Blizzard & Kings clash in first round battle

As the final weekend of the regular season continues, most teams now know who their first-round opponent will be after Friday night while the Nighthawks and Steelers still battle it out to get into the McMunn & Yates Turnbull Cup Playoffs.

Next up, we take a look at the first round series between two clubs in the MGEU West Division. It will be the (2) OCN Blizzard vs (3) Dauphin Kings in round one. Last season, both the Kings and the Blizzard fell 4-2 in their respective first round series.

This will be the first meeting in round one of the post season between these two clubs since they met during the 2013-14 season when the Kings swept the Blizzard in four straight.

Season Series: Sep 24th 2-1 Dauphin, Nov 28th 3-1 Dauphin, Jan 26th 4-2 Blizzard, Mar 9th 5-3 Blizzard, Mar 13th 2-0 Dauphin

Last 10 Games:
Blizzard – 9-1-0
Dauphin – 6-3-1

Last 5 games:
Blizzard: 4-1, 17 goals for, 8 goals against
Dauphin: 3-1-1, 19 goals for, 13 goals against


The Blizzard are the hottest team in the MJHL right now and are peaking at the perfect time. Structured and built to frustrate, the group has fully bought in and now are finding scoring on top of their shutdown style of team play. When things do break down, they have the MJHL’s Top Goaltender in the crease. That’s allowed the defense to show off their offensive capabilities as well. While it looks like they’ll have home ice in round one, the team would have been fine on the road as they’ve been just as good away from home, which is massive when it comes to playoff success.

After the trade deadline, many thought the Kings might take a step back. The opposite happened. The group came together, picked up the pace, forced teams to make errors then capitalized on those mistakes. Guys who know their role and play their role effectively make for a really hard team to play against. They’ve given up more goals lately than they would like, but no team should expect to score against a strong goaltender and good solid defenders.

This has all the earmarking’ of a low-scoring, bring your lunch pail and work boots to the rink series. A goaltender duel is very much likely with two studs between the pipes. Both teams are content playing low-event hockey and are willing to wait as long as it takes before striking. Both teams are the kinds of groups you never want to face come playoff time and here they are locking horns in round one. Goals will be hard to come by so there’s a chance a couple of players become playoff legends for finding the back of the net at a key time.

Series Positives and Concerns:


Positive – Structure and Goaltending. Something the Blizzard have done all year is make it very hard to score against them. As a team, they’re in all the right areas when they need to be. They don’t spend a lot of time in their zone and can move pucks effectively. Goaltending has done the job and then some when called upon. Lots of confidence any time a team does get some work in the offensive zone, they will survive and push back the other way.

Concern: Timely Scoring. Goals are harder to come by in the post-season. Coaches on the other side will pick apart details and tendencies and they’ll key in on them. The Blizzard have young, dynamic scorers but as time and space get’s taken away, it’ll be up to them to fight through or find another way to score. Having guys who can do the job up and down the lineup will help, but they’re going up against a team that can own the puck for long stretches. Need to bury on chances because there might not be many.

Key Player – Goaltender Tomas Anderson


Positives: Big Game Scorers. Dauphin has a number of guys who want to have the puck on their stick when something big is needed. Dangerous offensive weapons are great, but it’s when they find the back of the net that’s most important. Quick puck movement and a shooters mentality open things up and then the work starts if there’s a loose puck. Crashing the crease, getting the greasy goal, whatever it takes in the moment. The Kings have guys that can and will score however much is needed.

Concern: Patience. The Blizzard won’t give up much and if the team goes cheating for offense, they can have it turn on them in a hurry. They’ll need to stay composed, not get frustrated and be content playing one-goal games. If they become unglued, they could end up chasing and that plays right into their opponent’s hands. Believe in what they need to do, trust the process and don’t panic.

Key Player – Goaltender Cole Sheffield