January 27, 2015 An undefeated record last week has earned goaltender Troy Martyniuk of the Dauphin Kings the Recycle Everywhere MJHL Player of the Week honour. The 17-year-old native of Winnipeg posted a 2-0 record, while posting an impressive GAA of 2.50. His save percentage was .935 in his two starts last week. The runners up are 20 year old forward Zack Waldvogel of the Portage Terriers and 19 year old forward Kamerin Nault of the Winnipeg Blues.
January 23, 2015 Submitted by Steinbach Pistons The Steinbach Pistons are excited to announce that 19 year-old forward Tyler Penner has committed to the Colgate University of the NCAA Division I. Penner returned to Steinbach late Wednesday with a huge smile on his face after taking a quick trip to upstate New York to get a taste of what life would be like at Colgate. He said it didn’t take long and he knew that Colgate was where he wanted to be. “You got out there and you have to imagine spending four years of your life in the same spot,” said the Winnipeg product, who used that time to meet the coaches and players. “Everything fit together perfectly.” The news of Penner committing to Colgate comes right on the heels of Nick Deery’s Division 1 commitment at the end of last week. The Pistons organization couldn’t be more pleased with the recent success of their players. “It’s been a great week for us,” said Pistons Head Coach and General Manager Paul Dyck about the memorable week. “We have been working towards this and our players have been too. Hopefully, we can carry some momentum forward with this and we have a few other players who are also garnering some interest.” Normally this kind of news means an organization will be without one of their best players the following season, but that won’t be the case with Penner. “They [Colgate] said that they are more or less set for next year and I would come in for the 2016-2017 season,” commented Penner about receiving the news he won’t be leaving the automobile city just yet. “That’s fine with me because that means I get to play one more year of junior hockey in Steinbach, which is a place I love.” Penner showed up in Steinbach in the midst of Steinbach’s memorable 2012-2013 championship run as an alternate player in round two of the playoffs. He kicked off his junior career with a championship and a trip to the very first Western Canada Cup in Nanaimo, British Columbia before he was technically considered a rookie. His work ethic, responsible defensive play and grades in the classroom were never in question, but there were some who asked if he could be an offensive threat at the MJHL level. Penner has proved this year that there is very little to question in his game. He currently leads the Pistons and is 3rd in the MJHL in scoring with 29 goals 25 assists for 54 points in 44 games. Penner is now the Pistons’ third NCAA Division 1 commitment along with Deery and alumni defenseman Justin Baudry. Colgate is currently ranked 15th out of 59 NCAA Division 1 schools with a 14-7-1 record so far this season.
January 22, 2015 By Derek Holtom MJHL Web Correspondent “It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog.” ─ Mark Twain Mark Twain never met Ty Kraus. But if he did, he’d like him. Kraus is one of those players, who doesn’t let his size get in the way of excelling out on the ice. High energy. Loads of enthusiasm. Kraus is one of the players you can’t help but watch. The affable Selkirk Steeler forward is all about leaving it all out on the ice. “I’m a hard worker, with some playmaking-type skills,” said Kraus, who also knows he’s not the tallest player on the ice. “I try to play a little bigger. I’ve never really been the biggest guy on the ice, and I’m used to it, but I try to not back down from anyone or anything.” Kraus, plays much bigger than his 5-foot-8, 185-pound stature. The kid from East St. Paul has been consistent this season, scoring nearly a point a game. And outside a mini dry-spell in December, you would be hard pressed to keep Kraus off the scoreboard two games in a row. Despite his flourishing offensive role, Kraus remains a team-goal-oriented type of player. “Things are going pretty well right now – as a team we’re competing every night, we’re winning a lot of games, and we’re having some team success,” said the native of East St. Paul. “But I’m also having some personal success as well.” In what is probably considered a rebuilding year, Kraus has emerged as a veteran, go-to type of player on a young team. “He’s really stepped up for us this season as far as offensive production this year,” said head coach Wayne Bartley. “He’s playing a lot on special teams, he’s very good with the puck, slows the play down when he needs to, and has been really great for us this year.” Kraus, 19, had 33 points in 39 games midway through January – 11 goals and 22 assists. It’s a different role from the one he had on last year’s powerhouse Steelers squad. “Last year we had a very strong team with lots of skill up front, like Parker Thomas, guys like that,” said Kraus. “This year we have to play a lot tougher, as we don’t have those high skill guys for goals every night. All four lines have to contribute each and every night, and that comes through hard work.” With double the assists compared to goals, Kraus describes himself as the prototypical set up man. With the league getting down to the final stretch, Kraus and his Steelers are in a battle with several teams for sixth place and avoiding the survivor series portion of the playoffs. And for that, the Steelers will be counting on Kraus to continue with his near point-a-game pace. After his final year of junior next season, Kraus says he still wants to lace up the skates, and that will be his goal for the final one and a half years of junior A hockey. “I’d still like to continue to play hockey after junior, either with school or Europe,” he said.
January 19, 2015 It’s been quite the week for Steinbach Pistons’ goaltender Nick Deery, who has been named the Recycle Everywhere MJHL Player of the Week. This honour comes on the heels of the recent announcement that Deery, 20, has committed to the Division I, University of Minnesota Duluth next season. Deery, who hails from La Crosse, WI., was outstanding last week, reflecting in a perfect 3-0 record and stellar GAA of 1.33. His save percentage was equally impressive at .958. The runners up 18 year old forward Devin Muir of the OCN Blizzard and 18 year old forward Adam Wowryk of the Selkirk Steelers.
January 17, 2015 By Derek Holtom MJHL Web Correspondent It’s been a tumultuous time for the OCN Blizzard in recent weeks, what with the recent passing of general manager Derek Fontaine and the resignation earlier this season of head coach Clay DeBray. The team also suffered through a tough stretch which only saw them win two of 10 starts. However, head coach Jason Smith and newly named assistant coach Andre Murphy are determined to move the franchise upward and forward. “We’ve had some ups and downs, as I’ve tried to get all the players on the same page,” said Smith. “It was a bit of a challenge at first. We would play games and be in it in the first period, and then we’d lose it in the second period and get back into it in the third. “We were hanging with teams, but it seemed like we were finding a way to lose,” he added. “But our game in Wayway before the (Christmas) break, I thought we played really well, but we just couldn’t buy a goal, and that seemed to be how it was going for us during that stretch.” The Blizzard had a lengthy stretch off between Dec. 20 and Jan. 9, and when they got back they learned there had been some changes with the players, as Smith started dealing veterans for younger players and draft picks. “I think what we needed was some youth back in our system,” said Smith. “We also want to bring in more Aboriginal players, and get back to that, but what we’re looking for is quality kids. We don’t just want hockey players, but good people off the ice as well.” Smith knows the high expectations placed on this proud hockey franchise. Smith hails from The Pas and brings a wealth of hockey experience to the Blizzard organization. He played his junior hockey in the WHL with Tri-City Americans and Swift Current Broncos, and played professional hockey extensively throughout the minors throughout North America and in Europe. The offensively-minded defenceman even played some roller hockey in Philadelphia. And of course he got his start at home, playing minor hockey in The Pas and OCN, and playing midget AAA in Thompson. “It’s a different game over here compared to Europe, but I’d like to think I can bring some things from each team I played for and against to the Blizzard,” he said. Smith said he’s basically at the rink all day as he learns adjusts to his new position, though he said things have settled somewhat since Murphy has come aboard. Either way, the Blizzard organization is dedicated to icing a good product on the ice for their loyal fans.
January 16, 2015 Submitted by Steinbach Pistons The Steinbach Pistons are pleased to announce that 20 year-old goaltender Nick Deery has committed to the University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs of the NCAA’s Division 1. “It was a surreal moment after I got off the phone,” said Deery about hearing the news earlier this week. “I didn’t know what to do with myself. I made sure I called my parents right away.” Deery’s accomplishment is the Pistons second NCAA Division 1 commitment in as many years. Justin Baudry’s commitment to Bemidji State University early last season was Steinbach’s first. The organization couldn’t be more pleased. “We are very excited for Nick and proud of his accomplishment,” said Pistons Head Coach and General Manager Paul Dyck about his starting net-minder. “He’s been a very good fit here. Not just in our dressing room, but also with his involvement in the community.” As a 14 year-old, Deery set his sights on a Division 1 commitment. After having a rough go in the North American Hockey League with the Odessa Jackalopes, Deery decided to shift his focus to Canada and the MJHL. “I looked at Steinbach as a new opportunity, with a new organisation that really wanted me,” said the LaCrosse, Wisconsin product. “When I got up here I absolutely loved it and enjoyed it. It didn’t take long and I knew that I wanted to finish my junior career here.” Deery’s goal of playing Division 1 hockey could have come true last season, but he turned down an offer from a different school. The goaltender wasn’t only looking out for his best interests on the ice, he also wanted the best opportunity in the classroom. “It wasn’t just about the hockey, academics mean a lot to him,” said Dyck about Deery turning down his 1st Division 1 offer because it didn’t have the engineering program that he was looking for. “Last year when that opportunity came we as an organization were selfishly wondering why he was passing up the opportunity. “It’s really a testament to his maturity,” Dyck added. “He processed it thoroughly and didn’t jump at the first opportunity just because it was there for him. He wanted to do what was best for him long term.” Now that Deery has his future under wraps, he says it’s time to focus on the task at hand and that is winning A MJHL Championship and then moving on to the RBC Cup. So far so good for number 35, immediately after Deery was told the good news he made 37 saves in a shutout performance against the Neepawa Natives. In under a year’s time Deery will be wearing the same Bulldogs jersey that has been worn by quite a few NHLers. That list includes Brett Hull, Curt Giles, Norm Maciver, Justin Falk, Jason Garrison, Matt Niskanen, Mason Raymond and Tim Stapleton to name a few.
January 15, 2015 CALGARY, Alberta (January 9, 2015) – The Gongshow CJHL 3 Stars for the month of December 2014 are Félix-Antoine Bergeron (Princeville Titan, QJHL), Thomas Stavert (Summerside Western Capitals, MHL) and Cole Golka (Dryden GM Ice Dogs, SIJHL). 1st STAR – FÉLIX-ANTOINE BERGERON, F, Princeville Titan, QJHL (7 GP, 11 G, 12 A, 23 PTS, 3.30 PPG) Félix-Antoine Bergeron of the Titan Princevillehad an amazing month of December. The 20-year-old compiled a record of 11 goals, 12 assists and 23 points in just 7 games. This included two hat tricks, five power play goals, three shorthanded goals, 1 game winning goal and 7 games with over two points. He was a +14 during this time and was the QJHL Offensive Player of the Month for December. 2nd STAR – THOMAS STAVERT, F, Summerside Western Capitals, MHL (8 GP, 14 G, 7 A, 21 PTS, 2.63 PPG) Thomas Stavert of the Summerside Western Capitals played in eight December contests. During the month Stavert scored 14 goals and added seven assists. The 19 year old from Kensington, Prince Edward Island registered at least one point in every game during the month. In addition, Stavert registered two points or more for six consecutive games leading into the holiday break. Other highlights of Stavert’s performance was a three goal, four point effort on December 12th and a three goal, five point game on December 21st. 3rd STAR – COLE GOLKA, F, Dryden GM Ice Dogs, SIJHL (8 GP, 14 G, 6 A, 20 PTS, 2.50 PPG) In eight games during the final month of 2014, Cole Golka the 20-year-old from Strathcona County, Alta., registered points in each of the contests he skated in racking up a league-best 14 goals, while also dishing out six assists for a total of 20 points in December. Currently riding a 10-game point streak, Golka has also scored at least one goal in each of his past seven outings. He also leads the SIJHL in both overall offensive production and tallies with 51 points and 32 markers. This marks the second time this season Golka has been earned the SIJHL Gongshow Gear performer of the month after capturing the initial award for the 2014-15 campaign. Honourable Mentions: Graham Hunt, Swan Valley Stampeders (MJHL), Mario Culina, Soo Thunderbirds (NOJHL), Felix Chamberland, Pembroke Lumber Kings (CCHL)
January 14, 2015 Annual game of CJHL's top prospects to be featured on FASTHockey CALGARY, Alberta (January 14, 2015) – The Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) and FASTHockey have announced that they will partner for the 2014 – 2015 CJHL Prospects Game, which will be hosted at the Sixteen Mile Sports Complex in Oakville, Ont., on January 20, 2015. FASTHockey will webcast the CJHL Prospects Game free of charge which can be seen on www.fasthockey.com as well as on FASTHockey’s Roku and Google TV channels and through their iOS and Android apps. The broadcast is scheduled to start at 7:30 pm EST. FASTHockey will also sponsor the game with much needed support. “FASTHockey is thrilled to partner with the CJHL and have a small part in this wonderful event," said Marc Ruskin, FASTHockey’s founder. "Not only is it important to showcase this talent to fans across the globe, it is of even greater importance to be able to contribute, in some small way, to junior hockey and development of players at this level.” The CJHL Prospects Game is one of the premier Junior A hockey events in the country and provides tremendous exposure for the top CJHL prospects to play in front of scouts from all over the hockey world – including the NHL, NCAA, CHL and Canadian universities and colleges. “We are extremely happy to have FASTHockey come on board as a web broadcasting partner of the CJHL Prospects Game," said CJHL Executive Director Rick Morocco. "Our goal is to provide the game and players with as much exposure as possible and showcase to the fans across the country the best CJHL prospects playing in a highly competitive game at no cost.”
January 14, 2015 By Derek Holtom MJHL Web Correspondent The Winkler Flyers are one of the elite teams in the MJHL this season, battling it out with the Winnipeg Blues and Steinbach Pistons for positions two through four. And a big part of the Flyers' success this season has to be the play of forward Tristan Keck, who is doing this year what he's done his whole career – score goals. Keck, who hails from Morris, leads the league with 33 goals in 40 games – two more than he scored as a rookie in 60 games two seasons ago. Add in his 20 goals scored in a shortened season last year, and Keck has already scored 84 MJHL goals, with lots of time to add to that total. The personable 19-year-old was quick to credit his teammates for helping him pile up the goals this year. "Going into this season I set big goals, and one of them was to lead the league in scoring, and I've been put with some great guys who can give me the puck," said Keck, who also has nearly 20 assists this year. "I was looking to get a goal a game, but I'm a little under that but still trying to reach that (level)." Keck also displayed this sort of offensive prowess in his high school days as he scored 44 times in just 20 games for Morris. "In the past I've usually had more goals than assists – in my first year (with Winkler) I was pretty even in goals and assists, but usually I'm a shoot-first kind of guy," he said. "My coach wants me to shoot, but if the pass is there, I'll definitely take it." As for how Keck has managed to dent the twine so often, he said he make a point at getting rid of the puck before the goalie has time to set himself. "I really work on my release a lot, and I really work at trying to catch the goalie off-guard," said Keck, who stands five foot nine inch weighs 175 pounds. That quick release is important, as Keck is drawing a lot of attention from the shutdown players from other teams. "I find guys are cutting me off a little bit more, and I'm not getting that space – sometimes they're right on me, so I find I have to skate around more to look for open space." As Keck keeps scoring, he also has some short and long-term goals in mind. "This year I want to win it all – I think that's the goal everyone has," he said. "And long-term, I'd really like to play college hockey in the States somewhere, and if things go well, play professionally."
January 13, 2015 Recently, players from the Steinbach Pistons visited Green Valley School in Grunthal, MB as part of the Recycle Everywhere-MJHL Ambassador Program. All 11 MJHL teams are participating in the program, with players delivering recycling messages to Manitoba youth, focusing on the importance of recycling empty beverage containers. MJHL players will visit over 40 schools throughout the province during the current hockey season. “MJHL players are role models for students and youth and we are pleased to support recycling and good environmental stewardship,” said Kim Davis, MJHL Commissioner. “It is important for all of us to do our part for the environment.” The Recycle Everywhere-MJHL Ambassador program complements the Recycle Everywhere 101 school program. For more information and to order free Recycle Everywhere bins for your school, visit: www.recycleeverywhere.ca Twitter: @RecycleMB Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RecycleEverywhere
January 12, 2015 Goaltender Brody Claeys of the OCN Blizzard has been named this week’s Recycle Everywhere MJHL Player of the Week. Claeys, who hails from Ste. Rose, posted a 2-1 record for the Blizzard last week, boasting a GAA of 2.00 and save percentage of .945. The runners up are 19 year old forward Shawn Bowles of the Portage Terriers and 19 year old forward Tristan Keck of the Winkler Flyers.
January 11, 2015 Recently, we challenged your knowledge of the MJHL. Hope you enjoyed testing your memory skills. Drumroll please..………..here are the answers to the questions: Which MJHL alumni has been a long-time referee in the NHL? (Rob Martel of Selkirk Steelers) Who was the last captain in the MJHL to hoist the national championship trophy? Hint: Centennial Cup. (Ken Neufeld of Selkirk Steelers) This Portage Terrier alumni went on to play with Los Angeles Kings? (Dan Bonar) This MJHL player was named CJHL Player of the Year. (Eric Delong/Portage Terriers) Who was the first-ever signed Selkirk Steeler? (Willy Cole…..went on to become a radio personality.) Who was the first-ever coach of the then-MJHL franchise Steinbach Hawks? (Al Hares….former bench boss of Selkirk Steelers) This Dauphin King goaltender went on to star in the NHL. (Ron Low) This player was arguably the highest-profile player to suit up for the then-MJHL franchise Kenora Muskies. (Charlie Simmer….went on to star with the Los Angeles Kings; most notably the Triple Crown Line) This MJHL alumni went on to win four Stanley Cups. (Butch Goring/Dauphin Kings) Who is the MJHL’s all-time winning coach? (Don MacGillivray/Winnipeg Blues. He started his coaching career with St. James Canadians) This MJHL alumni went on to play for his native country in the Winter Olympics/World Championships. (Karl Friesen/West Kildonan North Stars.) This former MJHL coach went on to coach Theo Fleury. (Glenn Watson/OCN Blizzard)
January 10. 2015 Winnipeg Blues Jackson Keane and Mack Heisinger have committed to schools for the upcoming season. Keane has accepted a scholarship to the University of North Dakota. "UND" are members of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) and compete in NCAA Division 1. The 17 year old from Winnipeg is in his 2nd season with the Blues. In two seasons, Keane has compiled 73 points in 86 games and was also a member of Team Canada West for the 2014 World Junior A Challenge in Kindersley Saskatchewan this past December. Heisinger is headed east after accepting a scholarship to Division III Curry College near Boston. The 20 year old will join his brother and former Winnipeg Blue Jake who currently suits up for the Colonels. Heisinger has been a key member of the Blues blue line for the past two seasons, playing big time minutes against many of the top lines in the MJHL. Heisinger has suited up for 93 games with the Blues, lighting the lamp seven times while adding 37 assists.
January 8, 2015 Jackson Keane of the Winnipeg Blues and Lycar Kirklan of the Dauphin Kings have been named to Team West roster for the for the CJHL Prospects Game scheduled to be played Jan. 20 in Oakville, Ont. This is the second prestigious event to be attended by Keane, 17, who recently suited up for Canada West at the World Junior A Challenge last month. Paul Dyck of the Steinbach Pistons will lead Team West as Head Coach. "I would like to congratulate the players from both teams for earning their position in the CJHL Prospects Game," said Dyck. "It speaks highly to the quality season that they have had thus far and to their future potential. I am excited to work with this talented group and proud to represent Western Canada in Oakville." Team West includes 12 players from the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL), 5 players from the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL), 2 selections from the Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) and 1 player from the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL). The CJHL Prospects Game was created to showcase the top NHL prospects in the CJHL as identified by NHL Central Scouting. The game features players from the CJHL's five western leagues (BCHL, AJHL, SJHL, MJHL, SIJHL) competing against players from the CJHL's five eastern leagues (NOJHL, OJHL, CCHL, QJHL, MHL). The winning team is awarded the President's Cup. Player selection for the annual CJHL Prospects Game is a joint initiative of the CJHL and NHL Central Scouting. Rounding out the Team West roster: TEAM WEST Player Current Team League Goaltenders DIDUR, BO LANGLEY RIVERMEN BCHL WORNIG, STEFAN POWELL RIVER KINGS BCHL Defence BAST, GABE PENTICTON VEES BCHL BUONO, CARMINE POWELL RIVER KINGS BCHL DESHARNAIS, VINCENT CHILLIWACK CHIEFS BCHL HILDERMAN, JAROD PENTICTON VEES BCHL SYCH, CONNOR BATTLEFORD NORTH STARS SJHL VERMEULEN, JAMES WHITECOURT WOLVERINES AJHL Forwards BERG, ADAM CALGARY MUSTANGS AJHL BUSCH, TYLER SPRUCE GROVE AJHL CRAIGHEAD, DARIEN COWICHAN VALLEY CAPITALS BCHL DUHAIME, BRANDON MERRITT CENTENNIALS BCHL GAMMER, COLE SHERWOOD PARK CRUSADERS AJHL GARDNER, RHETT OKOTOKS OILERS AJHL KAWAGUCHI, JORDAN CHILLIWACK CHIEFS BCHL KEANE, JACKSON WINNIPEG BLUES MJHL LYCAR, KIRKLAN DAUPHIN KINGS MJHL O'BRIEN, BROGAN PRINCE GEORGE SPRUCE KINGS BCHL VELA, MARCUS LANGLEY RIVERMEN BCHL ZERTER-GOSSAGE, Lewis PENTICTON VEES BCHL
Connor Martin of the Steinbach Pistons has been named the Manitoba Pork-MJHL Peak Performer of the Month of December. A newcomer to Steinbach, the affable Martin has quickly immersed himself into the community. The rookie defenceman attends local schools several mornings a week assisting teachers and working with students. “Connor is also an assistant coach for his billet family’s sons minor hockey team,” Pistons’ GM/Head Coach Paul Dyck says of Martin, who hails from Owatonna, MN. “In addition, he has volunteered with the Helping Hands: Drive Away Hunger campaign. “As a role model in the community, Connor understands and respects the opportunity to make a difference with area youth.” The MJHL Manitoba Pork Peak Performer award recognizes the volunteerism of an MJHL player who is making a difference in their community. “Connor epitomizes what the MJHL is all about: community involvement, making a difference and showcasing his hockey talents,” said MHL Commissioner Kim Davis. “Congratulations on behalf of the Manitoba Pork Council and the MJHL.”
Portage Terriers’ goaltender Justin Laforest has been named the Recycle Everywhere MJHL Player of the Week. Laforest, 19, posted a perfect 3-0 record, highlighted by a shutout effort. A native of Carleton Place, Ont., Laforest’s GAA was 1.33 during the three-game win streak. His save percentage was .952. The runners up are 20 year old forward Jonah Wasylak of the Steinbach Pistons and 18 year old forward Scott Gall of the Winkler Flyers.
The MJHL sends its deepest condolences to the family of Derek Fontaine, who passed away last week. Derek was the general manager of the OCN Blizzard and his loss will be felt not only with the Blizzard, but the entire MJHL family. “Derek was a passionate, dedicated executive,” MJHL Commissioner Kim Davis said. “We are all saddened by his passing and I extend the league’s deepest sympathy to Derek’s family and wide-circle of friends. He was totally committed to making the OCN Blizzard a well-run, competitive hockey operation.” Derek’s full obituary can be read here: http://passages.winnipegfreepress.com/passage-details/id-220463/name-Derek_Fontaine/min-run-date-1420437600/order-publish_date%7CDESC,last_name%7CASC/
Q: You’re name is Kris Kringle, but you’re also know as Santa Claus? What’s up with that? A: It’s a bit complicated. Kris Kringle is derived from the Christian tradition, the ritual is known as Secret Santa in the United States and the United Kingdom; as Kris Kringle or Kris Kindle (Christkindl) in Ireland; as Secret Santa, Kris Kringle, or Chris Kindle (Christkindl) in parts of Austria; as Secret Santa or Kris Kringle in Canada and Australia; and as Secret Santa, Kris Kringle, or Monito-monita in the Philippines. Q: Favourite NHL team? A: Montreal Canadiens, because they wear my favourite colour of red. Q: Favourite NHL player? A: Guy Lafleur. But, I also like Carey Price. Q: Any superstitions? If so, how about listing a few? A: I don’t like to eat cookies in package. I like the home-baked variety. Chocolate chip. I also like to give the reindeer a pep talk before we head off from the North Pole. Q: Do you have a favourite MJHL team? A: Nope. But I like the food in Winkler. Good sausage dog. Selkirk has good popcorn. Q: Who’s the greatest player? Gretzky or Lemieux? Or Bobby Orr? A: Not even close. Orr. Q: Favourite MJHL player? A: A few. Troy Martynuik in Dauphin has been writing me letters for years; Devin Muir in OCN always leaves me cookies; Brad Bowles in Portage is always a good boy. Q: Favourite songs on your IPod? A: White Christmas – Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer – Hell’s Bells by AC/DC. Q: Favourite pre-Christmas meal? A: Rib steak (medium well). Baked potato (just butter/no sour cream) – Fresh corn – beef/barley soup. Q: Any favourite MJHL town? A: Dauphin. Home of the best-ever broadcaster! Love his ‘casts. Q: If you could spend 15 minutes with anyone in the MJHL, who would it be? A: Ken Pearson, coach of Winkler. I don’t have to look up at him when we’re talking. Q: Anyone getting a lump of coal in the MJ? A: Well, Tre Potskin and Suede Omeasoo of OCN, and maybe Jonah Wasylak of Steinbach, they’ve spent a bit of time in the sinbin. Q: Any hobbies? A: Absolutely. Jogging. Lifting weights. Boot camps. Fishing sometimes. I also like to race the elves around the workshop. Q: If they made a new “Santa Claus” movie, would it be action/adventure? Comedy? Romantic? Mystery? A: Mystery. A who dunnit. Q: Which actor would play you? A: Colin Farrell (he’d have to bulk up quite a bit) Q: Who would be the leading lady in your movie? A: That’s easy – Jennifer Coolidge. Q: Last movie you went to? A: Santa Claus Conquers the Martians Q: If not being Santa Claus, what would you be doing? A: Coaching hockey. Looks like fun standing on the bench. Q: Don Cherry … love him? Can’t stand him? A: Love the suits! And, he kind of looks like a Santa Claus with the white hair. Q: Top 3 things on your bucket list? A: Lose 10 pounds … go surfing in Hawaii … have lunch with Marlin Murray. Q: Other than hockey, any other favourite sports? A: Reindeer racing … curling … cross-country skiing. Love those winter sports! Q: Best verbal jab aimed at you? (No profanity, please.) A: “I like the Easter bunny better” … or, “The Tooth Fairy leaves better presents”.
Jayson Argue made quite the impression in the MJHL. The rookie goaltender for the Swan Valley Stampeders was named the league’s most outstanding player, was a first-team all-star and named rookie of the year honours. He then made the very difficult decision to leave the MJ to play in the BCJHL. These days the product of the Valley is enjoying his time in college hockey with Bentley University. Argue, now 21 years old, was recently chosen as an Atlantic Hockey Co-Rookie of the Week and followed that up with the Goaltender of the Week the next week. He posted a 2.02 GAA and a .926 save percentage to earn the first honour. But before he won the award, Argue had to recover from an injured knee, though he didn’t get hurt in some great hockey collision. “I was injured for the first two months (of the season),” said Argue. “It was an off-ice injury. I have a bad knee and I was walking down the stairs and it buckled on me. “I had to have some surgery and they cleaned out some cartilage.” As a 20-year-old, Argue nearly won a second league MVP award, finishing as a runner up in the BCHL and still being named to the first all-star team. And now he’s in the college ranks and still earning honours. “In my first week back I got rookie of the week, and in the second week I got goalie of the week – it was a nice way to come back,” he said. Argue has learned quickly about the differences from junior A hockey and NCAA hockey – but as his recent awards show, he’s been a quick adapter. “The competition is a few steps above what I was playing before – you’re playing against men,” said Argue. “I’m the youngest guy here at 21, and you’re playing against guys who are 25 years old. “There’s a lot more strength, the shots are harder, the systems are smoother, and there are no lapses, and if you do lapse, the next day you won’t be playing.” Argue added it’s a very structured hockey environment focused on the team winning, which is great from a goaltender’s perspective. “It’s very unselfish hockey – it’s all about the team,” he added. “I think it makes you a better person as well.” For example, Argue notes the team is structured around team defense, and said players focus on clearing guys from in front of the net and blocking shots. Then there’s adjusting to the daily grind of being a college athlete – and the realization that there isn’t much free time. “College is a lot more time consuming – in junior there’s a lot more free time and you’re with the guys more, but here I have class from 8 a.m. until 12 noon, and then straight to the rink for practice at 1 p.m. until about 3:30 p.m.,” said Argue. “And then you leave the rink and you have some night classes. “It’s a big change, and when you’re done your classes, you have homework,” he added. “The days are pretty full but I like it.” Argue said being out of school for three years made getting back to school interesting, but his hard work has already paid off in his first semester. “And a lot of what I’m studying has to do with American things, so that’s a little different coming from small-town Manitoba,” he said. “I just wrapped up my finals today, and my grade point average is higher than what I had in high school, so I’m pretty happy about that.” Argue also noted his mother Fran, a teacher in the Valley, was an invaluable source for him as he adjusted back into life as a student. No doubt his father, Dale’s sense of humor has rubbed off on the fun loving netminder. For those who don’t know where Bentley University is, it’s located in Waltham, Mass, very close to Boston. It’s considered a Division Two school for NCAA sports, with men’s hockey being the exception – it competes in Division One against all the top teams in America. Most of Bentley’s games are on the east coast, but Argue said he’s hopeful they will make the trip west to a school such as UND next year, which would probably be the closest school to the Manitoba. “In our out-of-conference games this year we didn’t play UND but I’m hoping next year,” said Argue. “I’m hoping we get there one day because I’m pretty sure I’d have a lot of friends and family in the rink.” Famous alumni from Bentley University includes Joaquin Bacardi (president of the line of drinks that shares his last name) and former Tonight Show host Jay Leno.
Steinbach Pistons’ GM/Head Coach Paul Dyck will lead Team West at the CJHL Prospects Games next month in Oakville. James Richmond of the Aurora Tigers (Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL)) will lead Team East. "I am honoured and grateful to have been given this opportunity. I am truly excited to be a part the CJHL Prospects Game and to be working with some of the elite Junior A players in our country," said Dyck, who has been head coach of the Pistons for the last four seasons. During the 2012-13 season, he guided the Pistons to a 5th place regular season finish and won the MJHL championship, all while finishing as runner up for MJHL Coach of the Year. In 2013-14, he finished 2nd in the regular season and lost in the MJHL semi-finals. Currently, his club is ranked 18thin the country in the Pointstreak CJHL Weekly Top 20 Rankings. Dyck, a native of Steinbach, has an extensive hockey playing career playing in the MJHL, CHL, IHL and the DEL in Germany. He was drafted by the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins. He won the IHL's Turner Cup in 1998-99, as well as the DEL Championship in 2002-03. Dyck attended several NHL training camps in including the Pittsburgh Penguins, San Jose Sharks, Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers. The CJHL Prospects Game was created to showcase 40 of the top NHL prospects in the CJHL. The CJHL Prospects Game features players from the CJHL's five western leagues competing against players from the CJHL's five eastern leagues. The winner of the game will hoist the President's Cup, which is awarded annually to the winning team. Rosters for the CJHL Prospects teams will be announced in early January 2015. The player selection for the annual CJHL Prospects Game is a joint initiative between the CJHL and NHL Central Scouting. The CJHL Prospects Game will be played on Tuesday, January 20th at the Sixteen Mile Sports Complex in Oakville, ON at 7:45PM. Tickets to the CJHL Prospects Game in Oakville, Ont., are on sale at Puckz Pub in the Sixteen Mile Sports Complex, at all Oakville Blades home games as well as online atwww.oakvilleblades.com
As the Winkler Flyers get ready for the unofficial second half of the season, the club has announced their leadership group for the remainder of the season. Head Coach Ken Pearson has given 20 year old forward Patrice Wren the Captain “C”, while Tristan Keck, Reid Burak and Jon Carlson will serve as Assistant Captains. “With a veteran group we knew we had good leadership candidates, and we just wanted to see who evolved as the leaders both on and off the ice” said Pearson when asked why he waited until the Christmas break to decide on his captains. Patrice Wren came to Winkler in a trade this past off season from the Pembroke Lumber Kings where he won the RBC Cup in 2011. The 20 year old from Beachburg, Ontario is in the middle of his fourth year of junior hockey. He is currently third in team scoring with 29 points (10 goals – 19 assists). “Wren plays in all situations and has done everything you want to do in junior hockey. He plays the way we want all our guys to play. He also has the respect of all our players which is important for us.” Added Pearson. Morris, Manitoba native Tristan Keck is in his third season in Winkler and served as an Assistant Captain in 2013-2014. Morden product Reid Burak is also in his third season as a Flyer. Jon Carlson, from Fort Francis, Ontario was picked up in a trade from Portage this summer. “Tristan and Reid have been here for three years and have gone through the ups and downs, with both bringing a different dynamic to the team. Reid will battle for you, do anything for his teammates and say something when needed, Tristan is more of a lead by example kind of guy. Jon came in this summer and from day one jumped right in and became a great team player.” The Winkler Flyers, who are tied for second place in the MJHL, will host the fourth place Steinbach Pistons on Wednesday, December 31st at 4:30pm in their New Year’s Eve matinee. It will be Winkler’s first game back from the Christmas Break.
Zack Waldvogel of the Portage Terriers has been named December’s RBC Player of the Month. Waldvogel, 20, was outstanding offensively reflected in 17 points (5-12) in nine games for the Terriers, who repeatedly have been ranked No. 1 in the CJHL this season. The Terrier veteran, who hails from Portage, also sits atop his club points race with 20 goals and 52 points in 41 games. The runners up are 20 year old forward Soren Frederiksen of the Virden Oil Capitals and 19 year old forward Tyler Penner of the Steinbach Pistons. Sher-Wood Hockey Defenseman of the Month Jordan Greig of the Virden Oil Capitals is a mainstay on the blueline for the club, earning him December’s Sher-Wood D-Man of the month honours. The native of Souris plays a solid defensive style, in addition to an offensive flare ─ eight points (1-7) in nine games last month. The runners up are 20 year old Tanner Jago of the Portage Terriers and 20 year old Landon Cross of the Steinbach Pistons. MGEU Goaltender of the Month Graham Hunt continues to show why he’s regarded as one of the best goaltenders in the MJHL. The native of Concord, MA., was outstanding in December, posting three shutouts, enroute to four wins in five starts. His stats were mind boggling over that span: 1.20 GAA and .962 save percentage. The runners up are 20 year old Teagan Sacher of the Selkirk Steelers and 19 year old Justin Laforest of the Portage Terriers. IBAM Rookie of the Month The IBAM Rookie of the Month is Rylee Zimmer of the Waywayseecappo Wolverines. The 17-year-old forward tallied eight points (3-5) in five games for the Wolves. A native of Russell, Zimmer is considered one of the bright stars of the future in the MJHL. The runners up are 16 year old forward Dylan Thiessen of the Virden Oil Capitals and 18 year old forward Rylan Freed of the Dauphin Kings.
You’re a hard-core MJHL fan. Or so you think. For a little fun heading into 2015, we’ve put together a brain-busting trivia contest for our fans. Answers will be published later in January. Good luck! Which MJHL alumni has been a long-time referee in the NHL? Who was the last captain in the MJHL to hoist the national championship trophy? Hint: Centennial Cup. This Portage Terrier alumni went on to play with Los Angeles Kings? This MJHL player was named CJHL Player of the Year. Who was the first-ever signed Selkirk Steeler? Who was the first-ever coach of the then-MJHL franchise Steinbach Hawks? This Dauphin King goaltender went on to star in the NHL. This player was arguably the highest-profile player to suit up for the then-MJHL franchise Kenora Muskies. This MJHL alumni went on to win four Stanley Cups. Who is the MJHL’s all-time winning coach? This MJHL alumni went on to play for his native country in the Winter Olympics/World Championships. This former MJHL coach went on to coach Theo Fleury.
MJHL Power Rankings for December 22nd (36-2-2) (Last Week: 1st) – Three of a possible four points is enough to keep the Terriers at the summit of the MJHL Power Rankings this week. They also remain first on the CJHL Top 20. Fun Fact: Portage also clinched a playoff spot last week. Schedule this week: Christmas Break (Back in action Wednesday December 31st vs. Virden) (22-9-4) (Last Week: 3rd) – It’s only a matter of time before the Pistons hit the CJHL Top 20. With lots of games in hand on all the teams in front of them, Steinbach might be the team to the watch in the new year. Schedule this week: Christmas Break (Back in action Wednesday December 31st @ Winkler) (22-9-6) (Last Week: 2nd) – Two MJHL teams are an honourable mention this week on the CJHL Top 20, the first are the Winnipeg Blues. They snagged that big 6-5 shootout win against Portage earlier in the week. Schedule this week: Christmas Break (Back in action Wednesday December 31st @ Selkirk) (22-10-6) (Last Week: 4th) – The second MJHL team with an honourable mention on the CJHL Top 20 are the Winkler Flyers, they grabbed three of four points last week as well. Schedule this week: Christmas Break (Back in action Wednesday December 31st vs. Steinbach) (19-13-5) (Last Week: 5th) – Virden remains steady as they slide into the Christmas break. They have points in their last five outings and won four of those contests. Schedule this week: Christmas Break (Back in action Wednesday December 31st @ Portage) (16-14-4) (Last Week: 7th) – The Stamps ran through the final month of the year. They didn’t lose in regulation in December, going 4-0-2. Schedule this week: Christmas Break (Back in action Friday January 2nd vs. Neepawa) (16-16-1) (Last Week: 6th) – Games in hand remain key for the Selkirk Steelers. They may be seventh in the MJHL right now, but they have games in hand on every team in the league. Schedule this week: Christmas Break (Back in action Wednesday December 31st vs. Winnipeg) (14-19-5) (Last Week: 8th) – A win and a loss for the Dauphin Kings last week. Both contests were at home. They finished the month of December with a record of 4-4-1. Schedule this week: Christmas Break (Back in action Sunday January 4th vs. Swan Valley) (12-22-2) (Last Week: 9th) – Not a great December for the Blizzard, but it did end on a high with a 7-3 win in Dauphin. OCN went 2-6-0 in the month. Schedule this week: Christmas Break (Back in action Friday January 9th @ Winnipeg) (11-21-3) (Last Week: 10th) – Like the Blizzard the Wolverines entered the Christmas break on a high with a big win at home. With two straight wins they’re also starting to distance themselves from Neepawa when it comes to the MJHL’s final playoff spot. Schedule this week: Christmas Break (Back in action Saturday January 3rd @ Winnipeg) (10-26-1) (Last Week: 10th) – Losers of seven straight, the Neepawa Natives get a break from hockey until early January when they open up an 11 game schedule for the first month of 2015. Schedule this week: Christmas Break (Back in action January 2nd @ Swan Valley)
Thanks to a pair of flawless performances, Swan Valley Stampeders’ goaltender Graham Hunt has been named the Recycle Everywhere-MJHL Player of the Week. Hunt, 19, posted back-to-back shutouts last week for the Stamps, who have 16 wins and 36 points in 34 games. Hunt, who hails from Concord, MA. has been outstanding in the Stampeders’ net, recording wins in six of his last eight starts. The runners up are 20 year old forward Zack Waldvogel of the Portage Terriers and 20 year old forward Brian MacKenzie of the Selkirk Steelers.
Talor Joseph of the Portage Terriers has been named the MJHL Recycle Everywhere Player of the Week, ending November 2. Joseph, 20, has been a key contributor to the Terriers’ strong start this season, earning the club recent back-to-back No. 1 status in the Canadian Junior Hockey League rankings. Joseph, who hails from Sherwood Park, Ab., was outstanding last week reflected in a 2-1 record, outstanding GAA of 0.67 and .975 save percentage. He was also named the MGEU MJHL Goaltender of the Month in October. The runners up were a pair of other goaltenders ─ Nick Deery, 20, of the Steinbach Pistons and Mitch Wiebe, 20, of the Waywayseecappo Wolverines.
MJHL Power Rankings for November 3rd (18-1-1) (Last Week: 1st) – Two wins and a loss for the Terriers this past week, not too much of a dent in their armor, but they did drop to second on the CJHL’s Top 20. Schedule this week: @ Winkler on Tuesday, @ Selkirk on Thursday & vs. Selkirk on Saturday (13-4-4) (Last Week: 2nd) – The Flyers went 2-2-0 last week but still remain one of the top clubs in the league. Winkler also moved to fourteenth on the CJHL’s Top 20. Schedule this week: vs. Portage on Tuesday, @ Neepawa on Friday & vs. Selkirk on Sunday (12-5-0) (Last Week: 3rd) – With games in hand on all the teams in front of them, the Steinbach Pistons have a chance to get a little closer to the Blues and Flyers on the road this week. The Pistons find themselves in the nineteenth spot on the CJHL Top 20 this week as well! Schedule this week: @ Dauphin on Friday & @ Wayway on Saturday (10-3-5) (Last Week: 4th) – Thanks to five extra time losses the Blues are third in the MJHL Standings. They come into this week with two wins in their last three contests. Schedule this week: @ Neepawa on Wednesday, @ Wayway on Friday & vs. Dauphin on Saturday (8-9-2) (Last Week: 9th) – A couple big wins at the Centennial Arena for the Stampeders has them making a big improvement on the Power Rankings. They’re in the midst of a six game home stand. Schedule this week: vs. Dauphin on Wednesday & vs. Virden on Sunday (7-8-2) (Last Week: 5th) – A quiet week for the ‘Caps had them split two games. Things get a bit busier this week as they hit the road for three-in-three. Schedule this week: @ OCN Friday, @ OCN Saturday & @ Swan Valley on Sunday (8-10-1) (Last Week: 10th) – With nine straight games at home the OCN Blizzard are looking to make up some ground in the standings. So far they’re 2-2-0 on the stretch. Schedule this week: vs. Virden on Friday & Saturday (7-10-3) (Last Week: 6th) – The Dauphin Kings losing streak has been extended to eight games. They’ll conclude a six game road swing on Wednesday. Schedule this week: @ Swan Valley on Wednesday, vs. Steinbach on Friday & @ Winnipeg on Saturday (6-7-1) (Last Week: 7th) – A slow schedule to start the year is about to get a whole lot busier for the Steelers. They may be ninth in the standings, but they have played fewer games then all the other teams in the MJHL. Schedule this week: vs. Neepawa on Tuesday, vs. Portage on Thursday, @ Portage on Saturday & @ Winkler on Sunday (6-13-1) (Last Week: 11th) – A couple good wins including a 4-2 victory in Winkler has the Wolverines starting to rise in the Power Rankings. Schedule this week: vs. Winnipeg on Friday & vs. Steinbach on Saturday (6-10-1) (Last Week: 8th) – With two losses in the last seven days the Neepawa Natives have now lost three straight. Schedule this week: @ Selkirk on Tuesday, vs. Winnipeg on Wednesday & vs. Winkler on Friday
Daylon Creasy of the Swan Valley Stampeders has been named the Manitoba Pork – MJHL Peak Performer of the Month for October. Creasy, 18, has been involved in a variety of community activities this season, including the Terry Fox Run, Taylor School BBQ and Swan Valley Minor Hockey Breakfast Club. “Daylon’s involvement in his community is all encompassing,” said MJHL Commissioner Kim Davis. “He’s has become involved with Communities that Care, Haunted House project for Spooktober fest. “In addition, Daylon is participating in the Swan River 'Chop the Top' for cancer awareness where he may have to endure a buzz-cut at center ice during a game in November.” Creasy, who hails from Carberry, is also passing on his hockey expertise to young players, serving as a guest coach with Swan Valley Pee Wee teams. “Daylon epitomizes the community involvement of the MJHL,” said Davis. “This award couldn’t have gone to a more worthy recipient.” September Zach Whitecloud of the Virden Oil Capitals is committed to making a difference in his community. And it’s that quality which earned the rookie defenceman the Manitoba Pork Peak Performer of the Month for September. Whitecloud, 18, excels both on the ice and in the community. He volunteers his time with the Virden Minor Hockey school and assisted during local peewee tryouts. “While Zach is a newcomer to the community of Virden, that didn’t stop him from getting involved quickly,” MJHL Kim Davis said of Whitecloud’s contributions. “ Zach, along with his teammates, recently participated in the Virden Junior High Terry Fox Run/Skate. Zach will also be speaking in local schools as part of WE Day Celebrations. He’s doing all of this community work while dealing with the pressure of being a rookie in the MJHL.” Whitecloud, who hails from Brandon, plans to speak to the WE Day audience about his path to the Oil Capitals, and his experience playing for Team Manitoba at the North American Indigenous Games in Montreal. “Zach epitomizes what the MJHL is all about: community involvement, making a difference and showcasing his hockey talents,” said Davis. “Congratulations on behalf of the Manitoba Pork Council and the MJHL.” Archive 2013-2014 March The Manitoba Pork Peak Performer of the Month for March is Steinbach Pistons goaltender Zach Rakochy. Zach spent over 60 hours volunteering in Steinbach schools assisting teachers, spending time with students, and was also involved in minor hockey during the month of March. "Zach has made a tremendous impact with youth in Steinbach and has set the bar extremely high when it comes to giving back to the community,” said Pistons Head Coach & GM, Paul Dyck. “I am often approached by parents with a son or daughter in one of the schools where Zach volunteers and they always comment on the positive influence he has been on their child. Zach understands the opportunity he has as a Junior hockey player to make a difference in the lives of people and he selflessly gives his time." Congratulations Zach as this month’s Manitoba Pork Peak Performer! February For his tireless community service efforts, Clay Van Diest of the Portage Terriers has been Manitoba Pork Peak Performer for the Month of February. Van Diest, 20, is a firm believer in giving back to his community and the fans of the Terriers. “Clay is active in the community and has participated in the Terry Fox Run, volunteered for Manitoba Heart and Stroke Association, United Way, Cancer Care Manitoba and the Portage Jingle Bell Breakfast,” MJHL Commissioner Kim Davis said of Van Diest’s selection. “Clay truly understands what it means to give back to the community. Clay has also volunteered to read at schools in surrounding communities such as Austin, Treherne and MacGregor, as well as nearby Hutterite communities and schools in Portage la Prairie.” Van Diest, who patrols the blueline for the Terriers, hails from Helena, Mt. His community efforts have not gone unnoticed by his teammates. “Clay sets a very good example for his younger teammates as well as for all youth in the community,” said Davis “Clay is a true ambassador of the Terriers and the MJHL. He’s a worthy winner of this award. The MJHL and Manitoba Pork Council congratulate Clay on his award.” January Cody Nelson of the Virden Oil Capitals has been Manitoba Pork Peak Performer for the Month of January. The 20-year-old forward has been recognized for his outstanding leadership skills both on and off the ice. “Cody volunteered as an instructor at the Southwest Peewee Development Camp, sharing his passion and knowledge of hockey with the young players,” MJHL Commissioner Kim Davis said of Nelson’s selection. “The Camp included two speaking sessions where Cody addressed the players and their parents about his work ethic and daily routine and what it took to become a Junior ‘A’ hockey player.” Nelson, who hails from Brandon, has demonstrated strong public speaking skills and a willingness to share his personal experiences with others. “Recently, Cody spoke in front of the entire Virden Collegiate student body at their WE Day event and is a tremendous ambassador for the Oil Capitals,” said Davis. Nelson was a Peak Performer on the ice as well, recording six points (3-3) in the month of January. “Cody is a true ambassador of the Oil Capitals and the MJHL,” said Davis. “He a worthy winner of this award. The MJHL and Manitoba Pork Council congratulate Cody Nelson on his award.” December The Manitoba Pork Peak Performer of the Month for December is 18 year old forward Kamerin Nault of the Winnipeg Blues. Kam is in his second year with Blues and has been active in giving back to the community. Kam participated in a Kal-Tire-MJHL BBQ helping to promote the MJHL and the Blues. Kam has volunteered his time coaching with the AA Titans (northwest) girls hockey team and participates with Seven Oaks Middle School helping out students in their Physical Education program in the afternoon and on-ice in the mornings. November Riley Hillis of the Neepawa Natives is full of energy both at the hockey rink and within the community. And it’s that quality which earned the talented forward the Manitoba Pork Peak Performer of the Month for November. Hillis, 18, volunteers his time at an early morning hockey clinic helping young players work on their skills before school. The Winnipegger is also enjoying a strong season, reflected in 14 points (10-4) after 27 games. “Riley also volunteered at local schools and with the Salvation Army in support of their annual food donation drive for the food bank,” MJHL Commissioner Kim Davis said of the selection. “Riley is a good example of community volunteerism at its best. He’s combining a very busy hockey schedule with helping others in Neepawa.” The MJHL and Manitoba Pork are proud of the contribution Hillis has made to his community. October For his outstanding volunteerism in the community, Max Provencher of the Swan Valley Stampeders has been awarded the MJHL Manitoba Pork Peak Performer of the Month for October. Provencher, 20, hails from Montreal and is fully bilingual ─ a language he’s putting to good use in Swan River and area. “Max is a volunteer French tutor for Swan River and area students,” Commissioner Kim Davis said of Provencher’s selection. “He also volunteers his time at the local Animal Protection Agency and has supported the Swan Valley Communities That Care (SVCTC) Youth Initiative.” Provencher, a 6-foot-3, 200-pound forward, has also enjoyed a strong season to date, reflected in 13 goals and 22 points for the Stamps, who sit fourth in the Sher-Wood Division. The Manitoba Pork Council and the MJHL congratulate Max on his outstanding achievements in the community and on the ice. September Adam Vander Linden of the Winkler Flyers believes in making a difference in his community. And it’s that quality which earned the rookie goaltender the Manitoba Pork Peak Performer of the Month for September. Vander Linden, 18, has been honoured with this award for his unconditional commitment to his community and unselfish volunteerism. “Ty is a newcomer to the community of Winker, but that didn’t stop him from getting involved quickly,” MJHL Kim Davis said of Vander Linden’s contributions. “He is contributing to the community by volunteering in the Canadian Tire ‘I Love to Skate’ program which provides skates and encouragement to new immigrant children who have never skated on ice before. This year in Winkler, 25 kids are learning to skate as a result of the efforts of Canadian Tire and people like Adam." “He did all of this community work while preparing for several Manitoba Junior Hockey League games and all the while moving to his new town,” Davis said of Vander Linden, who hails from Winnipeg. Vander Linden and some of his teammates also volunteered with the Winkler Horticultural Club who had the task of removing flower pots from various locations in the city to prepare for the upcoming winter season. On the ice, Vander Linden has also contributed over his first two games, reflected in stopping 72 of the 76 shots he faced for an outstanding .947 save percentage and a 2.0 goals against average. The MJHL and Manitoba Pork are proud of the contribution Vander Linden has made to his community. 2012/2013 March Jordan Neduzak of the Swan Valley Stampeders has been named the Manitoba Pork Peak Performer for March. Neduzak, 20, has demonstrated a tireless work ethic both on and off the ice. Throughout the season, Neduzak has been a strong ambassador for his hockey club. He mentored young minor hockey players during on-ice practice sessions and also visited local schools in Swan River to read to students and be a positive role model. A native of Morden, Neduzak became a tireless volunteer while a member of the Winkler Flyers. He continued his volunteerism this season with his new team and community. “It’s this type of selfless volunteerism which embodies the spirit of our league,” said MJHL Commissioner Kim Davis. “While moving to a new community, Jordan was determined to give back to his adopted community.” “Jordan is a fantastic ambassador for both the Stampeders and our league,” said Davis. February Justin McDonald of the OCN Blizzard has been named the Manitoba Pork Peak Performer for February. McDonald, 20, has demonstrated a tireless work ethic both on and off the ice. The Blizzard goaltender has been a tremendous ambassador for the organization, volunteering at various community events such as reading to youths at local library nights, in addition to signing autographs at school pancake breakfasts. “Justin has been very steady throughout the year and has been a huge part of the regular season success,” said Blizzard Head Coach Clay DeBray. “Justin strives everyday to be the best that he can be on the ice and especially off the ice. He comes from a great family and being raised on a farm, he learned that hard work will make you a better person in life and in sports.” McDonald was raised on a farm near Turtleford, Sk., which is located near North Battleford. A strong believer in giving back to his community, McDonald also tutored young goaltenders in the minor hockey system. A highlite for him this season was attending a number of events staged at the iconic Trappers Festival in The Pas. “Justin is a fantastic ambassador for both the Blizzard and our league,” MJHL Commissioner Kim Davis said of McDonald’s selection. January Kyle Bodnaruk of the Winnipeg Blues has been named the Manitoba Pork Peak Performer of the Month for January. Bodnaruk, 20, believes strongly in making a difference in his community. The Blues’ captain recently organized an event at Siloam Mission, where his teammates served food to patrons, assisted with laundry duties and organized much-needed clothes for pick-up. Bodnaruk’s community involvement is far-reaching. He’s also befriended two autistic young men and on a regular basis takes them to lunch or a Blues’ game/practice. “Kyle and his teammates felt good about helping the community and realized the good fortune they have in their lives compared to others,” MJHL Commissioner Kim Davis said of Bodnaruk’s selection. “Good works like these make solid contributions to the community at large. Manitoba Pork and the MJHL are proud of the efforts of Kyle Bodnaruk.” December Zach Rakochy of the Steinbach Pistons has been named the Manitoba Pork Peak Performer of the Month for December. Rakochy was involved significantly in local fund raising with a focus on charities that support men’s mental health. After a recent home game, Zach and teammate Kyle Rous shaved their heads publicly in support of the Canadian Mental Health Association and Prostate Cancer Awareness, respectively. Between the two players, they raised about $2,000 for the local charities. The hair-cutting project started growing after Rakochy was deeply impacted when a former hockey teammate took his own life. “We had played junior together. He was a good buddy of mine,” said the Pistons’ goaltender, who hails from Canora, Sk. “He suffered from depression. When he took his life it really hit me hard. I wanted to make a difference after that. “When I was getting my hair cut I was thinking about him. It was very emotion for me. It really felt unreal knowing I was helping and making a difference.” Rakochy, 19, has also been actively involved in minor hockey and has worked one on one with several minor hockey goalies to develop their skills. In December he also packed food hampers that were distributed to needy families. In addition to all these activities he also made four school appearances and spoke to students at local schools. “The MJHL and Manitoba Pork are proud of the citizenship displayed by Zach,” said MJHL Commissioner Kim Davis. November Bryce Lipinski of the Portage Terriers has been named the Manitoba Pork Peak Performer of the Month for November. Lipinski, 19, is not only a hard-worker on the ice, but is also a tireless volunteer away from the rink. “Bryce has volunteered in the community with various events including the Terry Fox Run, United Way, as well as assisting his teammates at a fund raiser for the Terriers’ former home, the Centennial Arena,” MJHL Commissioner Kim Davis said of Lipinski’s selection of Manitoba Pork Peak Performer. “Bryce understands the benefits for kids to stay active with sports and the importance in keeping the old arena in operation in Portage. He leads by example and is a very good role model for his younger teammates and youth in the community.” Lipinski, who was acquired in the off-season from the North Bay Trappers, plays alongside his twin brother Lyndon. Bryce has nine goals and 14 points in 23 games for the Terriers, who sit third in the Addison Division with 13 wins and 29 points. “The MJHL and Manitoba Pork are proud of the citizenship displayed by great young men like Bryce Lipinski of the Portage Terriers,” said Davis. October Jeff Archibald of the Dauphin Kings is hands-on when it comes to making a difference in his community. And it’s that quality which earned the veteran forward the Manitoba Pork Peak Performer of the Month for October. Two nights per week Archibald spends quality time with Jonathan Foster, the special needs trainer for the Kings. As a result of this one-on-one bonding, both have become good companions. “Jeff’s contributions don’t stop at the rink,” Kings’ GM/Head Coach Marlin Murray says of Archibald. “During the month Jeff played road hockey on several occasions with local school children, as well as teaching hockey skills with the Timbits minor hockey program.” Archibald, a Kings’ assistant captain, is having a good season thus far, reflected in 12 points (5-7) after 12 games. He and his King teammates also recently put smiles on the faces of many a youngster in Dauphin. “Jeff and some of his teammates dressed up and passed out candy to local children on behalf of the hockey club,” said Murray. The MJHL and Manitoba Pork are proud of the contribution Jeff Archibald has made to his community. September Even though he is new to the Town of Virden, Grade 11 student Ty Edmonds has made a huge community contribution. 16 year old goaltender, Ty Edmonds of the Virden Oil Capitals has been named the Manitoba Pork Peak Performer of the Month for September. For two full weeks in September Ty has worked on the ice with goaltenders in the Virden Minor Hockey School. He did all of this community work while preparing for several Manitoba Junior Hockey League games and all the while moving from Winnipeg to a new town and new high school. The MJHL and Manitoba Pork are proud of the contribution Ty Edmonds has made to his community.
Miska, Kuffner and Rauckman named Gongshow 3 Stars for October 2014 CALGARY, Alberta (November 5, 2014) – The Gongshow CJHL 3 Stars for the month of October 2014 are Hunter Miska (Penticton Vees, BCHL), Ryan Kuffner (Gloucester Rangers, CCHL) and Chris Rauckman (Flin Flon Bombers, SJHL). 1st STAR –HUNTER MISKA, G, Penticton Vees, BCHL (9 GP, 9 W, 0 L, 1.08 GAA, .959 SV%) Penticton Vees goaltender Hunter Miska is the BCHL player of the month for October. Miska registered a 9-0 mark for the month while posting three shutouts. The Stacy, Minn. native recorded a save percentage of .959 and a goals-against average of 1.08 in his nine starts. Miska's play has been key in the Vees' current 12-game win streak. He is committed to the University of Minnesota-Duluth for next season. 2nd STAR – RYAN KUFFNER, F, Gloucester Rangers, CCHL (11 GP, 11 G, 12 A, 23 PTS) Ryan Kuffner of the Gloucester Rangers was not only the CCHL Player of the Month for October, he was also named the Academic Player of the Month. Kuffner amassed 23 (11G, 12A) points in 11 games for the month. The Ranger forward earned four game stars for his efforts while keeping Gloucester in the race for second in the competitive Yzerman Division. The Ottawa, ON native and Princeton commit currently is second the CCHL in overall scoring with 37 (19G, 18A) points in 24 games. 3rd STAR – Chris Rauckman, F, Flin Flon Bombers, SJHL (15 GP, 14 G, 7 A, 21 PTS) Chris Rauckman (Red Deer AB) started his SJHL career with points in ten of his first eleven games and finished the time frame with 14-goals and 7-assists in 15-games. Rauckman had goals in his first seven games and was held off the score sheet only three times. Rauckman enters November with the league lead in goals and is second in points. Honourable Mentions: Karl Léveillé, Montréal-Est Rangers (QJHL), Nick Reynard, Okotoks Oilers (AJHL), Dasan Sydora, Winkler Flyers (MJHL)
At the start of November there were seven teams who had between six and eight victories ─ a sign of just how competitive and how much parity there is in the MJHL this year. The Waywayseecappo Wolverines are in that group of seven – hoping to move their way up the standings. And to do that, they’ll be relying on the continued strong play of 20-year-old forward George Splichal. Hailing from Oakdale, Minn., Splichal has nearly doubled his point-per-game production this year, going from a half-a-point per game to nearly a point-per-game this year. Wayway Head coach Barry Butler said he saw signs of Splichal coming on last season, a trend which has continued this year. “I think if you look at how George developed last year, he was probably at a point-a-game pace after January, when it’s tougher to play in the league,” said Butler. “And everyone wanted to play with him last year, and we were sure looking forward to him coming back and having a big year for us, and he sure hasn’t disappointed us. He works extremely hard, he does more rather than less to keep himself ready to play, and loves the game. “For a walk-on player last year, it’s tremendous for our organization and says a lot about George.” Splichal said this is an important season for both himself and the Wolverines, and he made sure he did all he could to prepare for this campaign. “I worked a lot harder in the off season,” he said. “I came to realize this is my last year and if I want to go somewhere I need to step up my game. I’ve been putting more effort into my game this year for sure.” Splichal is hardly the first American to end up in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League, and his road to the Wolverines is a common one in this day and age – word of mouth. “I actually thought I was done with hockey,” he said. “But my buddy was playing up here last year and thought I would be interested in playing up here. He gave my number to Barry and he called and asked if I would be interested. “I ended up here just in time for the last couple of days of tryouts, and it all worked out.” Splichal had 33 points in 60 games last year. This season he already has 17 after 20 games this year. He admits the level of play is dramatically improved this season. “It’s a lot tougher and faster – that’s pretty much it,” he said. “It’s a lot better hockey for sure.” Splichal admitted the Wolverines suffered through a slow start but are coming on, recently winning three of five games, including a huge road win over a very strong team from Winkler. He added the Wolverines have their sights set higher than their current place in the standings. “We had a rough start, but we’re playing better of late, and I think we can do some damage this year,” he said. “I think we’re going to make the playoffs this year, and we’ll aim to go far.”
The Manitoba Junior Hockey League extends its deepest sympathies to the family of Cole Hamblin, who lost his battle with cancer. His family was by his side. Hamblin, 21, recently accepted a scholarship to attend Guelph University and play for their CIS hockey program. Hamblin, who played AAA midget for Eastman Selects, played in the MJHL for Virden, Winnipeg Blues, Selkirk Steelers and Portage Terriers. “We are extremely proud of Cole for what he accomplished during his time in Virden along with reaching his goal of attaining a hockey scholarship,” mentioned Dale Lewis, the organization’s President. “The team appreciates all the condolences and messages that we have received and right now our thoughts and prayers are with the Hamblin family.” Cole entered his final season of junior hockey as a member of the Virden Oil Capitals and played a pivotal part in the team’s success. “No one enjoyed playing the game and being around teammates more than Cole,” stated Troy Leslie, the Oil Caps Head Coach and General Manager. “He was a very kind and thoughtful person and was always easy to have a conversation with. He will be deeply missed by everyone here in Virden.” “Cole was a pleasure to have around the rink each day,” added the Oil Caps’ Marketing Manager, Lindsey Gullett. “Any community related events we had, he never hesitated to get involved. His easy going personality and care for others is what made people gravitate towards him… he was just a big, loveable guy.” Various fundraisers have taken place over the past two months for Cole and his family that have received an overwhelming amount of support from the hockey community across Canada and the United States. The Oil Caps donated the proceeds from a 50/50 earlier in the season during a game that featured his former team, the Portage Terriers. Meanwhile the Spokane Chiefs (his former WHL team) held an auction with the proceeds directly benefiting the Hamblin family. In addition, an online fundraiser called Stronger Than Cancer raised nearly $70,000. A message from the website states, “All remaining donations that have not been used will be generously donated to Cancer Care!”. The Oil Caps players will have “CH18″ stickers placed on their helmets for the remainder of the season in memory of Cole.
CALGARY, Alberta (Novmeber 10, 2014) – A relatively tough week for the Penticton Vees of the BCHL has seem them slip from the top spot in the CJHL, to a third place ranking. The Carleton Place Canadians of the CCHL have a lofty 25 wins, with only four losses, and have taken over the top spot in the CJHL weekly rankings. Meanwhile in Manitoba, the Portage Terriers, the 2015 host of the RBC Cup, have a nice five-game winning streak going, and remain in the top three in the rankings. The Vees are in the top spot in the BCHL, while the Nanaimo Clippers are proving that they will be a force for the rest of entire season. Eight teams are within eight points of the Clippers for second place overall in the BCHL, and any team can win on any night. The Spruce Grove Saints are enjoying a six-game winning streak and are atop the AJHL standings, but the Camrose Kodiaks have held tough and are only two points behind the Saints with three games in hand. The SJHL’s Kindersley Klippers have a solid lead in the overall standings ahead of the Melfort Mustangs, but the Notre Dame Hounds, Battlefords North Stars, Flin Flon Bombers, and Nipawin Hawks are all within four points of the Mustangs for second place overall. The Portage Terriers remain in first place overall in the MJHL standings, while the Winkler Flyers, Winnipeg Blues, and Steinbach Pistons, are starting to separate themselves from the rest of the league. In the SIJHL, the Fort Frances Lakers and the Thunder Bay North Stars are in a dead heat for the top spot, with the Lakers holding a slim one point lead. Over in the NOJHL, the Soo Thunderbirds hold a two point lead over the surging Kirkland Lake Gold Miners with the Gold Miners still having a game in hand. The Aurora Tigers fine play of late has pushed them to within a single point of the OJHL leading Trenton Golden Hawks. The Georgetown Raiders, Whitby Fury and Cobourg Cougars are close behind the Tigers, with the Raiders and Cougars having a game in hand. The Carleton Place Canadians and the Ottawa Jr ‘A’ Senators remain on top of the CCHL, with the Cornwall Colts and the Pembroke Lumber Kings showing signs of challenging the top teams in the league. The Cougars de Sherbrooke continue to rule the standings in the LHJQ, while the Woodstock Slammers have a strong grip on top of the MHL and lead the league standings. Top 20 Rankings 1. Carleton Place Canadians (CCHL) (3) 2. Portage Terriers (MJHL) (2) 3. Penticton Vees (BCHL) (1) 4. Trenton Golden Hawks (OJHL) (4) 5. Kindersley Klippers (SJHL) (5) 6. Spruce Grove Saints (AJHL) (7) 7. Woodstock Slammers (MJHL) (6) 8. Aurora Tigers (OJHL) (11) 9. Camrose Kodiaks (AJHL) (9) 10. Soo Thunderbirds (NOHL) (8) 11. Fort Frances Lakers (SIJHL) (13) 12. Kirkland Lake Gold Miners (NOJHL) (12) 13. Thunder Bay North Stars (SIJHL) (NR) 14. Winkler Flyers (MJHL) (14) 15. Georgetown Raiders (OJHL) (19) 16. Cougars de Sherbrooke (LHJQ) (8) 17. Nanaimo Clippers (BCHL) (NR) 18. Ottawa Jr. ‘A’ Senators (CCHL) (17) 19. Winnipeg Blues (MJHL) (NR) 20. Melfort Mustangs (SJHL) (NR) Honourable Mention: Chilliwack Chiefs (BCHL), Drumheller Dragons (AJHL), Notre Dame Hounds (SJHL), Cobourg Cougars (OJHL), Titan de Princeville (LHJQ)
Scott Parsons of the Winnipeg Blues has been named the Recycle Everywhere-MJHL Player of the Week. The 19-year-old goaltender was close to flawless, reflected in a 2-0 record, one shutout and 1.00 GAA. Parsons, who hails from Fort Francis, Ont., also posted a sparkling save percentage of .956 for the Blues, who sit third in the MJHL with 13 wins and 31 points. The runners up are 16 year old forward Dylan Thiessen of the Virden Oil Capitals and 19 year old forward Brad Bowles of the Portage Terriers.
MJHL Power Rankings for November 10th (21-1-1) (Last Week: 1st) – The beat goes on for the Portage Terriers, they own the MJHL’s longest active winning streak right now, they’ve won five straight. However it wasn’t good enough to get them back to the summit of the CJHL Top 20, they’re second for the second straight week. Schedule this week: vs. Steinbach on Wednesday, @ OCN on Friday, @ Swan Valley on Saturday & @ Dauphin on Sunday (13-3-5) (Last Week: 4th) – With games in hand on teams in front of them the Winnipeg Blues enter this week with a chance to pass Winkler for second in the standings. The Blues were ranked 19th on the CJHL Top 20 this week! Schedule this week: @ Virden on Friday & @ Neepawa on Sunday (14-5-5) (Last Week: 2nd) – A rough start to November for the Flyers, they’ve dropped three of their first four this month. A busy weekend is ahead for Winkler, who sit 14th on the CJHL Top 20 this week. Schedule this week: @ Dauphin on Friday, @ OCN on Saturday & @ Wayway on Sunday (13-6-0) (Last Week: 3rd) – The Pistons are the opposite of the Flyers, they’ve won three of four to start November. They’ve got lots of work ahead of them as they look to burn some games in hand this week. Schedule this week: @ Portage on Wednesday, @ Selkirk on Friday, vs. Selkirk on Saturday & vs. Virden on Sunday (10-10-1) (Last Week: 7th) – Three straight wins including two over the Virden Oil Capitals this past week for the OCN Blizzard. Their nine game home stand comes to an end this weekend. So far they’re 4-2-0 on the stretch at the GLMC. Schedule this week: vs. Wayway on Wednesday, vs. Portage on Friday & vs. Winkler on Saturday (9-11-3) (Last Week: 8th) – The Kings got out of their slump and took two of three this past week including a 3-1 decision at home against the Steinbach Pistons. Schedule this week: vs. Winkler on Friday & vs. Portage on Sunday (9-10-2) (Last Week: 5th) – A 1-1-0 record for the Swan Valley Stampeders last week. Like the Blizzard, the Stampeders conclude a home stand this week. So far on their six game stretch on home ice the Stamps are 2-2-0. Schedule this week: vs. Selkirk on Wednesday & vs. Portage on Saturday (7-10-1) (Last Week: 9th) – A rough week for the Selkirk Steelers, in four games they won one and lost three. The Steelers have picked up two points in just one game in November. In their defence, three of their five games this month have been against Portage. Schedule this week: @ Swan Valley on Wednesday, vs. Steinbach on Friday & @ Steinbach on Saturday (7-10-3) (Last Week: 6th) – The Virden Oil Capitals will be happy to be back home this week after they lost all three of their games on the road (Two in OCN, one in Swan). Virden has lost four straight. Schedule this week: vs. Neepawa on Thursday, vs. Winnipeg on Friday & @ Steinbach on Sunday (7-12-1) (Last Week: 11th) – A big win at home against the Winkler Flyers had people talking across the MJHL. Goaltender Alex Henry stopped 53 of 57 shots for the victory. Schedule this week: @ Virden on Thursday, @ Wayway on Friday & vs. Winnipeg on Sunday (6-15-1) (Last Week: 10th) – Two straight losses for the Wolverines as they get set for a busy weekend. They’ll kick off a three game home stand on Friday. Schedule this week: @ OCN on Wednesday, vs. Neepawa on Friday & vs. Winkler on Sunday
Devan Schram of the Virden Oil Capitals has been named this week’s Recycle Everywhere/MJHL Player of the Week. The 19-year-old Winnipegger was hot offensively, reflected in seven points (2-5) in three games for the Oil Capitals, who earned five of a six possible points last week. Oil Caps have nine wins and 22 points after 23 games. The runners up are 19 year old forward Tyler Penner of the Steinbach Pistons and 19 year old goaltender Justin Laforest of the Portage Terriers.
The OCN Blizzard wishes to announce that Head Coach, Clay Debray has resigned his position with the club effective November 13, 2014. The OCN Blizzard organization would like to thank Clay Debray for his services to the hockey club and wish him all the best in his future endeavors. The OCN Blizzard have appointed Jason Smith as Head Coach for the remainder of the 2014 – 2015 season.
CALGARY, Alberta (November 17, 2014) – The Portage Terriers of the MJHL, on the strength of a 9-game winning streak, have retaken the top spot in the Pointstreak CJHL Top 20 Weekly Rankings. Nearly all ten leagues across Canada are tightening up, and the parity in many leagues is becoming very evident. The Penticton Vees have since recovered from a few off nights, and the Nanaimo Clippers have strung together a solid four-game winning streak. It is interesting to note that there are twelve teams within ten points of the Prince George Spruce Kings for third overall in the BCHL. In Alberta, the Spruce Grove Saints are clinging by a single point lead over the Camrose Kodiaks, but the Kods still have three games in hand. The SJHL’s Kindersley Klippers have a solid lead in the overall standings, ahead of the Melfort Mustangs, but eight teams in the 12-team league have winning records, so it is shaping up to be a dog fight for sure the rest of the regular season. The Portage Terriers remain comfortably atop the overall MJHL standings, while the Winkler Flyers and the Winnipeg Blues are in a battle for second place, with the Blues holding a four-game advantage in games to be played. This could quickly eliminate the Flyers current advantage. In the SIJHL, the Fort Frances Lakers have jumped ahead of a suddenly stumbling Thunder Bay North Stars, while in the NOJHL, the surging Kirkland Lake Gold Miners are in a near dead heat with the Soo Thunderbirds – on top of the standings by one point, but the Thunderbirds do hold a one game in hand advantage. The Trenton Golden Hawks and the Aurora Tigers of the OJHL are separated by just two points for the overall lead in the standings. Once again the East Division is proving to be ultra-competitive with the Cobourg Cougars, Whitby Fury and Kingston Voyageurs all within striking distance of the Golden Hawks. The CCHL’s Carleton Place Canadians and the Ottawa Jr ‘A’ Senators remain on top of the Robinson Division and the Yzerman Division respectively. While the Cougars de Sherbrooke continue to rule the standings of the LHJQ. In the MHL, the Woodstock Slammers have a strong grip on first place in that league, but are seeing the Miramichi Timberwolves and Dieppe Commandos start to close in with their strong play. Top 20 Rankings 1. Portage Terriers (MJHL) (2) 2. Carleton Place Canadians (CCHL) (1) 3. Penticton Vees (BCHL) (3) 4. Woodstock Slammers (MHL) (7) 5. Trenton Golden Hawks (OJHL) (4) 6. Kindersley Klippers (SJHL) (5) 7. Spruce Grove Saints (AJHL) (6) 8. Aurora Tigers (OJHL) (8) 9. Camrose Kodiaks (AJHL) (9) 10. Fort Frances Lakers (SIJHL) (11) 11. Nanaimo Clippers (BCHL) (17) 12. Kirkland Lake Gold Miners (NOJHL) (12) 13. Soo Thunderbirds (NOJHL) (10) 14. Cougars de Sherbrooke (LHJQ) (16) 15. Winnipeg Blues (MJHL) (19) 16. Miramichi Timberwolves (MHL) (NR) 17. Ottawa Jr.‘A’ Senators (CCHL) (18) 18. Melfort Mustangs (SJHL) (20) 19. Dieppe Commandos (MHL) (NR) 20. Brooks Bandits (AJHL) (NR) Honourable Mention: Battleford North Stars (SJHL), Winkler Flyers (MJHL), Cobourg Cougars (OJHL), Georgetown Raiders (OJHL), Titan de Princeville (LHJQ)
MJHL Power Rankings for November 17th (25-1-1) (Last Week: 1st) – Four more wins for the Portage Terriers with two coming in extra time. They’ve now won nine straight and find themselves back on the summit of the CJHL Top 20. Schedule this week: vs. Neepawa on Wednesday, @ Winnipeg on Saturday & vs. OCN on Sunday (15-3-5) (Last Week: 2nd) – The Winnipeg Blues are riding high as they kick off a six game home stand this week. They’ve won five in a row and are 6-1-0 in November. Winnipeg is ranked 15th on the CJHL Top 20 this week as well. Schedule this week: vs. Steinbach on Thursday, vs. Portage on Saturday & vs. Swan Valley on Sunday (17-5-5) (Last Week: 3rd) – Winners of four straight the Winkler Flyers still sit second in the league’s standings, but Winnipeg is starting to catch up and have games in hand. Winkler is an Honourable Mention on this week’s CJHL Top 20. Schedule this week: vs. Swan Valley on Saturday & @ Selkirk on Sunday (14-7-2) (Last Week: 4th) – Not a great weekend for the Pistons, they dropped three of four. The good news is Steinbach is still comfortably in fourth place in the standings. Schedule this week: @ Winnipeg on Thursday & vs. OCN on Saturday (9-10-4) (Last Week: 9th) – Virden jumps up the most this week on the MJHL Power Rankings. They snagged five of a possible six points this week which included a big road win in Steinbach against the Pistons. Schedule this week: vs. Swan Valley on Tuesday, vs. Dauphin on Friday & @ Neepawa on Sunday (9-12-4) (Last Week: 6th) – The Dauphin Kings played the top two teams in the MJHL this past weekend, taking Portage to a shootout and losing to Winkler by one goal in regulation. They’ll close out the three game home stand early this week. Schedule this week: vs. Selkirk on Tuesday & @ Virden on Friday (9-11-1) (Last Week: 8th) – Selkirk had a good week, taking two of three. The bad news was they ended the week with a 9-0 loss to Steinbach. Schedule this week: @ Dauphin on Tuesday, vs. Swan Valley on Friday & vs. Winkler on Sunday (10-13-1) (Last Week: 5th) – OCN concluded their season high nine game home stand this past week. They ended the stretch with a 4-5-0 record with three straight losses in the final stretch. Schedule this week: @ Wayway on Friday, @ Steinbach on Saturday & @ Portage on Sunday (9-12-2) (Last Week: 7th) – The Stamps also closed out a lengthy home stand last week. The six gamer had them go 2-4-0. Swan Valley enters this week with two straight losses. Schedule this week: @ Virden on Tuesday, @ Selkirk on Friday, @ Winkler on Saturday & @ Winnipeg on Sunday (8-14-1) (Last Week: 10th) – A win for the Natives over the Wolverines keeps them inside the post season picture this week but the schedule is about to get a lot tougher for Neepawa. Schedule this week: @ Portage on Wednesday & vs. Virden on Sunday (7-16-2) (Last Week: 11th) – A quiet week ahead for Waywayseecappo, they wrap up a three game home stand on Friday before heading out on the road for four in a row. Schedule this week: vs. OCN on Friday
Operating a junior hockey team takes real imagination and strong partnerships. The article below was submitted to us by the Steinbach Pistons. The article explains how the Piston organization worked with its partners for a positive outcome. Harvest has come to a close with winter making its presence felt and despite the ups and downs this past season brought, the Steinbach Pistons first year as farmers was a success. The Pistons teamed up with Henervic Farms, who were a major asset in guiding the Pistons in all of the decisions that were needed to be made throughout the year. The inaugural season wouldn’t have been possible without Henervic Farm’s expertise and the help of Southeast Seeds, Southeastern Farm Equipment, Mana, Bayer Crop Science and Monsanto Bio-Ag. At the end of the day, due to wet conditions in the spring the Pistons were only able to plant 100 of their 120 acres. The original plan to plant corn was changed to soybeans last minute right before the crop insurance deadline at the beginning of June. The last minute switch of crops proved to be a very wise decision because of the shorter growing season and a drop in corn prices. After a month, reports weren’t good because of all the standing water on the field, which is located five miles southeast of Steinbach. However, the sun started to shine in July, providing the crop with ideal conditions to finally flourish. After another crop inspection mid-August, a gloomy start turned into a positive outlook. After harvest in mid-October, Henveric Farms reported that the Pistons were able harvest a total of 3000 bushels. The organization want to send out special thank-you to Henervic Farms and all the sponsors who joined alongside with the kick-off of this new fundraising venture. If your business is interested in joining the Pistons Crop Program contact email@example.com View the YouTube video
Jackson Keane of the Winnipeg Blues is one of 16 players named to Central Scouting’s November ‘Players to Watch’ list. Keane, 17, is in his second year with the Blues, who are the defending MJHL champions. The native of Winnipeg has 26 points (10-16) in 24 games this season ─ currently tied for top stop in the Blues’ scoring with Brett Brooks. Keane, a graduate of the Winnipeg Wild AAA Midget program, was a runner-up for the MJHL Rookie of the Year Award last season. Players on the list are identified with an A, B, C or LV rating. A indicates a 1st round candidate, while B indicates a 2nd/3rd round candidate and C indicates a 4th/5th/6th round candidate. All CJHL players identified on the list were ranked with a C rating meaning they are 4th/5th/6th round candidates. Leading the way with six CJHL players on the list was the BCHL. The AJHL had four players on the list while the OJHL had three, the CCHL had two and the MJHL had one player on the list. The following are the CJHL players on the NHL Central Scouting November Players to Watch List: 1. Carmine Buono Powell River Kings BCHL 2. Vincent Desharnais Chilliwack Chiefs BCHL 3. Brogdan O'Brien Prince George Spruce Kings BCHL 4. Marcus Vela Langley Rivermen BCHL 5. Stefan Wornig Powell River Kings BCHL 6. Hunter Miska Penticton Vees BCHL* 7. Adam Berg Calgary Mustangs AJHL* 8. Tyler Busch Spruce Grove Saints AJHL 9. Rhett Gardiner Okotoks Oilers AJHL* 10. James Vermeulin Whitecourt Wolverines AJHL* 11. Dawson Theede Cobourg Cougars OJHL* 12. Will Reilly North York Rangers OJHL* 13. Jackson Bales Oakville Blades OJHL* 14. Adrian Clark Carleton Place CCHL* 15. Andrew Peski Brockville Braves CCHL 16. Jackson Keane Winnipeg Blues MJHL*
CALGARY, Alberta (November 24, 2014) – An 11-game winning streak, the longest streak in the country this season, has the Portage Terriers of the MJHL still on top of the Pointstreak CJHL Top 20 Weekly Rankings. The top four teams this week have held their spots in the rankings, while there are other surprises in the rankings this week. The Penticton Vees are padding their lead in the BCHL Interior Division, while the Alberni Valley Bulldogs and the Powell River Kings are making real strides in the Island Division behind the Nanaimo Clippers. In Alberta, the Camrose Kodiaks have overtaken the Spruce Grove Saints, but the Okotoks Oilers and Brooks Bandits are close behind. In Saskatchewan, the Melfort Mustangs had a tremendous week and have pulled within three points of the Kindersley Klippers,while the Flin Flon Bombers, Battlefords North Stars, Notre Dame Hounds and Nipawin Hawks have all gained ground on the Klippers. The Portage Terriers remain comfortably atop the overall MJHL standings, while the Winkler Flyers have opened up some room between themselves and the Winnipeg Blues. The Steinbach Pistons are playing well and are starting to move up the standings as well. In the SIJHL, the Fort Frances Lakers are tied atop their league standings with the Thunder Bay North Stars, but have two games in hand. In the NOJHL, the Soo Thunderbirds have snuck ahead of the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners in what is becoming a two horse race for Northern Ontario supremacy between them and Kirkland Lake. The Trenton Golden Hawks and the Aurora Tigers of the OJHL have just a single point between them for the overall lead in the standings, while the Georgetown Raiders are pushing hard to make it a three team race for the overall lead. In the CCHL the Ottawa Jr. ‘A’ Senators beat the first place Carleton Place Canadians in a great game on the weekend, but the Canadians are still running away with the overall lead in Central Canada. The Cougars de Sherbrooke were caught this past week by the Titan de Princeville and now share top spot in the standings of the LHJQ, while the Woodstock Slammers have a ten point lead on the second place Miramichi Timberwolves and are eleven points up on both the Dieppe Commandos and Pictou County Weeks Crushers. Top 20 Rankings 1. Portage Terriers (MJHL) (1) 2. Carleton Place Canadians (CCHL) (2) 3. Penticton Vees (BCHL) (3) 4. Woodstock Slammers (MHL) (4) 5. Aurora Tigers (OJHL) (8) 6. Camrose Kodiaks (AJHL) (9) 7. Spruce Grove Saints (AJHL) (7) 8. Trenton Golden Hawks (OJHL) (5) 9. Soo Thunderbirds (NOJHL) (13) 10. Melfort Mustangs (SJHL) (18) 11. Winkler Flyers (MJHL) (HM) 12. Kindersley Klippers (SJHL) (6) 13. Fort Frances Lakers (SIJHL) (10) 14. Kirkland Lake Gold Miners (NOJHL) (12) 15. Ottawa Jr.‘A’ Senators (CCHL) (17) 16. Titan de Princeville (LHJQ) (HM) 17. Brooks Bandits (AJHL) (20) 18. Miramichi Timberwolves (MHL) (16) 19. Les Cougars de Sherbrooke (LHJQ) (14) 20. Steinbach Pistons (MJHL) (NR) Honourable Mention: Nanaimo Clippers (BCHL), Okotoks Oilers (AJHL), Flin Flon Bombers (SJHL), Thunder Bay North Stars (SIJHL), Georgetown Raiders (OJHL)
WINNIPEG ─ For the second week in a row, a player from the Virden Oil Capitals has been named the Recycle Everywhere-MJHL Player of the Week. Goaltender Sean Kuehn drew the nod after posting a perfect 3-0 record last week. Kuehn, who hails from Flower Mound, TX, registered a sparkling save percentage of .941 and 2.67 GAA for the Oil Caps, who have 12 wins and 28 points after 26 games. Last week Kuehn’s teammate, Devan Schram, was named the Recycle Everywhere-MJHL Player of the Week. The runners up are 19 year old forward Cam Whyte of the Winkler Flyers and 19 year old defenseman Davis Ross of the Portage Terriers.
MJHL Power Rankings for November 24th (28-1-1) (Last Week: 1st) – With twelve straight wins it’s no surprise the Portage Terriers are back on top the Power Rankings and the CJHL Top 20 this week. At the half way point of the season Portage is on track to finish with a record of 56-2-2. Schedule this week: vs. Selkirk on Wednesday & @ Neepawa on Friday (19-5-5) (Last Week: 3rd) – Cut Portage’s win streak in half and you have the Winkler Flyers who have been playing very well as of late. Winkler finds themselves 11th on the CJHL Top 20 this week. Schedule this week: vs. Virden on Sunday (16-7-2) (Last Week: 4th) – Winners of three of their last four, the Steinbach Pistons are catching fire at the right time. They’re just one game into a three game home stand. This week the Pistons are on the CJHL Top 20, they find themselves just inside the list at number 20. Schedule this week: vs. Virden on Friday & vs. Wayway on Saturday (15-5-6) (Last Week: 2nd) – With three straight losses under their belts it appears the Blues have hit a little bump in their otherwise strong season. They’ll try and bounce back at home this week. Schedule this week: vs. Neepawa on Thursday & vs. Virden on Saturday (12-10-4) (Last Week: 5th) – The Virden Oil Capitals finally seem to be moving in the direction they thought they’d be going in at the start of the season. They’ve taken their last four games and are quietly moving up the standings. Schedule this week: @ Steinbach on Friday, @ Winnipeg on Saturday & @ Winkler on Sunday (11-14-2) (Last Week: 9th) – A very good weekend for the Swan Valley Stampeders. In their three-in-three they took two contests on the road against Selkirk and Winnipeg. Schedule this week: vs. Wayway on Wednesday (10-13-1) (Last Week: 7th) – A good start to the week for the Steelers, but not the greatest finish with two straight losses. Selkirk is in the midst of a stretch that sees them play seven of eight at home. Schedule this week: @ Portage on Wednesday, vs. Dauphin on Saturday & vs. Wayway on Sunday (9-14-4) (Last Week: 6th) – The Dauphin Kings enter this week with the MJHL’s second longest active losing streak at five games. They’ll look for some good home cooking over the next couple weeks; four of their next six are at Credit Union Place. Schedule this week: vs. Neepawa on Tuesday & @ Selkirk on Saturday (10-15-2) (Last Week: 8th) – Six straight losses for the OCN Blizzard heading into a quiet week. It won’t be slow for long though. In December the Blizzard play six of eight on the road. Schedule this week: vs. Neepawa on Saturday (8-16-2) (Last Week: 11th) – Just one game last week for the Wolverines, and they won it. They took out the OCN Blizzard 3-2 in OT to close out three straight on home ice. Schedule this week: @ Swan Valley on Wednesday, @ Steinbach on Saturday & @ Selkirk on Sunday (8-16-1) (Last Week: 10th) – Three losses in a row for Neepawa, but with a very busy schedule this week they’ll have multiple chances to get out of the slump. Schedule this week: @ Dauphin on Tuesday, @ Winnipeg on Thursday, vs. Portage on Friday & @ OCN on Saturday
Five years ago, the Manitoba Junior Hockey League and its Junior A counterparts across Western Canada adopted the Junior A Supplement, which was specifically designed to reduce violence on the ice. The positive results have been steady and noticeable. “The number of suspensions in our league this season is down significantly,” says MJHL Commissioner Kim Davis. “The introduction of the Junior A Supplement was designed to reduce violent actions of players, while increasing the quality of players who rely on speed, skill and strength. “For players who have been in the league now for two or three years, they have the mindset that they realize they have to be responsible for what they do on the ice. This is due to their knowledge and exposure to the Junior A Supplement.” This year ─ 2014-15 season ─ the new, one-fight rule took effect within the MJHL and its western counterparts. For a player who gets into a fight, they will receive a five-minute major and game misconduct. In accordance to the Junior A Supplement, suspensions for fighting are cumulative. After a total of five fighting majors, a player will receive a one-game suspension; six fighting majors will result in a three-game suspension and team fine; seven fighting majors will result in a four-game suspension and team fine. Suspensions are also tied to players who are deemed to be the instigator of a fight. Two instigator penalties will result in a one game suspension to the player, and team fine; three instigator penalties to a player will result in a two-game suspension and team fine. “The mindset of players is that they have to be responsible for their actions,” said Davis. “They are more mindful that if they do something which is of a violent, or unacceptable, behavior, they know suspension could occur. “The quality of our league is excellent,” said Davis. “We have a very entertaining product on the ice, and a very competitive league.” The MJHL is not discouraging physical play, stresses Davis. But head shots, fighting and violent acts will no longer be tolerated.
Sometimes as a head coach you have to go actively looking for a job. Other times, the job comes looking for you. That was the situation that presented itself to Selkirk Steelers head coach Wayne Bartley this summer. The Killarney native was working with his staff for this spring’s Canada Winter Games when a phone call thrust him back into the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. “I was sitting in the dressing room with the under-16 program of excellence (POE), the team I’ll be coaching for the Canada Winter Games, when I got a call from one of the owners (of the Steelers) asking me if I was interested,” he said. “From there, five or six days later I met with the team, and it all ended up happening pretty quickly.” Bartley has a long and extensively history in hockey, but this is his first stint as a head coach in the MJHL. He previously served as an assistant coach to the now-relocated Winnipeg Saints back in 2011-12. “I was there one year with David Anning (now an assistant with the Brandon Wheat Kings of the WHL), and we had a good run there, made it to the league final and lost to Portage,” said Bartley. After that he transitioned to the under-16 program in Manitoba, which has led him to a chance to head to British Columbia in 2015 to take part in the Winter Games. “That will happen in February in Prince George,” said Bartley. “It was a long process, from the Manitoba Winter Games, and taking it down to the top 40 in May, and then we ran a skills event in July, followed by a top 30 camp in August.” Bartley will also be taking the team to a prep squad tournament at Shattuck-St. Mary’s in Minnesota in December. That means at times Bartley will have to be away from the Steelers this winter, but he said there’s a strong team in place to work the bench while he’s away. “There hasn’t been too much overlap until this tournament, because everything was done prior to me taking over the Steelers,” said Bartley. “This will be the first overlap and I’ll have to miss two games, but I have three very confident coaches on board in Jeff Mitchell, Craig Scott and Joey Rewucki our goalie coach, so for those two games the team will be in good hands.” Bartley added being involved with the Canada Games’ team gives him some real insight into the best young players who are about to enter the junior ranks in the coming years. “That’s a bonus for me for being a coach of a MJHL team, because these guys are going to be around for a few years,” he said, adding he’ll be helping out with the POE next year as well. “Most have already been drafted but now we’ll really know what’s out there.” This year the Steelers are in that large group of teams in the mid to bottom part of the standings, where a good week could send you to fifth and a bad week could send you to 10th. “We had a huge turnover this year – we were ranked No. 2 in Canada last year for a reason, so we lost our top four or five scorers and knew we’d be lacking in that area,” said Bartley. “So this year we’re winning games 2-1, 3-1, and those are the type of games we’ll have to be in for the rest of the season. “I’m not happy where we are right now (in the standings), but there’s so much parity, from third down to 11th, and I think most teams are within five points of each other,” he added. “We’re getting better each game, defensively we’re getting better, and like most teams we have some injury problems as well.” That included a case of strep throat making it’s way though the team, according to Bartley. “That means we have some younger guys taking on bigger roles, and that will help them down the road,” he said. Bartley has an extensive playing history as well, winning a pair of league titles with the Steelers back in the 1980s, and also winning a pair of Allan Cup titles with Warroad Lakers. He also played with the U of M and over in Europe. It was at university that he got the coaching bug. “I played for late Wayne Fleming, and I learned a lot from him – a real player’s coach,” he said.