With a few games remaining in the 2019-20 MJHL regular season, the Selkirk Steelers held their own playoff destiny and just couldn’t quite find their way into the eighth and final spot.
For Blake Burr and his Selkirk Steelers, the end of their season came much quicker than anticipated but certainly poured plenty of fuel on the fire to find success in 2020-21.
“It was a tough end to our season,” Burr shared of missing the post-season. “We lost some guys at the trade deadline, we were playing well and the last month things turned and didn’t go our way. It was frustrating but it makes me want to do a lot better this year.”
“In Manitoba we’ve been lucky. I’ve been training and skating hard. For me the on ice is the same, but no showering after is different so you have to go home not smelling the best but other than that it’s pretty much the same.”
Last year was the first time Selkirk missed the playoffs since the 2013-14 season. Burr said getting back into the upper echelon of the league is something that’s important for the Steelers who will look to make an impact when the puck drops on October 9th.
“I’m extremely excited, especially with the NHL on right now it makes you want it even more. With the way last year ended, you just want to get back out there, I’m looking forward to it.”
“Seeing the guys is a big part of it, being able to get out there and compete. It’s just something about it that’s really exciting.”
The feedback from players around the league has been similar – Manitoba is extremely fortunate to have a season and it’s something no one is taking for granted.
In Burr’s first two season’s in the MJHL, he posted back to back years with 24 assists. The biggest impact Burr made with the Steelers in year two was lighting the lamp 28 times, a 19-goal increase from his Rookie season and good enough for ninth in the MJHL.
“I was depended on a little more, I got a few more opportunities that I was able to take advantage of. Playing with some good players that I built some chemistry with helped but team success is much more important.”
“We want to set the expectations high, that’s really important, so you have something to work towards and keep up to. Hopefully we can put up a lot of wins this year and be in contention,” Burr concluded.