play making forward,” Minot Head Coach Wade Regier said in a statement. “He is a player who has had a tremendous career in the Manitoba Junior League. With the loss of important forwards to graduation, Rhett fills a big need up front in our lineup. “It is often tough to ask a lot out of your freshman, but we fully expect Rhett to step in and make an impact as soon as he arrives in Minot. Rhett is also a very smart individual and look forward to adding him into our locker room next season.” The MJHL was well represented on the Beavers’ roster last season with seven players: Craig Fournier (Wayway), Robby Moar (Neepawa), Sam Briscoe (Neepawa), Dylan Gejdos (Wayway), Johl Swedlo (Wayway), Carey Morrison (Selkirk) and goaltender Josh Bykowski (Portage).    

Former Terrier Nick Henry skating for NHL Scouts

Former Portage Terrier and MJHL Rookie of the Year winner Nick Henry is showcasing his talents for NHL staff at the 2017 NHL Draft Combine in Buffalo, N.Y., where the league’s 31 teams will have an opportunity to watch 84 of the top North American prospects and the top 20 international prospects perform during Friday and Saturday’s fitness testing. Henry, 17, was rated 25th overall among North American skaters in the NHL Central Scouting final rankings. A native of Portage, Henry played this past season with the WHL Regina Pats where he scored 35 goals enroute to a 81-point season. The Winnipeg Free Press published an excellent article about Henry and his thoughts on attending this prestigious camp. Click here if you’re interested in reading more about Henry: http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/sports/hockey/nhl/henry-ready-for-scrutiny-at-nhl-combine-425213803.html

Wayway grad McLeod one of 12 former CJHLers in Cup final

Former Wayway Wolverine Cody McLeod has a chance to sip from the Stanley Cup as his Nashville Predators face defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins. McLeod, who hails from Binscarth, played the 2000-01 season in Wayway, appearing in 59 games (27-29-56). The next season he moved on to Portland Winterhawks. McLeod, who turns 33 in June, has played the majority of his NHL career with Colorado Avalanche before signing with Nashville. The other CJHL grads to play in this year’s Stanley Cup are as follows:   Name Postion Team CJHL Team League Ryan Johansen*   F Nashville Penticton Vees BCHL Colton Sissons   F Nashville Westside Warriors BCHL James Neal   F Nashville Bowmanville Eagles OJHL Harry Zolnierczyk   F Nashville Alberni Valley Bulldogs BCHL Matt Irwin   D Nashville Nanaimo Clippers BCHL Cody McLeod   F Nashville Waywayseecappo Wolverines MJHL Mike Fisher   F Nashville Peterborough Jr. Petes OJHL Justin Schultz   D Pittsburgh Westside Warriors BCHL Chris Kunitz   F Pittsburgh Melville Millionaires SJHL Scott Wilson   F Pittsburgh Georgetown Raiders OJHL Trevor Daley   D Pittsburgh Vaughan Vipers OJHL Carter Rowney   F Pittsburgh Grand Prairie Storm AJHL * Injured        

Winnipeg Saints’ alumni Lazo in ECHL final

Former Winnipeg Saint Johnny Lazo is one of 11 CJHL alumni who will play in the ECHL Kelly Cup finals. Lazo, who hails from Winnipeg, plays for the Colorado Eagles who face South Carolina Stingrays. After finishing his Junior A career, Lazo went on to have a successful CIS career with University of Alberta Golden Bears where he won a national championship. The Kelly Cup begins Friday (May 26).

MJHL partners with Boston Pizza Garden City

The Manitoba Junior Hockey League is very excited to announce that Boston Pizza Garden City will be the exclusive meal provider for our athletes and staff during the MJHL Prospect Development Camp that runs from Thursday, July 27th through to Sunday, July 30th  at the Seven Oaks Arena Complex. “We are proud to partner with Boston Pizza for this elite event and feel very comfortable in knowing that our athletes will be provided with quality and delicious meal options to keep them fueled throughout the camp.” – Kevin Saurette, MJHL Director of Operations Stay tuned in the coming weeks as more exciting announcements are still to come! Full Prospect Camp Details Here:  http://www.mjhlhockey.ca/page/show/3319788-prospect-camp

Waywayseecappo Wolverines hire General Manager/Head Coach

The Waywayseecappo Wolverines are excited to announce the hiring of MJHL alumni, Arnie Caplan as their new General Manager/Head coach. Arnie, who is originally from Manitoba, had a 10-year career playing goal in the MJHL, WHL, and at the university level with the Acadia University Varsity Axemen, where he obtained his masters degree in Sociology.  After graduation, Arnie played in the U.S. Southern Hockey League for the Daytona Beach Breakers and Lakeland Prowlers. Arnie has coached at various levels including his most recent 2-year stint with Portage College in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference, where he led the Voyageurs to a 21-point improvement in his first season. Arnie has developed a strong network of contacts through his experience of recruiting players to the northern Alberta college and managed all aspects of the Voyageurs’ operations.  Prior to his move to Alberta, Arnie spent 2 seasons in Winnipeg, coaching at the AAA midget level and the 2012/2013 season as General Manager/Head Coach of the Lundar Falcons of the Keystone Junior Hockey League. Arnie has great knowledge of the game and tremendous enthusiasm and passion.  We believe that Arnie’s work ethic, attention to detail and administrative organization capability will be exactly what the Wolverines require as we re-brand and reorganize team structure for future success! Arnie’s first tasks will be contacting our players and preparing for the MJHL Bantam Draft and scheduling meetings that will be held in conjunction with the MJHL Annual General Meeting.  After that, we anticipate working on securing support staff and preparing an organizational process and structure for the upcoming season. Arnie will be moving to the area immediately, with his family re-locating upon completion of the school year.

Winkler’s Captain Hamonic headed to Wisconsin-Superior

Graduating Winkler Flyers’ Captain Connor Hamonic has accepted a scholarship to play for the University of Wisconsin-Superior Yellow Jackets (NCAA Div III) for the 2017-18 season. The Winnipeg native suited up for 228 regular season games over his four year junior hockey career, which is the most of any Flyers’ player during that stretch. "Playing in Winkler the past 4 seasons has pushed me each and every day to better myself both on and off the ice." said Hamonic. The 6’1”, 198lbs defenceman had 80 regular season points (12 goals – 68 assists) and 333 penalty minutes during his time in an Orange and Black uniform. He also accounted for nine points (1 goal – 8 assists) in 30 playoff games. He was also a tremendous leader off the ice, volunteering many hours to schools, minor hockey and other community volunteer projects. "The expectations from the coaching staff and the town to win night in and night out is a constant motivator to put in the work necessary to be at your best every day." added Hamonic. "My time with the Flyers taught me how to be a role model around town and conduct myself in a professional manner while at the rink and in the community. I hope to bring everything I have learned in Winkler with me to Superior" Hamonic joins D Lawson McDonald (University of Nebraska-Omaha – NCAA Div I), D Tyler Jubenvill (Bemidji State – NCAA Div I) and D Tyler Lindstrom (Currey College – NCAA Div III) as committed players from the 2016-2017 Flyers roster. The Flyers congratulate Connor on his decision to continue his hockey career and education at Wisconsin-Superior and wish him and the Yellow Jackets all the best in the year to come.

OCN star Keeper named CJHL MVP runner-up

The Canadian Junior Hockey League announced that defenceman Cale Makar of the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s Brooks Bandits has been named its Most Valuable Player for the 2016-17 campaign. One of the runners-up was MJHL MVP/Top Defenceman Brady Keeper of OCN Blizzard. Keeper, who hails from Cross Lake, has committed to University of Maine next season. He ended his MJHL career on a high note, helping the Blizzard reach the MJHL final against Portage Terriers. Makar garnered the MVP laurels in voting completed by each of the 10 leagues that comprise the 132-team CJHL. The 18-year-old Calgary, Alta., native has had a tremendous campaign for the AJHL-champion Bandits, earlier being chosen as his league’s MVP and Best Defenceman Award recipient. He was also named as the CJHL’s Top Defenceman this season. The Brooks’ D-man produced a 75-point season on the blueline where he led all AJHL rearguards in scoring and finished sixth overall among all skaters.  He previously served as captain of Canada West at the 2016 World Junior A Challenge and was selected to play for Team West at the 2017 CJHL Prospects Game held in Cornwall, Ont. Makar is projected by NHL Central Scouting as a potential first round draft pick in the upcoming 2017 NHL Entry Draft as he was slotted ninth overall, among North American skaters, in the final NHLCS rankings. He is presently committed to the NCAA Division I University of Massachusetts on scholarship to begin his NCAA hockey career.

Pistons’ Dyck runner-up for CJHL Coach of the Year

      Steinbach Pistons’ Head Coach Paul Dyck was a runner-up for the CJHL Coach of the Year award, the CJHL announced recently.  Greg Walters of the Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Georgetown Raiders has been named its Coach of the Year Award recipient for the 2016-17 campaign, in voting determined through each of the 10 leagues that comprise the 132-team CJHL. Having completed his seventh season behind the Georgetown bench, Walters led the Raiders to the best record in the 22-team OJHL with an impressive 45-5-2-2 mark through the course of the campaign. The last MJHL coach to win this award was Portage Terriers’ Blake Spiller who was a back-to-back winner in 2015-2016, 2014-2015.  

Pistons’ Bengert runner-up for CJHL Top Goaltender Award

Steinbach Pistons’ outstanding goaltender Roman Bengert was a runner-up for the CJHL Top Goaltender Award, the CJHL announced today. Nipawin Hawks’ goaltender Kristian Stead won the award. Stead, a 20-year-old Merritt, B.C., product, was earlier tabbed a double award honouree for his efforts in the SJHL in 2016-17. Not only was he named his league’s top goaltender for his contributions between the pipes, but Stead was also chosen as the SJHL’s Most Valuable Player. The Nipawin netminder led all SJHL goalkeepers in wins with 29.  Stead also shared top spot in league save percentage at .936 and led the way in the 12-team SJHL in shutouts with seven while his 1.97 goals-against average ranked him third overall. Stead has committed to attend the University of Alaska-Anchorage on NCAA Division I Scholarship where he will play for the Seawolves hockey program. Bengert, who hails from Cole Harbour, NS, led the MJHL in three goaltending categories: wins (38), minutes played (2,743) and shutouts (five). In fact, his 38 wins were tops among all CJHL goaltenders. His efforts resulted in him winning the MJHL Top Goaltender Award and he was also named a first-team, all-star selection. Bengert was twice chosen MJHL Goaltender for the month and picked up one league Player of the Week honour. At six-foot-three-inches, Bengert casts a large physical presence in the net. Next season he’s committed to Lake Superior State University of the NCAA.

Stamps’ new GM/Head Coach White eager to get to work

By Derek Holtom MJHL Web Correspondent Following an exhaustive search, the Swan Valley Stampeders have finally got their man. The junior A hockey squad announced last week that they have hired Taurean White as their head coach and general manager, effective June 1. White, who replaces Erik Petersen as man behind the bench for the Stampeders, has extensive playing and coaching experience in his home province of Ontario. He has also coached in Western Canada, having previously been an assistant coach and assistant general manager with the Battleford Stars of the SJHL. Dave Kirk, team president of the Swan Valley Stampeders, said the board felt White was the right person to take this franchise to the next level. "One of things that stood out (for us) was Taurean's passion and enthusiasm for the game," said Kirk. "Taurean also has a great deal of knowledge about the game and we are looking forward to his arrival in Swan River in coming weeks." Kirk added the position garnered a great deal of interest, with approximately 20 people applying for the job. White previously played as a defenceman with the Binghamton Junior Senators, the Oswego Admirals and the Seguin Bruins, before moving onto college hockey at Northland College, Adrian College and the University of Ottawa. He began coaching as soon as his college/university career had concluded, beginning as an assistant with the Nepean Raiders. He also coached with the Brockville Braves, Mattawa Blackhawks, and the Kingston Voyageurs. The Stampeders' newest head coach and general manager said he is excited about the change to lead this team to new heights. "I'm really looking forward to come back out west," said White, who signed for two years with an option for one more. "It's just a different model, a full-time model with a board of directors that want the best for the hockey team and the community." "There was an opportunity to come back out west and be a head coach and a general manager, and I thought I would reach out and talk to Dave Kirk about this job, and I'm very fortunate and grateful I've been given this opportunity." White also said he's looking forward to moving to Swan River getting down to work, saying he expects to be in the Valley by June 1. In the meantime he's already been reaching out to his contacts to familiarize himself with the league as well as the community. "I've spoken to some of my colleagues who have been there (in Swan River), and they have nothing but great things to say about it," he said. "I know the community is very supportive of their team, and that there is a large group of players who are eligible to come back. And from what I hear if we do get everyone back, there's an opportunity to have some success for next season." Having experience in Central Canada, as well as in Saskatchewan, could provide the Stampeders some additional recruiting options. "Taurean has a good network in both the regions, and we look forward to seeing how that plays out," said Kirk. The timing of this hire also works out well for the Stampeders, as May is an important month for MJHL teams as they prepare for the upcoming bantam draft and league AGM. "As an organization we felt it was important to get the right person and the sooner you can get that individual secured the better off you will be," said Kirk, "The MJHL draft is a good opportunity to network and it will be nice to have (White) there to participate on that weekend. Our next step will be to assist Taurean in getting an assistant coach/marketing director hired." White even has a bit of a connection to the Valley. He was a teammate of former Stampeder goaltender and Valley product Bo Storozuk when they played college hockey together at Northland College in 2006-07. "I ended up playing with Bo that first year in Northland, before he transferred out," said White. "Bo was a great goaltender when I played there – it's such as small world to think the goalie I played with my freshman year was once the goaltender for Swan Valley." White is married with a young child, and they will initially remain back home in Ontario while he focuses on establishing himself with the Stampeders. "My family is very supportive of what I do, and I'm lucky to have that," he said, nothing they do plan to come up and visit as often as they can. "And I want to get there and focus on the job because we have a lot of work to do. We need to establish our assistant coach, and we have the draft coming up, and I really want to make sure I put in as much time as possible to make sure we're prepared for next year."

Kings’ Gaber Commits To NCAA DIV I

“This is a great accomplishment for Riese. As an organization we’re extremely proud of what he’s done thus far. After winning Rookie of the Year honours with our club, being named to the […]

Virden Oil Capitals Seek New Marketing Manager

  Job Description:  Virden Oil Capitals – Marketing Manager Job Purpose:  Virden Oil Capitals Marketing Manager is responsible for managing and developing the team’s strategic marketing plan, partnerships, fundraising, promotions, game day operations, advertising, and events on behalf of our franchise. The Marketing Manager will report directly to Head Coach/GM as well will work closely with the marketing committee as appointed by the board of directors. The Marketing Manager must work closely with the Head Coach and General Manager to ensure the team is being promoted to its maximum ability. It is very important the Marketing Manager designs opportunities for the team to work with other organizations in Virden and area to build strong partnerships within the communities. Desired Qualifications:  3-5 years sports marketing and/or fund raising experience Strong project management skills and writing/editing skills Proficiency with Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Photo Shop and all social media avenues BA in Business, Marketing, or related field preferred Sports enthusiast, high energy, flexibility, and enthusiasm Highly motivated, takes initiative, and able to work independently on multiple projects and tasks in a fast- paced environment Ability to communicate clearly and effectively to individuals or groups of people Positive attitude and a strong commitment to the franchise Ability to network confidently Must be able to work evenings, weekends and holidays as required Passionate about hockey and making a difference in your community Please forward Resume and three references to troy@oilcapshockey.com. Please direct any job related inquiries to Troy Leslie- Head Coach/ GM. (204) 851-7722. Deadline for applications is May 26, 2017. Only those considered for an interview will be contacted.

OCN’s Keeper runner-up for CJHL Top Defenceman

The Canadian Junior Hockey League announced Friday that Cale Makar of the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s Brooks Bandits has been named its Top Defenceman Award honouree for the 2016-17 campaign. OCN Blizzard MVP defenceman was a finalist in the voting. Makar produced a 75-point season on the blueline for the AJHL champion Bandits where he led all league rearguards in scoring and finished sixth overall among all skaters.   Makar previously served as captain of Canada West at the 2016 World Junior A Challenge and was selected to Team West for the 2017 CJHL Prospects Game. The 18-year-old from Calgary, Alta., is projected by NHL Central Scouting as a potential first round draft pick in the upcoming 2017 NHL Entry Draft as he was slotted ninth overall among North American skaters in the final NHLCS rankings.  Makar is currently committed to the NCAA Division I University of Massachusetts on scholarship to begin his NCAA hockey career. Keeper, who hails from Cross Lake, has committed to University of Maine for next season. The CJHL would also like to recognize the five other finalists for its Top Defenceman Award in 2016-17.

Terriers’ Leipsic runner-up for CJHL Top Forward

Portage Terriers’ stand-out forward Jeremey Leipsic was a runner-up for CJHL Top Forward, the CJHL recently announced. Jack Jacome of the Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Georgetown Raiders has been named its Top Forward Award recipient for the 2016-17 season. The 18-year-old native of Caledon, Ont., picked up the honour, which goes annually to the top forward in the 132-team CJHL, through voting completed by each of its 10-member Jr. ‘A’ leagues across the country. Jacome had a tremendous campaign with Georgetown topping all OJHL skaters with 91 points in just 53 games on 34 goals and 57 assists. His tally total was third-best in his league and he led the way in helpers. He tied for the OJHL-lead with 31 power play points and added seven game-winning goals. Serving as an alternate captain on the Raiders, Jacome posted two scoring streaks that surpassed 10 games and recorded points in 44 of his 53 outings this season. The highly-skilled forward never went more than two consecutive games without at least a single point, while notching multiple points in 26 contests and supplying five multi-goal outings.

Swan Valley announced White as new GM/Head Coach

Submitted by Swan Valley Stampeders The Swan Valley Stampeder organization is proud to announce that they have named Taurean White as the new Head Coach and General Manager, starting June 1, 2017. The Swan Valley Stampeders Board of Director's are very excited about the new chapter we are about to begin with Taurean leading the team. White's passion and enthusiasm for the game is very noticeable and will no doubt spread through to the players and those around him. White is a native of Nepean, Ontario, and comes to the Stampeders from the Kingston Voyageurs of the Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL), where he was the Head Coach/Director of Hockey Operations for the past 2 season. Prior to that he spent time with Mattawa Blackhawks, Battleford North Stars and the Brockville Braves. White's playing career had stops at Northland College, Adrian College and the University of Ottawa. Welcome to the Stampeders, Taurean!

HockeyTech Extends Technology Partnership with the Manitoba Junior Hockey League

HockeyTech, the worldwide leader in providing hockey-related technologies, analytics, and information services, today announced an extension to their partnership agreement with the Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL). The MJHL, a member league of the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL), will benefit from the continuation and extension of services that HockeyTech has been providing to the Junior ‘A’ hockey league. HockeyTech’s agreement with the MJHL means that the technology company will now provide the league and its eleven member franchises with LeagueStat scoring and statistics services, RinkNet administrative and player information repository services, League Trade Centre for player transaction management, and Draft Centre for the upcoming MJHL Draft. Additionally, the agreement means that the MJHL will continue to be broadcast onto virtually any Internet-connected device by HockeyTV, the definitive destination to watch ice hockey online. HockeyTV is a feature-rich platform used by hockey scouts, recruiters, coaches, players, and fans for streaming, archiving, and managing elite hockey content. HockeyTV content can be streamed live or on-demand on computers, tablets, mobile, or OTT devices. “Today’s hockey fans want to be connected to the on-ice action at all times,” said Marc Ruskin, President of HockeyTech. “We’re proud to deliver informational and streaming services to the MJHL that can satisfy not only the instantaneous, on-demand needs of their fanbases, but the needs of the coaches, general managers, and scouting staffs that use these same services to better compete off the ice.” HockeyTech’s Draft Centre will streamline the complex process of the upcoming MJHL Draft by offering complete accuracy and control over player information and internal scouting reports. The six-round draft, which will be conducted June 4, 2017 in Winnipeg, MB, will feature eligible Manitoban bantam players whose information is already being captured and maintained in RinkNet. “The MJHL is thrilled to partner with a company like HockeyTech whose reputation for excellence is so well-known,” said Kim Davis, Commissioner of the MJHL. “The new agreement between our organizations will allow the MJHL to enhance its brand image by bringing leading-edge hockey-related technologies and analytics to our loyal fans, media companies, players, coaches, and scouting staffs. The new integrated services provided by HockeyTech will undoubtedly make the MJHL a stronger player development league.” The MJHL’s mission statement is to provide each player with an elite hockey development experience with a strong emphasis on education and citizenship. The MJHL’s goal for their eleven current franchises is to develop players and ultimately have them develop into solid citizens who make a positive contribution to their community – both on and off the ice. For more information on the MJHL, visit http://www.mjhlhockey.ca. For more information on HockeyTech, visit http://www.hockeytech.com. About HockeyTech  HockeyTech is the worldwide leader in providing hockey-related technologies, analytics, and information services. HockeyTech was founded in 2013 by Stu Siegel, a technology entrepreneur and former Florida Panthers (NHL) Managing Partner/CEO, through a series of acquisitions. While HockeyTech is a new corporate identity, HockeyTech’s brands have been providing cutting-edge solutions for the hockey world since 1998. For more information, visit http://www.hockeytech.com. Contact:  Kevin Carey, Director of Marketing  HockeyTech, Inc.  Phone 781-333-5269 ext. 106  Email KCarey(at)hockeytech.com  

Wayway Wolverines’ alumni Cody Durdle will suit up next season for Northland College

Durdle, who played two seasons with the Wolverines, was a solid defenceman, who recorded 45 points (13-32) in 84 games. He also played briefly for Portage and Virden. Durdle joins a pair of MJHL alumni playing at Northland: Kurt Sonne (Winkler Flyers) and Ty Kraus (Selkirk Steelers). “Heading into this off-season we had to address the losses incurred to graduation on our blue-line and we kept coming back to Cody,” said Northland Head Coach Seamus Gregory. “He’s big, strong, can jump in the rush and shut down when called upon. “In our facility we feel he will be a presence and another piece we need to continue to move forward. He is a very dedicated player and fantastic person, his family too was unbelievable to work with from the start of the process. We are excited about this commitment, he will be a very solid member of our college community”. Northland College is an NCAA Division III institution located in Ashland, Wisconsin.  The LumberJacks and LumberJills sponsor 15 varsity sports and compete in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference and the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association.

OCN’s Keeper nominated for CJHL MVP Award

OCN Blizzard’s standout defenceman Brady Keeper has been nominated for a second  CJHL award ─ Most Valuable Player. This is the second CJHL nomination for Keeper, who was earlier nominated for CJHL Top Defenceman Award. Winners of all awards will be announced this week. Other MJHL nominated for CJHL awards are: Brenden Leipsic  (Portage/Top Forward and  Roman Bengert (Steinbach/Top Goaltender). Meanwhile, Brooks Bandits captured the Sun Life Financial Western Canada Cup, earning them a trip to the upcoming RBC Cup. The second western rep will be Penticton Vees. The RBC Cup begins May 13 in Cobourg, Ont.

Terriers eliminated from WCC

Portage Terriers were eliminated from the Sun Life Financial Western Canada Cup on Thursday, losing a gut-wrenching 5-3 decision to host Penticton Vees. Terriers were facing a must-win situation heading into the game with playoff spots still very much undecided. The Manitoba reps left it all on the ice, but fell short. Ironically, it was a former Terrier, Tyler Sanheim, who scored the game-winning goal midway through the third period. Vees’ fifth goal was into an empty Terrier net, as the MJHL champions were desperately trying to put the game into overtime which would have guaranteed them a playoff spot. Terriers were left with a bitter taste after a goal in the second period was called back after the officials called interference against the Terriers. “The loss was disappointing,” Terriers’ GM/Head Coach Blake Spiller told CFRY-Radio. “We gave a real good effort but it’s unfortunate how it turned out. We laid it out on the line tonight. I’m proud of my guys." “This loss is tough. But we had a good season. It all came together in the playoffs. Against OCN in the final, we battled hard.” Four members of the Terriers played their final Junior A game in Penticton: captain Riley Thiessen, Carter McMundo, Ryan Heindrix and Josh Martin. “Our graduating players laid it all out tonight,” said Spiller. “All four will be missed next year. Riley was a great captain for us and had an excellent WCC. He can play on anybody’s team. He plays a ton of minutes. All four of those guys were keys to our championship season.” In playoff action, Brooks Bandits now play Chilliwack Chiefs in the 1-2 game on Saturday. The winner of that game moves on the RBC Cup. Meanwhile, Penticton takes on SJHL reps Battlefords North Stars, with the winner playing the loser of the 1-2 game. The winner of that game also earns a spot to the RBC Cup. Terriers, who held a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes, were led offensively by Chase Brakel who scored a pair. MacKenzie Dwyer rounded out the Terriers’ scoring. Photo by Heather Jordan  

Pistons’ Bengert nominated for CJHL Top Goaltender Award

Steinbach Pistons’ goaltender Roman Bengert is one of six nominees for the CJHL Top Goaltender Award. Bengert is now one of three MJHL players nominated for a CJHL award: Brady Keeper (OCN/Top Defenceman) and Jeremey Leipsic (Portage/Top Forward). Bengert, who hails from Cole Harbour, NS, led the MJHL in three goaltending categories: wins (38), minutes played (2,743) and shutouts (five). In fact, his 38 wins were tops among all CJHL goaltenders. His efforts resulted in him winning the MJHL Top Goaltender Award and he was also named a first-team, all-star selection. Bengert was twice chosen MJHL Goaltender for the month and picked up one league Player of the Week honour. At six-foot-three-inches, Bengert casts a large physical presence in the net. Next season he’s committed to Lake Superior State University of the NCAA. Winners of the CJHL awards will be announced later this month. Other nominees for Top Goaltender are: AJHL: Logan Drackett, Calgary Canucks: The 19-year-old from Calgary, Alta., was earlier named the AJHL’s top goaltender for 2016-17. Was also a finalist for AJHL MVP honours. Drackett finished among the Top 5 AJHL netminders with a 2.35 goals-against average and .918 save percentage. He recorded the second-most shutouts in his league with six, wins at 29 and minutes played with 2,788. Drackett represented the AJHL at the 2016 World Junior A Challenge as a member of Team Canada West. He was a three-time recipient of the AJHL Defensive Player of the Week Award in 2016-17 while being selected Star of the Game eight times. He was earlier named to the 2016-17 AJHL South Division All-League Team. CCHL: Henry Johnson, Brockville Braves: Finished up his final year of Jr. ‘A’ by earning his second straight CCHL Top Goaltender Award. The native of Minneapolis, Minn., is considered very athletic, with quick reflexes, good focus and concentration. Johnson finished second in the CCHL in saves with 1,502 while leading his 12-team league in save percentage at .929 SV%. Was credited as being a main reason for Brockville making the playoffs. Has committed to Bemidji State University for 2017-18 on NCAA D-I scholarship. Went 25-18 on the year with a 2.56 GAA, his .929 save mark and two shutouts. NOJHL: Nate McDonald, Powassan Voodoos: The 17-year-old North Bay, ON, product was instrumental in leading Powassan to their first place finish in the overall NOJHL standings and their initial league regular season title in franchise history. McDonald led all NOJHL netminders in goals-against average at 2.159 and wins with 30. He was also third in save percentage at .923 and finished tied for second in shutouts with three while playing the fourth-most minutes in the league at 2,112. McDonald was also a member of Team NOJHL at the Eastern Canada Challenge Cup. OJHL: Josh Astorio, Georgetown Raiders: The 20-year old Niagara Falls, ON, native was a rock between the pipes for the Raiders during his first season in the OJHL, helping lead the club to a third consecutive West Division and South-West Conference regular season title, while also capturing the OJHL regular season championship for the first time since 2011-12. Was named OJHL Goaltender-of-the-Month in January. Posted an impressive 28-3-2 record for the league's second-best win total, along with two shutouts. The 1st Team All-Star allowed just 67 goals against this season in 35 games played for a 1.93 goals against average which also ranked second-best to finish as runner-up for the OJHL Top Goaltender Award (lowest GAA), while his 974 saves saw him post the OJHL's best save percentage at .936%. Had three win streaks of five or more, including a nine-game run.                                                                                                                                                                  SJHL: Kristian Stead, Nipawin Hawks: Stead was a double award recipient in the SJHL in 2016-17. Not only was he named the league’s top goaltender for his efforts in net, but he was chosen as the SJHL’s Most Valuable Player. The 20-year-old Merritt, BC product led all SJHL netminders in wins with 29. Stead also shared top spot in league save percentage at .936 and led the way in the 12-team SJHL in shutouts with seven. His 1.97 goals-against average ranked him third overall. His win, average and save mark totals all represented personal career single season highs. Stead has committed to attend the University of Alaska-Anchorage on NCAA Division I Scholarship where he will play for the Seawolves hockey program.  

Terriers drop to 1-2 at WCC

Portage Terriers dropped a tough 5-0 loss to Brooks Bandits Wednesday night at the Sun Life Financial Western Canada Cup in Penticton. The MJHL champions are now 1-2 after three games and are facing a must-win situation when they take on host Penticton Vee’s (1-1-1) Thursday night. Four of five teams qualify for the weekend playoff round. Currently, Terriers have not yet claimed a playoff spot. Terriers will be closely watching Thursday’s afternoon game between Battlefords North Stars (0-3) and Chilliwack Chiefs (2-1-O). If the North Stars win in regulation time, then the Terriers must win their final game against Penticton to qualify for the weekend playoffs. Brooks, who were ranked the No. 1 team in the CJHL, finished the round robin undefeated in four starts/11 points. Chilliwack Chiefs clinched second with a 2-1 record and six points. Brooks and Chilliwack will then face each other on the weekend in the 1-2 game; with the winner moving on to the RBC Cup. The loser of the 1-2 showdown will play the winner of the third/fourth-place playoff. The winner of that game also moves on the RBC Cup. “We got the start we wanted but they’re a good team and turned their game up,” Terriers’ GM/Head Coach Blake Spiller told CFRY-Radio. “They toyed with us a bit and we struggled at times. We had our opportunities early. We wanted to give them some adversity by scoring early and had our chances." “Good teams make you pay when you make mistakes and that’s what we did early: made mistakes. It then started to snowball. They’re a good club and there’s a reason why they haven’t lost. I thought we were a bit over matched tonight. At the end of the day they were the better team and you have to tip your hat to them. I thought we had showed well up until today. Overall, we kept playing and want to be better for Thursday. We’ll chalk this loss up to experience.” Photo by: Heather Jordan

OCN’s Keeper nominated for CJHL Top Defenceman award

The accolades continue for OCN Blizzard’s standout defenceman Brady Keeper, who is one of five players nominated for the CJHL Top Defenceman Award. A candidate from each of the 10 leagues that comprise the CJHL was nominated by their respective leagues for six national awards. The winner of each respective category will be announced during the week of May 8-12, heading into the RBC Cup. Keeper, who turns 21 next month, was recently awarded the MJHL MVP and Top Defenceman honours, in addition to being named a first-team all-star defenceman. He was also selected the MJHL Defenceman of the Month on three occasions.Keeper led all MJHL defenceman in goals with a total of 23 and finished with 48 points in as many games. He had an outstanding playoff run, finishing third in playoff scoring with 16 points (4-12) in 15 games. Keeper, who hails from Cross Lake, is also a positive role model for other Indigenous youth. His play has earned him a NCAA scholarship to the University of Maine next season. The other Top Defenceman nominees are: AJHL: Cale Makar, Brooks Bandits: The Brooks’ blueliner was named AJHL MVP and the league’s top defenceman. The 18-year-old from Calgary, Alta., is projected by NHL Central Scouting as a potential first round draft pick in the upcoming 2017 NHL Entry Draft as he was slotted ninth overall among North American skaters. Had a 75-point season on the blueline for the AJHL champion Bandits. Led all league D-men in scoring and was sixth in sixth overall among all skaters. Also served as captain of Canada West at the 2016 World Junior A Challenge and was selected to Team West for the 2017 CJHL Prospects Game. Makar is currently committed to the NCAA Division I University of Massachusetts on scholarship to begin his NCAA hockey career. BCHL: Jake Stevens, Victoria Grizzlies: Stevens elevated his game in his second BCHL season, amassing eight goals and 45 assists for 53 points while playing all 58 regular-season games. He saw significant ice time for Victoria in all situations, yet spent a mere 14 minutes in the penalty box. The 20-year-old D-man hails from Naperville, Ill. The 6-foot-2, 205-pound blueliner’s play helped the Grizzlies to the Island Division title in the BCHL. Stevens has received a scholarship to St. Lawrence University for 2017-18 where he will attend school and skate for the Saints’ men’s hockey program. LHJAAAQ: Jonathan Fillion, Collège Français de Longueuil:  The veteran defenceman was an offensive force for his squad in 2016-17 while still providing top-end play in his own zone. Eyed as a robust and intelligent player with an exceptional vision of the game, Fillion was selected as the most valuable player in the LHJAAAQ and also earned a place on the league all-star team. Was also named defenceman of the year in the LHJAAAQ where he led all rearguards in not only his league but across the entire CJHL with an impressive 103 points in just 49 games on 30 goals and 73 assists. 20-year-old hails from Ste-Catherine, Que. OJHL: Brennan Roy, Cobourg Cougars: Skating for the RBC Cup-host Cobourg Cougars, Roy tied for the league scoring lead among blueliners with 57 points. Picked up OJHL 1st Team All-Star honours. The 20-year-old from Iroquois Falls, Ont., led all OJHL defencemen with 43 assists this season while also providing a stabilizing force in the defensive zone and logging heavy minutes on the blueline. League North-East Conference Player-of-the-Month for October was a member of Team OJHL Oates at the Eastern Canada Cup All-Star Challenge and also suited up for the OJHL all-stars that played Canada East in a WJAC tune-up. SJHL: Eric Sinclair – Flin Flon Bombers: Captured SJHL top defenceman honours for a second straight year. Sinclair was a point-per-game performer in the league after starting the 2016-17 season with the Melfort Mustangs, who he helped lead to a Canalta Cup championship the year before. Suiting up in a combined 46 contests with both Melfort and Flin Flon, the now 21-year-old from Kenora, Ont., registered 51 points, including 17 goals. He led all SJHL D-men in tallies, assists and points. Sinclair will continue his hockey career in the NCAA this fall as he attends the University of Alaska-Anchorage in the fall on scholarship and play for the Seawolves.

Terriers’ Leipsic nominated for CJHL Award

Portage Terriers’ standout forward Jeremey Leipsic is one of five players to be nominated for the CJHL Top Forward Award. A candidate from each of the 10 leagues that comprise the CJHL was nominated by their respective leagues for six national awards. The winner of each respective category will be announced during the week of May 8-12, heading into the RBC Cup Canadian Jr. A Championship, May 13-21, in Cobourg, Ont. Leipsic, 20, established himself as not only one of the best forwards in the MJHL, but in all of the CJHL. The list of accolades this season is impressive for the Winnipegger. In addition to winning the MJHL scoring title (100 points), he was named a MJHL first-team all-star forward and on three occasions was named the RBC/MJHL Player of the Month. Leipsic was also awarded the MJHL's Hockey Ability and Sportsmanship Award after being given only 12 minutes in penalties in 60 games played. He was also named a game star in 12 games this season. Leipsic also won the playoff scoring race with 19 points (5-14) in 18 games for the Terriers, who captured their third consecutive MJHL championship. Leipsic, who hopes to earn an NCAA scholarship, was also only one of five CJHL players to reach, or surpass 100 points this past season. Currently, Leipsic and his teammates are in Penticton competing in the Sun Life Financial Western Canada Cup. Two teams from the WCC will advance to the RBC Cup later this month in Cobourg. The other CJHL Top Forward finalists are below: BCHL: Brendan Harris – Wenatchee Wild: Harris led the BCHL in scoring with 23 goals and 75 assists for 98 points in 57 games while amassing just 14 penalty minutes. … An assistant captain during the 2016-17 season, Harris posted 32 multiple-point games, helping Wenatchee win the Ron Boileau Memorial trophy as regular-season champions. … Earlier in the 2016-17 campaign, the 20-year-old Henderson, Nev., native boasted an impressive 14-game point streak. … Harris is an active volunteer with the Learning with the Wild program in Wenatchee. He is also committed to attend Bemidji State University on scholarship for 2017-18.   CCHL: Grant Hebert – Cumberland Grads: As the leading scorer of the CCHL, Hebert showed he can play in all on-ice scenarios, including both the power play and penalty kill. … The 19-year-old St. Andrews West, Ont., product is a very powerful skater, who boats great vision, hands, and ability to carry the puck. … Has committed to NCAA Robert Morris University for 2018-19 so still has another season of junior ahead of him. … In 60 games, Hebert notched a CCHL-best 91 points on 27 Goals and 64 Assists.   OJHL: Jack Jacome – Georgetown Raiders: Winner of the OJHL’s Top Scorer Award, the 18-year old native of Caledon, Ont., was also selected an OJHL 1st Team All-Star. … Jacome topped all OJHL scorers with 57 assists and 91 points in 53 regular season games while finishing third in the league with 34 goals. … Tied for the league lead with 31 power play points and added seven game-winning goals. Serves as an alternate captain on the Raiders and posted two scoring streaks that surpassed 10 games. … Jacome recorded points in 44 of his 53 games this season, never going more than two consecutive  games without at least a single point, while notching multiple points in 26 games and 5 multi-goal outings. Twice this season he was named the OJHL’s South-West Conference Player-of-the-Month. … Was also member of Team OJHL Hawerchuk at the 2016 Eastern Canada Cup All-Star Challenge and is committed to join the Clarkson University Golden Knights on scholarship in the fall.                                                                                                                                                                                                    SIJHL: Braeden Allkins – Dryden GM Ice Dogs: The 20-year-old from Golden, B.C., led the SIJHL in both goals and points during the campaign as he notched 53 tallies while chipping in with 44 assists for 97 points overall. … His totals set a new Dryden franchise mark for goals and points in a single season and he also led the way in SIJHL power play markers with 16 and game-winning goals with eight while tying for first in shorthanded efforts with four. … By scoring 53 times it marked the second-highest total in the entire 132-team CJHL in 2016-17. The GM Ice Dogs was also a SIJHL CCM first team all-star.

Terriers 1-1 at Western Canada Cup

Portage Terriers’ record is now 1-1 at the Sun Life Financial Western Canada Cup. Despite a spirited third period, Terriers lost 2-1 to Chilliwack Chiefs Monday night in Penticton. Terriers are off Tuesday, going back on the ice Wednesday against Brooks Bandits. “We tried to generate some offence but their goaltender made some plays and he was there,” Terriers’ GM/Head Coach Blake Spiller told CFRY-Radio. “We definitely know we can play here. We made a few mistakes and they cost us. I was happy with the way we played overall. Obviously, we were right there, but couldn’t score that tying goal. It was one of those games which was disappointing, but we have to keep battling." “We’ve been here a few times and can keep going. We’ll relax on Tuesday and get back to work on Wednesday; another tough game against a top team. Once again we’ll be ready.” Despite the loss, Terriers are still very much alive to qualify for one of four playoff spots in the WCC. The MJHL champions have three points in total, tied with Penticton and Chilliwack. Brooks Bandits (AJHL) lead the field with five points, while Battlefords North Stars have a single point. The WCC playoffs take place on the weekend; two teams from the WCC will move on to the RBC Cup. James McIsaac scored the lone goal for the Terriers. Chase Brakel was named Portage’s player of the game. Photo credit: Heather Jordan

Terriers Open WCC with a Win

Portage Terriers got off to a good start at the Sun Life Financial Western Canada Cup with a 5-3 win over Battleford North Stars (SJHL) Sunday night at Penticton. Terriers are back on the ice Monday (May 1) night against BCJHL representative Chilliwack Chiefs.  North Stars rallied late in the third period, scoring a pair of goals in 71 seconds to pull within one goal: 4-3. However, Terriers’ Ty Enns ended the suspense when he scored an empty net goal in the dying seconds.  “They (North Stars) had a late push,” Terriers’ Assistant Coach Paul Harland told CFRY-Radio. “We called a timeout to settle our guys down. The empty netter sealed the win. We gained some confidence today. As the guys get a bit more comfortable here, they will realize that we  can compete, we’ll have a chance. We need all 20 guys to battle.”  Chase Brakel and MacKenzie Dwyer led the MJHL champions with a pair of goals apiece. In total, the Terriers scored three powerplay goals. Goaltender Kurtis Chapman once again played outstanding, turning aside a number of North Star attacks.  Brakel, who hails from Winnipeg, was named Player of the Game.  Two teams from the WCC will advance to the RBC Cup next month in Cobourg, Ont. The Manitoba champs must finish in the top four to qualify for next weekend’s playoff round.  North Stars are now 0-2 after two starts; losing Saturday to host Penticton.  Photo credit: Heather Jordan

MJHL champion Terriers ready for the Western Canada Cup

By Derek Holtom MJHL Web Correspondent   The five teams for the Western Canada Cup (WCC) are set, and a chance to compete for the RBC Cup is tantalizingly close for two of the participants. The tournament begins Saturday in Penticton, B.C. The Portage Terriers will be making their third straight appearance at the WCC, and they will be joined by the host and league champion Penticton Vees, the BCHL's Chilliwack Chiefs (for making it to the league final against the WCC hosts), the AJHL champion Brooks Bandits (for the second straight year), and the SJHL champion Battleford Stars. Portage opens Sunday at 4 p.m. (CT) against the Battleford North Stars, champions of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. Terriers’ GM/Head Coach Blake Spiller said his young club will have its hands full. "I know they’re all really good clubs, all built to be there this year," he said. "Penticton and Chilliwack are veteran clubs and have the maximum number of 20-year-olds that they can have and a bunch of 19-year-olds as well, so they’re both older clubs. "Brooks and Battleford were favourites in their leagues from the get-go, so it’s no surprise that they are there. Brooks is a very skilled club and they have (Cale) Makar and this guy can play." Two teams from the Western Canada Cup advance to the RBC Cup national championship, set for Cobourg, Ont., May 5-13. Below is rundown of each team, and how they advanced to the WCC. Portage Terriers The three-time MJHL champions won the league title as the fifth seed, upsetting the Selkirk Steelers, Steinbach Pistons and OCN Blizzard all in six games. In doing so, they were able to clinch each series on home ice in front of their rabid fans. Leading the way for the Terriers offensively in the post-season was Jeremy Leipsic, who had 19 points in 18 games. Chase Brakel and former Swan Valley Stampeder Josh Martin each had 15 points, while rookie Ty Barnstable led the team with 10 post-season goals. Kurtis Chapman took over in goal for the Terriers as the playoffs wore on, and he was instrumental in shutting down the potent Blizzard in the last four games of the final. He finished the post-season with a 2.07 GAA and a .931 save percentage and three shutouts in 12 games. Chilliwack Chiefs The Chiefs were the No. 2 seed from the Mainland Division of the BCHL with a healthy 41-11-6 record. They opened the playoffs with a 4-2 series victory over the Langley Rivermen, and followed that with a 4-0 sweep over the top seed from the Mainland Division, the Wenatchee Wild. They punched their ticket into the league final – and ultimately the WCC – with a 4-2 series victory over the Victoria Grizzles, the top seed from the Island Division (the BCHL has three divisions). As they played the WCC host Penticton Vees in the BCHL final, their spot in the Royal Bank Cup qualifying tournament was already assured. But they still had a league final to contest, and the Chiefs made it all the way to Game 7 of the league final before falling 1-0 in overtime. Jordan Kawaguchi led the Chiefs in scoring in the post-season with an incredible 43 points in 23 games played – nearly two points a game. The next best scorer for Chilliwack was Kohen Olischefski, who put up 10 goals and 23 points, averaging a point per game. In goal Mark Sinclair was the Chiefs' main man in goal, as he posted a 2.22 GAA and a .923 save percentage. Penticton Vees The host squad put together a championship lineup this year, and finished first in the Interior Division of the BCHL with a 41-13-3-1 record. That earned them a first-round bye. In the second round they just edged out the Merritt Centennials 4-3 in a back-and-forth series. Interestingly, the Centennials had a sub-.500 record. But the BCHL is known to be a balanced league, and seeing lower seeds upset favourites is not uncommon. The Vees then won another seven-game classic against the Vernon Vipers, the second seed in the Interior Division. That set up the final against the Chiefs, which as noted earlier they were able to win in in seven games. Despite having a first-round bye, the Western Canada Cup hosts played the maximum games possible for them in the playoffs – 21 in total. Nicholas Jones led the way offensively for the Vees, as he scored 10 goals and 17 assists in 21 games. Incredibly only three players had 10 or more points for the Vees in the playoffs – Chris Klack (18 points) and Grant Cruikshank (12 points) being the other two. Mathew Robson played every minute in goal for the Vees, posting a 2.21 GAA and a .920 save percentage. Brooks Bandits The Brooks Bandits repeated as AJHL champions with a 4-0 series victory in the league final against the Whitecourt Wolverines. The Bandits were barely challenged in the post-season. They needed five games to advance in the semifinal against the Okotoks Oilers, with their lone setback coming in overtime. In the second round of the playoffs they swept away the Olds Grizzlys, scoring 33 goals in four games. And thanks to their stellar 51-5-4 regular season record, the Brooks Bandits enjoyed a first-round bye. Brooks brings some real fire-power to the WCC. Their leading scorer Josh McKechney had 23 points in just 13 post-season games, while teammate Parker Foo had 10 goals and 10 assists. Brooks also had 10 players with at least 10 points in the playoffs. In goal, Mitchel Benson played every minute of the post-season, posting a 12-1 record with a 1.21 GAA and a .949 save percentage and four shutouts. Battleford Stars The Battleford Stars won their first SJHL championship since 2000 with a flawless playoff performance, winning 12 straight games. After avoiding the 'Survivor Series' opening round thanks to a 48-9-1 record, the Stars opened up the playoffs with a 4-0 series sweep over the Weyburn Red Wings, won the league semifinal against the Estevan Bruins with four straight wins, and then dispatched the Flin Flon Bombers with four more victories in the league final. Unlike the Portage Terriers, the Battleford Stars clinched every series on the road. California product Coby Downs led the way offensively for the Stars with 25 points in 11 playoff games. Keaton Holinaty was the team's top goal scorer with 10 goals and three assists in 12 games. Interestingly, he only had 20 goals in 56 regular season games, so he clearly elevated his game in the post season. Between the pipes the Stars used both netminders in the post season, though Taryn Kotchorek played the majority of the minutes. He won nine games, and had a 2.04 GAA and a .925 save percentage. The backup plan is no slouch either. Joel Grzybowski had three post-season wins and put up a 2.09 GAA and a .930 save percentage.

Terrier’s Top Dog Looking Forward to WCC

While he’s a seasoned veteran at the Western Canada Cup, Blake Spiller admits there’s always something new to learn as a head coach. “Guys (coaches) are always doing different things to help out their teams,” the Terriers’ GM/Head Coach said. “Whether it’s a different fore check, or face-off alignment, or penalty kill, there are always things you can learn as you go along.” Considering Spiller has won six MJHL championships and an RBC Cup, there’s pretty much he hasn’t seen while standing on the bench. Yet, despite all the success he’s enjoyed, Spiller has a long, long memory. “We lost a Game 7 ANAVET final against Humboldt one year,” he said. “That hurt. I suppose it was someone’s way of telling us we had to be patient and our time would eventually come. I remember those games, just as I remember the wins." “I wouldn’t say I get nervous during games. Maybe I feel a bit of jitters at certain points of a game. I enjoy coaching. Each year is always different. Different players. Different opponents. That’s what I enjoy about this. Competing.” Spiller and his enthusiastic group of Terriers will be jumping on a plane Friday morning and heading to Penticton for the Western Canada Cup. In total, 23 roster players will be heading west, along with two affiliate players. “It’s going to be a great experience for everyone,” said Spiller. “Looking at the teams involved this year, I believe this will be the strongest field of teams the WCC has iced in a number of years. There’s no doubt that these teams are built to win a championship. “It’s a little different for us. We have a young club. We weren’t a favourite going into our playoffs. Our focus is on Game One. That’s a very important game for us. We play Battlefords, who will have played the night before. We want to get off to a good start and build momentum.” For the record, the Terriers have only four, 20-year-old players, a handful of 19-year-olds and talented young guns rounding out the lineup. Meanwhile, the Terrier players had an opportunity to meet their fans up close and personal with a pep rally held at Stride Place on Wednesday. “Our players really enjoyed the rally,” said Spiller. “It’s a really good atmosphere. Living in a small community like Portage, our players see the fans on a daily basis. But, the pep rally gave the young fans in particular a chance to get up and close to their hockey heros. It was a great time.” NOTE: all Terriers games will be broadcast on CFRY and Portage online.